AREN'T we fortunate that the Highways Department have the foresight to plan ahead, and save future expense.

I became aware of this earlier in the year when the early morning sun cast an oblique light across a road sign. At first glance it looked like the sign maker had made a mistake. There was a large blank white area where the sign should have indicated the route into the new housing development. No doubt, at a later date some text would be added to direct drivers in to the new quiet estate roads.

Wait a minute, the text was already there, it had just been covered with a piece of thin white plastic. The sun was illuminating the outline of the letters underneath, and at some future date the plastic could be removed, and directions into the residential housing area would be revealed.

But the text actually says something different. For some reason, drivers will be advised that this road provides a convenient additional route underneath the railway line and on to the A303. Technically not a ‘Rat Run’, since the sign appear to be authorising, (even encouraging) vehicles to use this new route. I’m sure this will be a useful alternative thoroughfare for drivers wishing to bypass the town centre to access both the A303 and areas to the east of the town centre.

By planning ahead, the Highways Department have saved a few pounds, and I am sure that they notified the new and potential residents along this route so that they were aware of the increased traffic flow, and of course, they probably advised residents along the famous, (or is that infamous) Smannell Road Dog Leg, as I’m sure this new ‘convenient’ route will attract additional vehicles.

But it’s OK, they’ll probably put down some more double yellow lines so that residents can’t park outside their own property, and traffic, cars, lorries and farm vehicles, can speed past their homes. Actually, thinking about it, the traffic won’t be speeding because the apparent policy of letting potholes develop, (in both size and quantity), is more effective than any speed monitoring camera.

Well done to the Highways Department.