Every time I make a car journey nowadays, I am struck by something that used to only occasionally strike before… The road surface. This is for two reasons: firstly, the road surface is both infrequently and poorly repaired here in Bristol; secondly, my lovely Tim has chronic back pain, every unevenness is agony to him… and I won’t mention potholes. 😦
Bristol is a very anti car city. There are all sorts of little things that are done here to make driving unpleasant. I think their theory is that if they can make it unpleasant enough we will all give it up. They ignore the fact that there are too many occasions when we have no choice. It’s not as if we could use the bus service (which is much better than I was used to in Cornwall) but still takes you to the city centre first before it goes anywhere else.
And for most people who are not fully able bodied riding a bike is not an option. Personally, I have an aversion to arriving somewhere soaked through with rain and sweat. And, if you’re carrying something (or things) that won’t fit in two panniers, it’s not going to work.
So, we are stuck with having to use the car. And I have been wondering how many people with pain conditions have found the deteriorating road surface to be an extra problem over and above their day to day nonsenses? Tim finds it difficult to have to get into the car… it hurts. He finds it difficult to get out of the car… it hurts then too. He finds it difficult to sit still in the car… sometimes he can find a reasonably comfortable position, but if he stays still for too long his back locks and then when he does move it really fucking hurts. Going round corners hurt as well, by the way, the lateral G pulls in all the wrong places.
But paling all of that into insignificance is the agony he feels every time we hit an undulation, roughness of the surface or, please no, a pot hole. And don’t get me started on speed bumps! And he can’t possibly be alone in this. I know he’s in constant pain, but so are thousands, nay, millions of other people out there.
Is this not something someone is campaigning about? It seems like just another way of punishing the poor (our car doesn’t have the greatest suspension) and in pain. It seems very unfair to me.