Torbay Life

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Kingskerswell Library

As you drive up to Newton Abbot you go under a bridge that is known as The Arch. A couple of days ago I took the photo with this banner, “Save our Library” hanging from it for all the world to see. The banner has done part of its job. I, and the tens of thousands who pass under the Arch now know the library is in danger.

There has been an Arch here since Roman times,
After the Romans left the Celts revered the arch as a sacred place.
The Saxon used it to hang criminals from and the Plantagenets built a monastery around it.
Henry VIII closed it down and it fell into ruin and decay.
By Victorian times only the arch remained. It is said that Isambard Kingdom Brunel passed under it as a young boy on his way for a day out in beautiful Torquay.
Its structural majesty inspired him to be come an engineer, he was thinking of becoming a coach driver.

Finally in 1966 the local authority knocked the arch down to widen the road (we are still waiting for the road to be widened).

Going on past record the Library has had it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Junction at the Grand Hotel

Not A Grand Junction

This is the junction at the Grand Hotel on Torquay sea front. As you approach this junction all the traffic is in one lane. Then there is a second lane for traffic to turn right for the Grand Hotel or Torquay Train Station. Then, for about 20 yards there are two lanes going straight on. Unfortunately 20 yards the other side of the lights these two lanes reduce to one lane.So what happens is that most people stay in the left lane and form a nice, orderly queue. However there are strangers who don't know that the lane they are in is about to vanish. When the do realize they usually end up slowing down which causes confusion. Confusion is not a good thing when you are driving a car.

The other thing that happens is boy racers (see yellow car) on an adrenalin rush come up the right hand land and dash across the lights and force their way in to the flow of traffic putting everyone at risk. The gain in journey time saved by this action must be as much as half a second.Recently, due to road works we have been diverting along the ring road. Not a road I had driven along much in the past. One thing I did notice was that at every set of traffic lights along the ring road the junctions are like this. One lane changing in to two lanes while you drive through the lights and then back to one lane almost immediately.
It seems that some one in the Highways Department thinks," Oh look. There's room for two lanes here. lets make two lanes even though it's only for 40 yards. People will think the road is wonderful. Its got two Lanes."
All it does is encourage people to overtake two or three cars for a very small decrease in journey time. Oh, and annoy the poor sod who has to brake hard to let them back in.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sun Set over Livermead

Not the best photo I have taken but I like it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I recently got a second hand bicycle, I thought that it would be better for getting around than taking the car everywhere. And with the hills of Torbay it would be certain to help my fitness. There is an interesting thing about the bicycle since the invention of the Safety Bicycle destroyed the old Penny Farthing the design of every single component has been improved. The brakes, gears, handlebars, tyres, spokes and hubs, suspension has been added, the materials used have shifted from steel to aluminum to carbon fibre. Even the peddles have been improved. The only thing to remain unchanged is the basic shape of the frame. That is still almost identical to the original Safety Bicycle invented over 100 years ago.

There have been attempts at change, one was the Recumbent. Longer than a normal bike with a very different cycling position it never really took off. The other was the Hotta.

This was the so call superbike ridden by Chris Boardman when he won gold at the Olympics, uniquely catching up to his opponent in the pursuit race. Made completely from Carbon Fibre and designed explicitly to be as areodynamic as possible, rather than taking the standard double diamond shape and grafting areodynamics on to that. No longer made because it was so dramatically faster than anything else that any other rider had that cyclings governing body banned it from racing. There where only a few ever made so they are very hard to get hold of, but one place that you might is from Colin Lewis Cycles in Paignton. That is if you can get him to sell it to you, this is not just because of its rarity. The man that runs the shop designed it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Road Closed in Paignton

Expect Chaos.

From Tuesday 3rd Jan 06 the road between the YMCA and Waterside will be closed for resurfacing. For 4 weeks. Must be laying each piece of tarmac by hand.

As this is the main road to Brixham it will cause delays and diversions. The 12 will divert up the Totnes Road, past the Zoo and turn left onto the ring road at Tweenaway Cross. Then along the ring road to Goodrington Road where it will turn left. Down Goodrington Rd to Dartmouth Road and turn right, back onto normal line of route. The route back will be the reverse of above. This means that the stops at Sands Rd, The Big Tree, Keywest, The YMCA and Waterside will not be serviced by the 12. The 12A will not be affected by the diversion except where there is heavy traffic. Do expect delays due to increased traffic along the ring road and at Tweenaway Cross and the Totnes Road.

Also it is a company rule that buses on diversion do not stop to pick passengers up so if you are waiting for a 12A you can expect the 12's to go sailing past you. Shout at us if it makes you feel better, but it's not our fault.I have explained this problem to someone at management level and asked that the destination blinds be fixed so they will display, "Sorry, I'm on diversion." but it may not happen in time for Tuesday.