The Community Highways Administrative Office (Salisbury) is making good progress with its 2011 winter disruption scheme.

Following last year’s record number of potholes, and the previous year’s December shopping centre gas pipe renewals, CHAOS predicts even greater impact from its PBL – the Pointless Bus Lane now being provided on the A338 Downton Road.

Seriously, can anyone explain the thinking behind this scheme? Until now we’ve had two lanes of traffic. Most of drivers on the inside lane would turn left on to the A354 Blandford Road. Drivers in the right-hand lane would either head for Harnham, the city centre, the A36 or the A30. And it worked well. But now some genius – presumably someone wanting to encourage frustrated commuters to use the Britford Park & Ride – has decided to force car drivers into a single lane (see my photo).

This seems to be a pretty silly scheme because virtually all the buses using the inside lane will be turning right at the traffic lights to go into the city, while many of those in the outside lane must cut across them to turn left. This is going to end in tears. Bus lanes are a good idea, but not on through-routes. Still, maybe the PBL will prove an exception to the rule and succeed in cutting rush hour congestion. We shall soon find out.

Not ever having read much Jane Austen…

… I looked up the Companion to English Literature’s synopsis of Persuasion before going to see the new Playhouse production. Even so, it was pretty confusing, because most of the cast of ten had multiple roles. Thus character A would exit stage-left and reappear from stage-right moments later in a different wig or coat as character B or even C. It just didn’t work for us and eventually we lost track of who they were before and who they’d now become. It’s a shame there wasn’t a slightly bigger cast of (say) 12. Don’t get me wrong: Persuasion is still worth seeing. But it doesn’t stand comparison with other Playhouse productions we’ve seen this year, such as Guys & Dolls or Way Upstream.

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