After the miasma of all the official ‘Dam works are complete, it’s good news week’ press releases, I was wryly amused to spot this letter in the Lichfield Mercury this week. the dust has barely settled on the Chasewater dam works, the contractor’s teapot barely gone cold, and motorists are already whinging about not being able to drive along the dam and access the southern car park. Well, I’ve got news for them: I sincerely hope they never will, as they have been prevented from so doing for many years.
For most of the period Chasewater has been ascribed a ‘Country Park’, the dam road was effectively a dead-end. The track at the north end to Paviors Road was barely passable and not much would risk coming further than the access to the Sailing Club. Unfortunately. that situation changed with the opening of the new Burntwood Bypass in 2005, which improved road connections to the sailing club and the dam road. Cars began to use the route, and created such nuisance that the way was eventually blocked with a sturdy metal gate, exactly as it is now – a good couple of years before the dam work commenced, to prevent this.
The road in question has just reopened to foot, cycle and residential traffic. During the day, and especially at weekend, it’s crowded with people taking the air with family and children free to wander, the last thing we need is motorists in the mix. It takes barely five minutes to drive round and use the Pool Road/Watling Street entrance, so what’s the problem?
Alternatively, peeved motorists like Mr. Thompson could consider parking in Church road by the Football Club, and actually walking over the dam. Here, they could no doubt take in the fresh air, fascinating wildlife and engaging company of fellow park users. Of course, the flaw in this is that it may inadvertently lead to the taking of unnecessary exercise, but I’m informed it’s not deadly.
There are a few technical points with this peevish, petty missive I’d like to take issue with. The road surface – relaid for only a short section over the new bridge and Nine-Foot heath access – is the minimum necessary. It’s not generally heavy duty, as can be seen by the lack of edge-sealing and general texture. Secondly, the rest of the road surface has only been patched and is still quite poor.
Further, I’d tenure we’d contributed to this ‘tremendous cost’ to preserve the park and it’s environs, not to enable the unthinking and careless to destroy the peace and ecology with their vehicles. I realise having to visit Brownhills from the lofty ambience of Chase Terrace must be awfully unpleasant, but we promise not to steal Mr. Thompson’s wheels while he’s waiting at the A5 traffic lights. Keeping his arms inside the vehicle will also prevent the theft of his watch. Hand signals are therefore not advised.
We’ve just got Chasewater back, I hope sense continues and we don’t lose it again to those who begrudge the small inconvenience of having to take a slightly longer journey to get there.