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Opinion : How much does it cost to replace a few planters on the A40 in High Wycombe?

| August 12, 2020

Two of the planters on that A40 in Oxford Road, High Wycombe. (Archive picture)

Have you heard about how the plans to replace the damaged planters on the A40 in High Wycombe?

My good self was flabbergasted to read the article that appeared in the news section of this site yesterday headlined ‘Damaged planters on the A40 in High Wycombe to be replaced at a cost of £130,000‘.

By George! £130,000 to replace a few planters! Upon reading the news article my good self had to sit down in my favourite arm chair to recover.

It seems the planters, originally placed on the ‘Masterplanned’ stretch of Oxford Road and West Wycombe Road have been damaged. Let’s face that’s to be expected as many would say it was silly to put them there in the first place seemingly as a measure to try to divide the carriageway and stop vehicles overtaking or crossing to the opposite carriageway.

According to the news article ‘the six timber planters will be replaced with new granite features‘. Granite? To me it seems overkill to use such an expensive material as granite which is a material usually associated with memorials.

Oh, perhaps the ‘granite features’ will be memorials to the ‘Masterplan’ and all the other daft ideas that have blighted High Wycombe in recent years?

In the modern world of health and safety is it really a good idea to have a car smash into a granite block sitting in the middle of the carriageway should a motorist loose control on that stretch of road? It’s going to be a very hard hit smashing in to a granite block and an expensive one of the granite is chipped or damaged.

But why use such an expensive material as granite? Surely a large reinforced concrete block would have sufficed? After all presumably concrete is much cheaper than granite?

If granite is used yours truly wonders how long it will be before some naught rascals turn up with a digger with a newfangled hydraulic bucket on the front and scoop up the ‘granite features’ on to a waiting lorry to be taken away and cut up for grave stones, etc…?

Surely the wooden planters should have lasted longer? If the huge cost of Masterplanning the roads wasn’t enough it seems even more money has to be spent maintaining the Masterplan roads.

My good self has written before about the failures of the Masterplan roads in blogs such as ‘Another ‘Masterplan’ road crumbles in High Wycombe – Is the design fatally flawed?‘ and ‘Desborough Road may be busted but how many more ‘Masterplan’ roads will crumble too?

In my opinion £130,000 to replace six planters is outrageously high, especially at a time when people are losing their jobs, suffering financial difficulty and going hungry, indeed surely the money would surely have been better spent rejuvenating Frogmoor?

In my view enough money has been wasted on the ‘Masterplan’ project in High Wycombe and it’s time to accept the project was a fragile failure that apparently now needs hundreds of thousands of pounds spent to patch it up.

More worryingly there are more daft traffic schemes in the pipeline like the conversion of the Crest Road junction to traffic lights.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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