Have you noticed more traffic than usual in Linlithgow recently? Yes, I thought so.
There is a reason for that. And the reason is… stupidity and poor planning.
I know this because I was recently forced to take a long route over the Union Canal and into the Bathgate Hills in a frustrating attempt to make my way home.
So, I know.
I was heading back in the small hours after performing in Aberdeen, and had armed myself with the latest information regarding road closures. Fortunately, the complete closure of the Forth Road Bridge was delayed – for all the difference that made.
Aberdeen to Livingston. Keep heading south, then up the M8 to junction 3. Simple.
Except, of course, that Junction 3 was closed to all traffic. That’s right, just shut.
The obvious route to take in this case is along the A89 to Uphall, and then into Livingston. Except, no, because that road is also closed to all traffic at the Newbridge Viaduct. That’s right, just shut.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but what kind of halfwit closes two major roads, running parallel with each other, at the same time? I would suggest it must be a very special kind of halfwit. One who gets up very early in the morning and practices.
So, having worked all this out, my route was obvious. In truth, when there are a clutch of road closures, I play a game in which I pretend that these areas have been closed due to zombie activity. The challenge is to make my way home without being eaten – it adds a bit of fun to the trip.
So, my perfect plan was to head along the Queensferry to Linlithgow road, then cut up, under the M9, and up the B8046 past Old Philpstoun to Uphall… except the whole road was filled with cars trying to complete U-turns because – you guessed it – the road was closed. That’s right, just shut.
As a result, there was a convoy of Livingston-bound traffic heading into Linlithgow, and then driving south across the Bathgate hills.
Still, we managed to avoid the zombies.
Unbelievably, the result of all this was that at the Northern side of Livingston we were met with a forest of yellow diversion signs; one at every corner and slip road. But they were all for different diversions!
At one location there were three – count ‘em – diversion signs, all pointing in different directions.
A stranger to the area would have no idea which route to take. Some drivers are probably still following them in circles, many of which would take them along Linlithgow Main Street.
And that, my friends, is why there has been more traffic than usual in Linlithgow recently.
Seriously, these hi-viz jacket wearing planners need to get their heads together. Actually, they need their heads knocked together.