Since being voted runner up to Weston-Super-Mare in Fifth Gear television program’s 1997, ‘The Best UK Towns to Drive Through’ poll, Dronfield’s reputation as a vehicle driver’s paradise is rapidly declining. Any road user who has travelled through Dronfield during the last few weeks will be more than familiar with the yellow signs informing of diversions and road closures. The signs are appearing almost daily in every corner of the town.
Eye witnesses and nearby residents have been left angered and perplexed by the ongoing road maintenance situation, as although the road closures and signs suggest that work is ongoing, townspeople have yet to see any digging take place. These diversions, which have occupied the majority of the town’s roads, have caused havoc for many drivers.
One female driver who was making her ‘once-every-two-or-three-day’ trip to collect essential groceries, namely bread, milk and tomato purée from one of the 143 Co-Operative stores in Dronfield, was forced to follow diverted routes before finding herself in Alfreton. The panic-stricken lady initially believed that her extremely misguided journey was the result of an alien abduction. This is not the only case of people finding themselves at different destinations to what they expected, with several unconfirmed reports claiming an elderly gentleman who was travelling to the Civic Centre in Dronfield incorrectly followed a diversion and ended up in a Spanish coastal resort, but skeptics say this wasn’t the result of the multiple road works and diversions, blaming his misfortune on a summer vacation.
The question on many Dronfieldian’s lips is ‘Why are all of the road repairs throughout Dronfield taking place at the same time?’ There are several possible reasons as to why this is…
- Council workers do not want to be seen to be discriminating against particular areas of Dronfield, so it’s easier for them to plague the entire town with the diverted traffic signage.
- There is no repair work being carried out but ‘Visit Alfreton’ has made a significant payment to the ‘powers-that-be’ in Dronfield to divert local people to the Nottinghamshire town, increasing footfall and a creating a meteoric rise in the Alfreton tourist industry.
- The large number of potholes in Dronfield require immediate attention to due safety reasons.
Whatever the reason may be, Dronfieldians are becoming increasingly eager to resume using their favoured streets. With a new Fifth Gear ‘The Best UK Towns to Drive Through’ poll due to take place in the coming months, and once the signage and cones have been removed, hopefully the recent renovation will be enough to persuade Tiff Needell that once again Dronfield is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to our adrenaline-pumping and stomach-turning roadways.