A further sting in the tailback

PUBLISHED: 12:03 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

THE long wait was worth it, but I can foresee troubled times ahead. No, I am not talking about England playing in the World Cup although the sentiment could apply to our team of heroes. As it turned out, I could not resist sitting down to watch our boys t

THE long wait was worth it, but I can foresee troubled times ahead.

No, I am not talking about England playing in the World Cup although the sentiment could apply to our team of heroes.

As it turned out, I could not resist sitting down to watch our boys taking on Paraguay at the weekend.

I did not have high hopes of seeing a spectacularly exciting game and in that respect I was not disappointed.

The passing and crossing of David Beckham was exceptional as usual - can something exceptional be usual, I wonder? - but the rare result of England winning the opening game of a tournament was due entirely to the top of a Paraguayan player's head inadvertently directing the ball past his desperately diving goalkeeper.

If it had not been for that, I reckon it may have taken the England side a week to get the ball in the net through their own efforts. And how many could Paraguay have scored in that time?

But such fanciful conjecture is in the past now. The fact is that England won, giving surprised fans something to dream about - England triumphing over Trinidad and Tobago and cruising into the knockout rounds still with a match to go.

It is barely believable, but I think the outcome this evening (Thursday) will depend more on how the nippy Caribbean crew play than how Becks and Co. perform. I may even watch it.

As I may have indicated earlier, I do not intend talking about football this week.

My attention, yet again, is focused on Letchworth Gate. Regular readers will know that I have previously voiced my annoyance at massive delays caused by roadworks associated with construction of the Baldock bypass.

Motorists going over or round the motorway junction have suffered months of misery, caused by lines of cones narrowing to one lane the roads going to it.

So it came as a mighty relief when on Friday - a week late - the cones finally disappeared and the traffic contentedly purred through without interruption in all directions including the new southbound on-slip road to the A1(M).

For what it was worth, the county council proudly declared this fact - but there was a sting in the tail to the press release.

It is this - drivers have less than three weeks to enjoy non-delay travel before construction starts on a new northbound off-slip lane which will bring traffic lights to the junction.

Work is due to begin on June 26 and last for a minimum of 18 weeks.- "completed in November 2006, weather permitting" the county council says helpfully.

And the authority goes on to claim that once this is all done "there will be significant, visible improvement to traffic flows which will help reduce the delays that have been caused at this junction for many years".

From my experience, the only major delays there over the years have been due to roadworks.

So we are likely to be in for another bad summer. Let's hope it is just on the roads, not the football field.

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