Opening of Manchester Airport relief road delayed again


Just a week after confirming that the £290 million Manchester Airport relief road was still on schedule to open this Spring, Stockport Council has today announced it has been hit by further delays.

The 10km A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR), designed to improve transport links across Stockport, Manchester and Cheshire East, was originally due to open by autumn 2017 after two and a half years of construction works.

In April 2017, Stockport Council announced that the opening of the A6MARR had been delayed until Spring 2018 due to heavy rainfall.

However today, Wednesday 14th February, Stockport Council has announced that due to a number factors the road will now open in late summer 2018.

Last month Carillion, one of the primary contractors for the project, went into liquidation leaving the other contractor Morgan Sindall to take over the delivery of the project.

In addition to the collapse of Carillion, the further delays are being blamed on sustained periods of bad weather and the ground conditions, which are more challenging than anticipated.

Stockport Council have also recently become aware of significant problems with the highway drain under the A555 which needs to be repaired urgently to stop a potential road collapse. This emergency repair work has required the full closure of the A555 westbound from the A34 to Wilmslow Road for 17 weeks - which was not part of the original work planned on the relief road.

Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council commented: "The A6MARR project has faced a number of challenges and whilst a lot of work has taken place to reduce their impact they have affected progress on the project, and unfortunately we will be unable to open the road as planned this spring. On behalf of the whole project team, I apologise for this further delay and want to assure residents and businesses that we are continuing to work very closely with the contractor to get work completed and the road open as soon as possible.

"Whilst this news is disappointing, when it opens the A6MARR will bring many benefits for residents and companies throughout the area, reducing congestion on our roads and bringing jobs and business opportunities closer than they ever have been before."

A6Marr, Manchester Airport Relief Road, SEMMMS


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Howard Piltz
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 3:00 pm
Stockport councillors are being economical with the truth. The drains problem has been known about for quite some time, the weather is a pretty predictable occurrence - roughly one a year whilst from observation the volume of actual war on site is very limited whilst the disruption caused to local residents is awful. Will this Council at least finish what they can URGENTLY and allow traffic to flow freely on the A34 and surrounding roads. If I were a Stockport resident I would be bellowing with wrath at the Town Hall.
Graham Shaw
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 3:56 pm
If the Japanese can repair a 30m wide and deep hole at a major traffic junction in one week (look it up on the internet), why oh why can we not build a road in a decent amount of time?

Answer: because the is no will from either the Gov't or the Councils to get things done.

Isn't it about time that we charged these companies by the day for road closures and by the metre? Yes, it would increase the overall contract value as contractors built these charges back in, but it would give them some impetus to work through the night or at weekends and get the job done on time. It would also mean that they would limit the amount of road that they cone off. This has to run hand in hand with penalties for not completing on time and make it a double whammy.

Personally I've resigned myself to a new world where the entire place is covered in roadworks, traffic cones and temporary traffic lights, with no joined up thinking either within local councils themselves, or with neighbouring councils.
Jon Newell
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 3:58 pm
Whoever announced a week ago that the project would be complete by the "Spring" had quite clearly never driven past the site - let alone carried out a detailed inspection.
Just driving over the the roundabout at the Lakeland store lets one see a huge hole that quite clearly shows there is a major problem.
An opening in 2018 looks optimistic to me. I know I am not an engineer but I do know that a hole of the size that can be seen from the road will not be filled in (the problem having been resolved) in the near future - particularly as it is rare that there ever seems to be anyone working in the immediate vicinity - I know this is maybe unfair; driving past three or four times a week is not a definitive sample but I never see any activity.
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 4:11 pm
Every single stretch of roadworks in our area is a joke. Perennial delays, huge over spend....and yet seldom signs of anyone working. Add to that a lack of joined up thinking/planning allow all main arteries to be subject to massive delays, the whole process is a joke.
The Chinese build a railway station in a day merely by employing 1500 workers. They build airports in 3 months and 400km stretches of motorway in 6 months.
We've taken 3.5 years to build 10km of dual carriageway (half of which was already there). 8 months to paint 4 tunnels, and 1.5 years to build a junction and a 300m stretch of new road.
David Pearce
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 5:24 pm
This latest announcement presents no surprises with the unquestionable perception of inactivity when in my case regularly passing by the Handforth end of operations. Whatever the critical problems are with the unexpected drainage problems causing the closure of the relevant A555 section there are surely other parts of construction which could have been finished off well before now. This includes the widened ramps onto and off the A34 bypass, including the new filter lane to Handforth Dean for which, I believe, basic earthworks were completed long ago allowing completion well before now regardless of recent weather factors. These bits at least could surely have become usefully serviceable before now instead of remaining a decorative display for obstuctive traffic cones.
David Pilley
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 6:06 pm
Words fail me! How can you release a press release one week stating the road would be opening in Spring followed by a second a week after saying it will now be late summer? What on earth possessed Stockport Council to put out the first press release? As was pointed out by many, the fact that the A555 westbound from Stanley Green, by their own admission, was going to be closed for 17 weeks and that would take us into summer! The inadequacy of the people in the Council running this project is frankly extremely worrying. What’s more, they will deliver this project at least a year late and then will move on the next project as if it was a success. Do Stockport councillors have targets, goals and performance reviews; and do management act on the results like anyone in the private sector? I doubt it!
Lisa Reeves
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 6:25 pm
To clarify, Stockport Council did not issue a press release last week. I contacted them to ask for an update and confirmation of whether the opening of the road was still on schedule for Spring 2018 given they had announced the closure of the A555 westbound from the A34 to Wilmslow Road for 17 weeks.

They responded, with the statement which I published last week saying yes it was.

Which to be honest surprised me, so I went back to them to double-check, given the A555 westbound will be closed until mid-June, and their response was "The closure is up to 17 weeks, meaning it will be finished within spring (which runs until the end of June)."

So again, I was surprised to see the press release they issued today.
Jonathan Fox
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 7:30 pm
To Jon Newell the big hole you see is not a major problem. It's part of a drainage capture system that holds the water and releases it into the local drain system slowly. This would avoid localised flooding and surface water. It's on the plans if you google them as I was curious as to what that was too.

Now back to the issue. Why can't portions of the road be opened up as they are close to being finished? Why does the whole thing have to be opened all at the same time? The whole exercise smacks of incompetence. I spent 40 minutes queueing back to Wilmslow this morning on the Styal road. That is a key artery to the airport. What about people trying to catch flights? Half the coned off areas don't need to be coned off. It's a complete farce, the whole thing from start to finish.
Peter Davenport
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 9:03 pm
What amazes me about this project is the the fact that the original price for the work is or was £290 million, and to be finished, finalised etc for this sum of money.
So for another years worth of work, the price remains the same, for a project which has an over run of a year. Whose leg is being pulled. Either the contract was vastly over quoted, or some one lives in cuckoo land. I await the next announcement re this. In my opinion, it shows that earlier comments on this page are correct, which seems to be, that no one is bothered in the least. I would like, whoever, commented about this mammoth extension of the contract, in monetary terms, to be asked, WHAT IS THE COST OF THE OVERRUN
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 10:30 pm
Looks nowhere near ready when I pass it. Certainly a pain in the neck when trying to reach East Didsbury Park n ride.
John Harries
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 11:57 pm
Further to Jonathan Foxs' comment.
True, the 'big hole in the ground' (attenuation tank) and it's identical twin brother somewhere in the Poynton area is on the plans but wasn't 18 months ago!!

Other comments making comparisons with Japanese, Chinese (and there are plenty of other examples) engineering efficiency are fair comment (let's just set aside the cost/ endless abundance of Chinese labour which is where the comparison becomes lobsided) but it sums up the way Britain now appears to work (or rather, not work..).
This project has come in for a lot of stick and rightly so - at best it's shambolic as typified by the "Spring 2018 completion" announcement LAST week that is contradicted just 7 days later - laughable if it wasn't so damn serious affecting people's day to day lives as it does.
There is no accountability and the way capital project contracting operates that is an open door for abuse. Organisations like Carillion know there isn't much competition for large scale public sector work so bidding for a project isn't really a competition - it's more of a game and the losers are us, the citizen/taxpayer. There is no incentive to be realistic or professionally accurate/honest - costs, timescale, disruption, contingency - slightly plausible will do the trick.
The customer (Councils and the like) usually isn't capable to do anything other than superficial due diligence with details and the supplier/contractor knows it.
There are no real penalties because neither party can afford to lose the other - customers just hold up their hands, make noises and eventually pay up the inevitable uplifted difference. Suppliers usually can count on the customer(s) stumping up in the end because the job has to get done - albeit late and over budget (and the money will be found from central government or contingency funds).
It almost amounts to expectation of failure to deliver, whatever.

Back to the hole in the ground. Fail to plan, plan to fail (the old one's are always the best).
17 weeks to fix 'unexpected drainage problems', a big hole to accomodate 'unexpected' excess ground water. Feasability studies, surface/geo surveys, outline/scheme and detailed design work, planning permissions, compulsory purchases, estimates, cost analysis, revisions, contracts and financial viability - all aspects of planning; and I'll add local knowledge and common sense to cover the 'unexpected' bits above. What makes one think someone cut a lot of corners (saved on declared costs) with the A6MARR!! Short term 'savings'/long term costs i.e. shove all the things we forgot or deliberately didn't do onto the customer - what the hell, there will just be a bit of noise before they eventually cough up.
At one of the SEMMMS consortium public progress meetings I attending in Heald Green last year I queried the big hole in the ground with a Stockport council representative and asked about on-costs, over runs etc. - his reply "I don't know about any of that, I'm the customer" QED
Don't know about its' Poynton brother but the 'Handforth hole' started life in early summer 2017 (wish I'd made a note of the date), mid. February 2018 and my guess is that it's 60% complete (just the hole, not the carriagway that will entomb/run over it) - or maybe Morgan-Sindall can make a nice water feature out of it for the 1000's of displaced crested newts it took 12 months to collect.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 6:27 am
I have some sympathy for the remaining contractor left to mop up after the Carillion collapse. This would clearly delay any project.
John Mills
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 6:46 am
No accountability, no management control on the project, no penalties for late completion, is it any wonder this project runs over. Add to that - often nobody working on site. Blame it on the weather if all else fails. No wonder councils are ridiculed. 10km of road construction to Take over 3 years to complete and None of it more than dual carriageway. At this rate a stretch of three lane motorway of say 100km would take close to 50 years to build. What a joke this whole thing has become. Wonder how long it will be after the road finally opens before we see road works on it!
Pete Taylor
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 7:08 am
@John Harries- an excellent summation of things!

In my experience gravy trains always run slowly.

Remember the fiasco where the Wilmslow to Alderley railway crosses over the bypass? Months late, a contractor in administration and then years of flooding because the pumps were not up to the job.
Paul Hampton
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 7:28 am
The traffic light phasing at the site of the work near Ringway Road is way out. Yesterday I witnessed tailbacks of 2-3 miles, with long queues also forming on Station Road in Styal.

So if like me, you need to get from Wilmslow to the airport, what do you do?

Take the A538? No. Roadworks at Airport City are causing tailbacks through the tunnel during rush hour.

Go through Handforth? Negative. Roadworks causing long delays through the village.

Take the A34 and A555? No. In addition to what feels like decades of junction “improvement” work, they’ve now closed the west bound access to the A555!

So (deep breath) this morning from the High School, I will attempt to take the A34 to Handforth Dean, cutting through the winding and potholes roads of Epsom and Earl Roads on Stanley Green trading estate in Cheadle Hulme, onto Stanley Road, through Bolshaw and Outwood Road onto Finney Lane, Heald Green before continuing my journey towards the airport.

This Top Gear challenge will I believe, beat sitting in an another hour long jam on Styal Road. I’ll let you know the results later and don’t worry too much about the co2, as I’m in a plug-in hybrid!
Ian Triggs
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 7:47 am
Lack of accountability at the council, no interest in getting things done as there is no penalty, clearly a very incompetent management team. Any other country would not tolerate this level of ineptitude. Do the council actually get out of their comfy warm seats and inspect the site? I doubt it. if this was private sector they would be sacked.
Paul Hampton
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 8:30 am
So the ‘long way around’ was a creditable 22 minutes - but I needn’t had bothered as they’ve evidently corrected the signalling problem - no tailbacks from Wilmslow to the airport this morning!

Of course this could change by tomorrow and it’s the unpredictability of the situation that makes it so tricky to plan journeys.

Bring on half-term next week.
John Clegg
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 11:03 am
I do wish that the Met Office would stop making things up, and pay attention to what the organizations running the road project have decreed. I mean, June? In Summer? It's always been in cold Spring.

Also, I understand that September is made up to be now a fully paid-up member of Summer.
John Clegg
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 11:08 am
John Harries' comment "...laughable if it wasn't so damn serious affecting people's day to day lives as it does" is not really relevant or calculable. I mean, who really cares about the many thousands of people to whom an extra 30 minutes a day are cut out due to - er, incompetence? Lack of planning?
If these were junior doctors, for instance, someone would be calculating the cost to the economy in lost man-hours?
What about lost family hours?
Richard Bullock
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 12:49 pm
It does seem to have taken an extraordinarily long time, but the weather excuse seems a bit rich.

The A556 dual carriageway construction linking the M6 and M56 just a few miles to the west started less than 4 months before the SEMMMS A555 Link Relief Road broke ground. The A556 scheme opened not far off on-time and has now been fully open for nearly a full 12 months - and we're saying we still might have another 6 or 7 months to go on SEMMMS?

Was the weather significantly worse over that period in Poynton and Hazel Grove compared to Knutsford?
Gordon Hyslop
Friday 16th February 2018 at 5:20 am
Note “ Late Summer” previous predictions haven’t qualified the part of the season, they really mean Autumn and so a year late! A total shambles of project management with no where near enough workers, who have been moved from one job to another without finishing off the one they were doing. But should we be surprised? As the same clowns at Stockport council are responsible for the Red Rock development, a boil on the backside of Greater Manchester
Friday 16th February 2018 at 7:38 am
Gordon - "late Autumn" is being optimistic. Suspect it is more like the proverbial, "It will be ready by Christmas".
David Pilley
Saturday 17th February 2018 at 1:04 pm
Maybe Lisa Reeves would like to do a piece of investigative journalism on the incompetence of Stockport Councils / SEMMS inability to manage this project. Now that would make interesting reading. And from the length of this thread, I am sure she would have lots of willing contributors ?
Roger Bagguley
Saturday 17th February 2018 at 5:55 pm
This project just goes on and on thus delaying the answer to the question: Will this east to west highway solve the north south traffic issues?
Brian Tickner
Sunday 18th February 2018 at 9:55 am
Solve North South traffic issues? Can't wait to see the effects of the new traffic light systems at both the Stanley Road & A555 roundabouts! So that will then be 3 sets of traffic lights within a mile on what was once a 70mph dual carriageway! Stockport MBC will then have created perfect conditions for urbanisation. QED.
Estelle Lewis
Tuesday 20th February 2018 at 10:13 pm
I have to agree with Mr Chaplin above - I drive past 100's of cones and various signs with hardly any work being done - I'm glad I'm not the only one to have noticed!
Gordon Hyslop
Wednesday 21st February 2018 at 6:22 pm
Here’s what SMBC told me in mid 2016

“Carillion Morgan Sindall (CMS) have on-going works on the new slip roads at the Woodford Road/A555 roundabout in Bramhall before they are completed. Drainage needs installing, the final level of the road needs laying, white lines also need to be installed and then the area will be planted and seeded. The slip roads will be opened later in the year, in conjunction with the new bridge that is currently being built at the same location.

The scheme is planned to open as a whole in Autumn 2017 rather than in discrete sections.

The agreed hours of work for this scheme are Mondays to Fridays 7am to 6pm. Since residents are situated close to the project in many areas, CMS work weekends and nights with the appropriate consents in place, only when necessary.”
Gordon Hyslop
Wednesday 21st February 2018 at 6:28 pm
Here’ what SMBC said in December 2017
“Dear Gordon,

Further to our telephone conversation just now, please see below details of how the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road works are being managed to minimise impact on traffic in the local area. As discussed, we will arrange for this information to be added to the website.

Works are progressing across the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) and in a number of areas are now substantially complete, including Clay Lane junction, the Woodford Road, Poynton bridge and the realigned A6. Surfacing activities are also now well under way on the Relief Road mainline. We appreciate that activities are not always visible across the site but this can be due to various reasons including works being carried out at night and therefore not being apparent to commuter traffic and the requirement to coordinate works with third parties, including utilities companies.

The A6MARR Project Team regrets any disturbance caused during the works and is working hard, alongside the local highway authorities, Stockport, Cheshire East and Manchester City councils, to keep disruption to a minimum. Monthly Traffic Management meetings, attended by the contractor Carillion Morgan Sindall (CMS), the three local highway authorities and representatives of Cheshire Constabulary and Greater Manchester Police to coordinate the A6MARR works around other works taking place in the local area. Traffic management is only implemented once approved by the relevant local highway authority. Night working is carried out where feasible but consideration also has to be given to adjacent local residents who may be disturbed by the works and the safety of operatives working outside of daylight hours. Site hours were extended over the summer months in 2016 and 2017 to make the most of longer day light hours.

Every effort is made to minimise disruption as much as possible whilst still allowing the works to progress safely and efficiently. Some specific examples are provided as follows:
· A6, Hazel Grove: The realigned A6 has been open to traffic since April 2017 and the north and south tie-in junctions with the existing Buxton Road are now complete. Much of the work on the A6 that has necessitated the use of temporary traffic lights has been carried out at night. Where possible, narrow lanes were also used to create working room with the need for the use of temporary traffic lights.
· Macclesfield Road: traffic has now been transferred to the new carriageway to allow two-way traffic to be maintained on Macclesfield Road as much as possible while the new junction is under construction. Night working and narrow lanes have also been utilised at this location.
· Woodford Road, Poynton: A temporary road was constructed to maintain two-way traffic flow on the route during majority of the construction works at this location. The closure of the road, required for the completion of the installation of the new bridge, was programmed to take place over the summer holidays when the roads are quieter and to minimise the impact on the school bus service that uses the route.
· Woodford Road, Bramhall: A temporary roundabout was constructed to maintain traffic flow on this route during the construction of the bridge over the Relief Road. Following the transfer of traffic to the new bridge, work has been carried out over night or on a Sunday to avoid affecting traffic during the busiest times. Temporary traffic signals are currently in operation at the junction which run on fixed timings and can only accommodate simple phasing sequences. Improvements to the operation of the junction are therefore expected once the permanent traffic lights are in place (expected to be in early 2018) - with attendant changes to the timing and phasing of the signals - and the forecast changes to traffic flows once the relief road opens are realised.
· A34: The A34 is an extremely busy route and was so prior to the start of works on the A6MARR. Consequently, narrow lanes were installed from the outset of the works to minimise the need for lane closures. Therefore, whilst traffic management is in place on the A34, there has been minimal impact on traffic capacity on the route during the peak hours. Lane closures are required at times during the works for the safety of the travelling public and site operatives, however, these are only implemented during the off peak hours (0900 – 1530). Consideration must also be given to the safety of traffic management operatives when installing and removing the lane closures on a busy, live highway. Therefore, lane closures may remain in place if at times there is a temporary break in activities on site.
CMS has also carried out temporary works to minimise the need for lane closures on the A34. For example, the central reservation on the A34, north of the A555 roundabout, was modified and traffic lanes realigned to create additional working room.
· Stanley Road: Currently, the only traffic management restricting traffic flow on this route is the closure of the lane turn lane on the westbound approach to the A34. This is programmed to reopen in January 2018. Again, temporary works have been carried out to minimise the traffic impact on this route. For example, when Stanley Road operated as a one-way system in autumn this year, a temporary exit was opened up on the A34 from Handforth Dean retail centre to relieve traffic pressure on Stanley Road.
· Wilmslow Road: Works at the Clay Lane junction are now complete and the junction is open to traffic. Night works were carried out at this location to avoid affecting traffic flows where feasible.
· Styal Road: Traffic management on this route is carefully coordinated with Manchester Airport and was kept to a minimum over the summer months, the busiest time for the airport. We have also sought to coordinate works at this location around other works in the area. For example, temporary traffic lights were put in place for A6MARR works during the closure of Styal Road that was in place for separate Electricity North West Limited works as the closure of Styal Road reduced traffic flows along the route. Narrow lanes are also in place at this location.

We will continue to ensure that the local community is kept updated about the works as they progress. In particular:
· Weekly traffic management updates can be found online at
· Information about forthcoming works across the scheme over a three month period can be found at
Robert Rodgerson
Friday 23rd February 2018 at 11:06 am
As a resident of Grove Lane I can tell you I am totally hacked off with the road works on the Stanley Green roundabout and the Handforth bypass as part of the MARR scheme. The resulting scattering of traffic that formerly used the bypass and other roads affected by the work has resulted in all of the adjoining/alternative roads suffer from increased traffic for which they were not designed, pot holes and rough surface finish are cropping up all around the area. People are using the service road that runs parallel to grove by the Rugby club as a method of gaining a few cars advantage when traffic is queued, relying on peoples good will to let them out into the queue a few cars further along.
The council do nothing for this service road, not even leaf cleaning from their trees that align it and as result all the drains are blocked, and with the additional traffic the pot holes in it are now well over 6" deep.
Just to make matters works Stockport Council decide in their infinite wisdom to start work on Gill bent Road, who the hell is planning this stuff or have council cuts reduced staff levels so low that they can't plan anything?
John Harries
Monday 26th February 2018 at 11:46 am
Robert Rodgerson is towards one edge of Wilmslow and it just shows how far the effects of the Wilmslow/Handforth disruption spreads from the local aspect - it's all over the area.
The construction delays causing much of this is the A6MARR project, smaller and apparently uncoordinated roadworks just exacerbate the continued influence of a badly run project.
The 'new' A6MARR delays are official - a double sided A4 letter dropped through the letter box last Friday (dated 19th February) so it must be true!
There is much correspondence and other threads elsewhere on the whole subject and it's clear many people are really angry and disgruntled as to how we all are being treated - and nothing's changed.
The above letter covers numerous aspects of the project (and to be fair the authorities are trying to be up front, albeit to save their own face). To illustrate I'll just highlight one of the most recent glitches, you judge whether the leopard has changed it's spots - attitude, accountability, approach, responsibility, consideration - any of the usual mental processess.
Direct quotes from this most considerate letter
"...a number of other factors have also affected construction on the A6MARR
...Stockport Council has recently become aware of significant problems with highway drainage under the A555 which needs urgent and essential repairs to stop a potential road collapse and ensure the safety of motorists. This emergency repair work requires the full closure of the A555 westbound from the A34 to Wilmslow Road and was not part of the original work planned on the relief road but needs addressing urgently.

We have been working - and will continue to work - to reduce the impact of issues affecting the scheme's programme and open the road as soon as possible.

We will do all we possibly can to keep the impacts on the roads to a minimum"

The time estimate for this 'recently discovered' disaster is 17 weeks (just to make the point - in excess of 4 months!!) and work started a couple of weeks back; it significantly adds to the otherwise major congestion on the A34 pinch point.
To paraphrase - urgent/essential/safety of motorists/emergency repair work/needs addressing urgently/reduce impact/open road as soon as possible.

Forget the value or thoroughness/accuracy of all the survey/preparation work that has gone before us in the past 6 or so years - and costs. This is a claimed contingency issue now so to some extent a clean piece of paper. The cost is covered by/from??? but it is being covered and presumably has a £value set against it.
If you need to, just go back to the platitudes above. I guess it's SMBC/their agents who are working just 5 days (could even be 4.5 days) a week on this EMERGENCY project. The road is fully closed so no third part safety issues, no domestic properties in the present work zone to disrupt/creat noise pollution etc., no apparent access issues and it's been costed recently and from scratch with all known issues accounted for! (after all it was 'discovered' so they must know what they found!).
Around the clock work would be the best solution, 7 day extended working the second best, 7 days (with lengthening daylight hours) the third best - and there are lesser options as well; where does 5 or less days working come, in my humble opinion right at the very bottom of 'priority' or maybe that should be what we can get away with.

"Open the road as soon as possible" my aunt Fanny. When your fuming in your car or truck or coach/bus or you resort to shouting abuse at some poor so and so who's broken down or worse, had a collision because they are likely distracted/frustrated - just think on about the useless authorities (and it's not just SMBC) who appear to do their best to muck up our lives. They certainly have no idea how to impove our lives, if the do then they are failing in their duty and should seek more worthwhile employment (they'll never get sacked for incompetance).