back to article Portal to 'HELL' cracks open in street – oh sorry, it's just another pothole

Mild exaggeration is a time-honoured tradition for disgusted Brits whingeing to their local newspapers about everything under the Sun. One moment they are, quote, "speechless" about the closure of public toilets, but then claim to be "fuming" as they rant on for another five pages of Pitman (a complex system of hieroglyphics …

  1. daftdave

    Well know we know...

    "Mr Parker, who lives off Haxby Road, said he was visiting Nortons Heating off James Street when his car was damaged."

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Well know we know...

      Well, it's useful if you know the area, as most reading the article would. I went to Uni there, so know those streets well.

      1. Daedalus Silver badge

        Re: Well know we know...

        I went to York too. But let's hold back on the "Historic Viking" stuff. That part of York is well outside the historic walls. I recall trying out the shops down that way once or twice, but it was always easier to go to the supermarket in the city proper.

        A look at the picture in the Press indicates, and a visit to Google Street View confirms, that there is an iron cover of sorts in the pavement outside the house with the white door, so the finger pointing at Yorkshire Water is probably fair. There's also a vent pipe nearby. York always was a place where you had to know the places to hold your breath as you walked by.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Well know we know...

          Well, the Morrisons at the North End of James Street was pretty convenient for me, as I lived on Fourth Street.

          There are two covers there, but what you suggest is a vent pipe is, I think, just a waste pipe leading outside the building. A lot of houses in the area have them. I don't remember anything particularly unpleasant in that immediate area either.

          And yes, that area is far from being historical. I did get to recycle one of my anecdotes about the city recently though - that when the Minster caught fire, far less water came out when they opened it up than they had pumped in, because it turns out that the old roman sewers upon which it was built still worked perfectly.

          As a SW dev, I very much doubt that anything that I build will last even a fraction of that time.

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Norfolk has proper potholes - not these poncy scrapes in the road. Norwich has them the size of buses

    https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/we-launch-greetings-from-postcard-collection-featuring-iconic-images-from-region-s-past-1-4655224

    1. jaywin

      Beat me to it! I was just about to come and point out it's not a proper pothole until it can swallow a bus.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Luckily I can remember that picture from back in the day, so I don't have to permit javascript from the 32 different domains that the EDP's script-sewer of a web site wants to run them from.

    3. Daedalus Silver badge

      Yes, but how many will it take to fill the Albert Hall?

    4. Reg Reader 1

      Here's one, or at least a new(ish) one, near(ish) me. https://driving.ca/auto-news/news/this-nova-scotia-sinkhole-could-swallow-up-part-of-the-trans-canada-highway and a cluster of others in it's vicinity

      So, is this a function of AGW and increased water in the water table causing the liquefaction of the soil where we're seeing this or aging infrastructure that we can't afford to replace due the decrease in wealth tax on the wealthy and Corporation or both or none of the above? Perhaps a bit of a loaded question, but those are real things that are happening in our global neighbourhood :)

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Norwich has them the size of buses

      As does/did London (specifically New Barnet) - at some point in the early 80's traffic along the A1081 was somewhat disrupted by a large sinkhole opening up under a 107[1] bus..

      It turns out that the warter main had been leaking for quite a while and had created a large void in the clay substrate under the road. And it got big enough that, when the weight of the bus finally broke the road, that about half the bus ended up in the void. Station Road ended up having water main works for about the next six months as the whole of the water main was replaced.

      [1] AKA "one-oh-seldom".

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    Coat

    If it was a sewer, that's a sh!t story.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      If it was a sewer, that's a sh!t story hole.

      FTFY.

  4. Ali Dodd
    Mushroom

    Warning - tory bashing.

    "Of course, it would be a cold day in Hell when a local authority actually takes care of its infrastructure."

    Well they might have a chance if austerity hadn't completely gutted their budget so they can't afford to pay for anything apart from the bare minimum of services and in alot of cases not even that. Oh remember it's fine though, the Brexit dividend and private companies will fill the holes (pun intended)

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Warning - tory bashing.

      Perhaps they concentrate on core services rather than hiring Diversity Officers as my council does. Or buying old nightclubs, as my council does. Or funding a multi-million pounds Travelodge build in a town full of hotels ( can't Travelodge pay for it!? ).

      Or paying to install traffic lights on a roundabout which was the result of a petition to not re-install the traffic lights after the roadworks were finished because it improved traffic flow. Of course they paid to install the traffic lights because it's only other people's money and other people's time travelling.

      Bloody Labour.

      1. ragnar

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Their central funding will be cut by 77% by 2020 according to the Financial Times, not normally known for its socialist hand wringing.

        https://www.ft.com/content/9c6b5284-6000-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

        Even if your council *actually* hires diversity officers (and you didn't just read a ranty page in the Sun about it), the Conservatives are conducting a full scale ideological assault on local services that should be opposed.

        Spending like you describe is a rounding error next to the cuts and is trumpeted by the right wing press to deflect blame from the real cause of all the service closures. Most people are simply unaware of the scale of the cuts from central government and will happily blame local councils - don't fall for it.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          Good. If they can do less things that would be fantastic.

          Now sod off or get back on topic.

          It is nice to see that there are people willing to defend people no matter what they do. It's not as if they wasted 2.7 million pounds of other people's money over a handful of years resurfacing one road three times for aesthetic reasons because they didn't like how the first two turned out. Is it? Oh, it is!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            "It is nice to see that there are people willing to defend people no matter what they do"

            Oh do please carry on.....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          The requirement to hire people like 'diversity officers' is often driven by legislative direction from the centre. So central government says "you must do this!" usually to get a sound bite, doesn't provide any money and later when it gets a new soundbite says "why are you doing that? What a waste!".

          If you hear about extra money being given to Councils it is almost always ringfenced for political gain at government.

          In this case the sewer collapse was the responsibiliyt of the utility company. The local council is getting flack for something that is nothing to do with them. Other pot holes yes totally, but not this one.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            I suppose buying old nightclubs was a government intervention too?

            How about buying nightclubs and not doing due diligence so the ten year lease of the roof by a mobile phone company doesn't get spotted until it was too late.

            It's only other people's money though, isn't it?

            Can we get back on topic now?

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              I suppose buying old nightclubs was a government intervention too?

              Depends. Councils have regeneration targets and housing targets to meet. Buying up dilapidated buildings for restoration or function change is one way of enacting and encouraging nearby redevelopment. Have you checked your town's local growth plan?

            2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              How about buying nightclubs and not doing due diligence so the ten year lease of the roof by a mobile phone company doesn't get spotted until it was too late.

              Tenant on the roof - bonus! extra income stream

          2. nematoad Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            "The local council is getting flack..."

            Spelling.

            The word is "flak" not "flack". That's a derogatory terms used for PR mouthpieces.

            Flak. The short form of a German word "Fliegerabwehrkanone" (Anti aircraft artillery) was commonly used by allied bomber crews in the Second World War and describes the relentless assault put up by German forces defending targets in Germany and occupied territories.

            Apologies to disgustedoftunbridgewells for going off-topic. :-)

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              That's the kind of off-topic we can all get behind.

              1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                If flaks involved, you really don't want to be in front of it...

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                That's the kind of off-topic we can all get behind

                Speaking as a sometime-pedant, pedantry is *never* off-topic..

            2. Vometia Munro

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              I'm sure I saw "flugzeugabwehrkanone" somewhere, but much to my irritation my aptitude at languages (including my own) is rather lamentable, so it's a bit of a case of "lol I misremembered a word!" with me. But the point stands: it's flak. "Flack" is right up there with per say, for all intensive purposes and my spelling.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                Or would that be "intents and purposes", as many of us learned when we learned reading?

                Funny how slashdot and reddit-isms propagate....intensive purposes, that's a fairly new one.

                How about loose as the opposite of win - a very popular one in the recent past?

                English is not phonetically spelled, sorry. It's a beautiful language full of nuance once you bother to learn it. You don't have to regress to what would have been considered ignorance in 6th grade to be kewl with the kidz, you know.

                1. Vometia Munro

                  Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                  I'd hoped that was rather the point I was making; although I admit I also enjoy throwing in the "special" variants to annoy people. Greengrocer's apostrophe's are quite fun too.

                  Still, I should attempt to be neither clever nor funny where English is concerned considering my grammar and spelling are genuinely rather questionable. One of the highlights of my career was when I first started, fresh out of college and as gratingly bad at English as I was at programming. I was fortunate in that one of the other programmers on my team was a former secretary (I mean back in the days when they really needed to know their stuff) and wasn't afraid to tell me off for my frankly rather dubious use of language. I needed quite a lot of telling off.

                2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                  English is not phonetically spelled

                  Of course not - why make it easy for Johnny foreigner? Of course, it could be argued that the somewhat chaotic nature of English is due to our habit of borging lots of bit from other languages rather than a deliberate attemp to confuse but I prefer to think of it all as a Machiavellian plot to ensure world linguistic domination..

                  (Fortunately, it also ended up with an incredibly flexible language where comprehension can be achieved even with large portions of grammar or vocabulary missing.)

                  (ObPedant - it's 'spelt', not spelled..)

                  1. JimC

                    Re: chaotic nature of english...

                    Apparently a lot of it is to do with the Great Vowel Shift, something anyone interested in the language (and especially any linguistic pedant) should know about. One quick source: http://facweb.furman.edu/~mmenzer/gvs/what.htm

            3. oldfartuk

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              Just to supply even more useless information to this theme....

              The German 12.8 cm PaK 44 L/55 Heavy flak gun had a range up to 48,000 feet, but was later in WW2 adapted as a Tank gun, and used in the Jagdtiger Tiger Ausf. B Tank Destroyer. The Jagdtiger was a fearsome weapon, but took balls to operate. The massive gun would literally blow into pieces any allied tank it encountered, but because of the weight of the gun it had paper thin armour, so once you fired you needed to get the hell out of where you were hiding before hellfire and brimstone descended onto you from the opposition. Fortunately they only made 88 of these monsters. Two divisions of these on the front at D Day wolud lhave made a mess of the Allied advance.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        @disgustedoftunbridgewells

        I'm confused. Your handle says you're in Tunbridge Wells, but the stuff you describe sounds very much like my local council and I'm a good 100 miles away...

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          If you read the article, you'd find it has nothing to do with the council - it was a problem with the water washing away the supporting stuff of the road. Water company has taken responsibility.

          1. Ben1892
            Trollface

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            Since when have actual facts stopped commentards having a good rant? - I'm surprised Brexit hasn't been blamed yet

            1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

              Re: Warning - tory bashing.

              I blame Brexit.

              There ya go, all boxes ticked.

              1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                To tick all the boxes you need to blame the bloody awful Warsaw Concerto.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Warning - tory bashing.

                If they'd just build that wall in Cornwall, we can finally stop the Mexicans tunnelling under our roads to come and steal our jobs.

                At least I think thats how it works.

                Can someone remind me if putting the wall back into Cornwall is a Brexit thing, an EU scheme to provide economic assistance or a US defence company twiddling its thumbs while they wait for a bigger wall project to come along?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Traffic light junctions are not paid for by the councils. That's why you'll see them replacing perfectly good roundabouts with lights - it saves them pennies whilst making our life worse, and wasting electricity.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          In Yeovil they've managed to combine the two to hilarious* effect.

          *not really.

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          It's still a roundabout, they acknowledged the petition, ignored it and reinstalled the lights on it too.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Warning - something I know too much about

          I live in Northamptonshire - with the government inspectors trying to run it.

          Northampton Borough has spent like mad and has huge debts. All the rural districts have spent judiciously and have reserves of cash.

          The governments plans are to split the rural districts into two (East and West) and saddle the West with the debt ridden Borough. This is despite a huge number of responses in the 'consultation' from residents in the West not wanting to be lumped with the Borough.

          I live in the West and have been told (by someone who should know) how much my Council Tax is expected to rise now we are saddled with the urban Borough - it is in the hundreds of pounds, for which I will receive no extra services. Disgusted is simply not a strong enough term.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Warning - something I know too much about

            The governments plans are to split the rural districts into two (East and West) and saddle the West with the debt ridden Borough. This is despite a huge number of responses in the 'consultation' from residents in the West not wanting to be lumped with the Borough.

            Sadly I don't think the split was ever going to be anything else due to the county demographics. The only consolation for me at least (as was ever the case) is that Northampton is a long way away from Brackley :)

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Warning - something I know too much about

            All the rural districts have spent judiciously and have reserves of cash.

            Indeed. Back in 2007 when IceSave went bust, it emerged that the average local council had a full years worth of government money tucked away in reserves accounts. Nobody in the media could seemingly be bothered to inquire as to why something funded with the full wealth of the tax payer would ever actually need reserves. But have them they do.

            That rather begs the question why they're cutting anything other than their reserve account bank balance. The country is broke - the tax payer has no more money to take, there's no more money to borrow and spend, so either they have to spend less, or spend their reserves.

      4. Velv Silver badge
        Coat

        Diversity Officers

        Has anyone noticed that almost all Diversity Officers are Female?

        Want to know why?

        It's cheaper

      5. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Perhaps they concentrate on core services rather than hiring Diversity Officers as my council does. Or buying old nightclubs, as my council does. Or funding a multi-million pounds Travelodge build in a town full of hotels ( can't Travelodge pay for it!? ).

        Is this a game of one up manship? My county(*) council damn near went bust and is going to be dismantled.

        (*)My town council is apparently doing fine but I think it only consists of Fred and his old lawn mower and Aunty Vera what does the magazine :)

      6. JimC

        Re: because it improved traffic flow.

        Traffic flow is not, I believe, a very high priority for the councils. Much higher is reducing the number of accidents. This has actually been quite successful (you didn't think the reducing accident rate was anything to do with better driving did you?),

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Well, the bankers helped - if you look at debt under the last labour government it was pretty stable in real terms until 2008, so basically when labour were investing in public services. It only started to rise with the financial mess of 2008 (and labour has some blame in lax regulation, although I don't recall hearing the conservatives complaining that they 'weren't tough enough on banks'). Since 2008 debt has gone up consistently year on year.

        And the answer to spending:

        35% adult social care

        18% children's social care

        11% waste collection and environmental services

        9% roads and transport

        7% courts

        5% libraries and culture

        5% fire brigades

        3% housing

        2% planning and development

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          Well, the bankers helped

          Ah, the old lie oft repeated.

          No banker in all of history has ever been able to force a chancellor to borrow £40Bn he didn't have to spend on dross he didn't need, for every year of an economic boom. The lack of preparation for an entirely predictable recession is absolutely labours fault. They inherited a growing and stable economy, running a budget surplus, and with low debts. And they utterly ruined it and pissed away the future of two generations.

          Since 2008 debt has gone up consistently year on year.

          The alternative was actual austerity. Actual cuts. Look at the bleating from the left, and all we've had yet is slower increases in public spending. Cuts would have made them shit the bed.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        that made the cutbacks necessary...

        The bailout deficit is the excuse for the deliberate policy of austerity which has allowed such savage cutbacks. Most other countries are over the financial crisis because they chose investment rather than austerity. Cameron and Osborne were warned in 2010 what their policy would do to the country, and now we have towns with no libraries and schools with no exercise books or pencils unless the teachers buy them out of their own pocket. Nine years later, are the two architects of prolonged recession and weak growth proud of that, do you think? We could go ask them. One of them is sitting in a shed, tapping away on a laptop to tell us the story of his fish-pointing days in the limelight, while the other has six jobs (or is it seven now?) earning him ridiculous amounts of money primarily for his political contacts rather than his demonstrable skills.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          Fuck off with this shit.

          You aren't going to convince anybody to change the way they will vote. You are just pissing people off.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            You aren't going to convince anybody to change the way they will vote.

            Well, not anyone who is unconvinced by facts, anyway.

          2. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Warning - tory bashing.

            You aren't going to convince anybody to change the way they will vote.

            Enjoy your blind tribalism. It's one way to face the world, I suppose.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          The bailout deficit is the excuse for the deliberate policy of austerity which has allowed such savage cutbacks.

          Look past your empty headed union propaganda and you'll find that there have been no cuts.

          https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/

          Facts people. Facts are used to form reasoned positions, emotive rhetoric may make you feel better, but its all just BS.

      3. nematoad Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        "...it was Labour that built up the large dept that made the cutbacks necessary."

        Oh, which one would that be? The Home Office, the MOD or currently anything run by Chris Grayling? They are all good at wasting out money.

        I reckon the word you are looking for is debt.

      4. dave 81

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Yea, good luck with telling idiots that their cult/party are the ones actually to blame. Money grows on trees right, or just tax the rich, they didn't do anything to earn it right?

      5. veti Silver badge

        Re: Warning - tory bashing.

        Labour certainly did their bit, but let's not pretend that austerity was "necessary". It was a political choice, as it always is.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Warning - tory bashing.

          Labour certainly did their bit, but let's not pretend that austerity was "necessary". It was a political choice, as it always is.

          If we're dropping the pretenses around austerity, can we first stop pretending that it's actually happened?

          https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/

    3. dave 81

      Re: Warning - tory bashing.

      The cognitive dissonance of cult voters is sickening.

      If only Gordon Brown hadn't spent all the money for generations when we was the chancellor.

      When we stop voting for the same unrepresentative idiot parties, we end up with an actual representative democracy.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Warning - tory bashing.

      Well they might have a chance if austerity hadn't completely gutted their budget

      And yet public spending remains at an all time high. Austerity in the UK is a myth. It's a fairy story socialists tell themselves because they don't understand money. All that has happened is that spending has increased more slowly than before - not one pound has been cut from public spending.

      https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/

      Sorry that the facts don't agree with your polemic, but if you will indulge in fact free rants, well, what did you think would happen?

  5. Locky Silver badge
    Devil

    Insurance get out of jail free card

    A portal to hell you say? I'm afraid that according to your policy exceptions, that is an act of God

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Insurance get out of jail free card

      Wouldn't it the exact opposite?

      Paris because she's no angel.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Insurance get out of jail free card

        Wouldn't it the exact opposite?

        No, I don't think so. God created Hell so He'd have somewhere to cast his best mate into, along with the immortal souls of the billions of people who never lived in a time or place where they could hear the Word of Christ. Let's face it, He's a bit of an arse.

        1. Locky Silver badge

          Re: Insurance get out of jail free card

          @Rich 11 - That's a bit inflammatory

          "Let's face it, She's a bit of an arse"

          There, FTFY

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Insurance get out of jail free card

            Fair point. Can we settle on "Xe's a bit of an arse"?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Insurance get out of jail free card

          God created Hell

          Or, alternatively, there's no such thing as hell, an immortal soul or a literal devil - which makes your rant slightly superfluous..

          (The 1st century church belived in none of those things - they are all an import into christianity from varous pagan religions).

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Isn't maintaining the road the supposedly reason we have to pay for your car tax? But of course it goes off to central government instead and the fsckwit that is Chris Grayling decides it is much better to spend it on other things instead. Such as ferry services from companies without any ferries, then having to pay 30m to Euro tunnel to stop getting sued for his decisions. Yet continues to keep his job.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Not any more.

      "Isn't maintaining the road the supposedly reason we have to pay for your car tax?

      Nope.

      That was done away with many, many years ago. (1937 according to Wikipedia). Instead the "Vehicle Excise Duty" aka "Road Tax" goes to the Exchequer and is included in general taxation.

      Oh, if you are going to have a whip-round to pay my VED for me, thanks very much.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Not any more.

        And to fill out the picture: local roads are generally paid for by the council, while motorways and A roads come from central government (e.g. Highways England in England). In London TFL looks after major roads ("red routes") and the London councils do the rest.

  7. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "The motor was able to clamber out of the Hellgate"

    In York 'gate' is just a suffix that comes from the Norse and means 'street' - e.g. Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate, Spurriergate, Coppergate, Goodramgate, etc.

    They really should name one of their streets Hellgate.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "The motor was able to clamber out of the Hellgate"

      I was wondering about that. If the hole was the road to hell (which is supposed to be broaderr than the average York street) Hellgate is right. If it's a portal then in York terms Hellbar would be better.

      1. David Lewis 2
        Joke

        If the hole was the road to hell ...

        ... then it all makes sense.

        Everyone knows that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"!

        So that's what they are using; should have used Tarmac!

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: If the hole was the road to hell ...

          Surprising really since in York they have seem to be relaying a few of the cobbled streets and replacing them with tarmac ones instead

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: If the hole was the road to hell ...

            replacing them with tarmac ones instead

            Speaking as a (former) motorbike rider, this is a Good Thing - riding over wet cobbles on a bike (motorised or otherwise) is a somewhat interesting experience

            (in the 'buttocks clenched so hard that you leave a permanent crease in the seat' definition of interesting)

        2. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
          Devil

          Re: If the hole was the road to hell ...

          I heard it was paved with Good Samaritans.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: "The motor was able to clamber out of the Hellgate"

      We have a town called Helsby. So I'd look for a Helsgate around there.

    3. Kernel Silver badge

      Re: "The motor was able to clamber out of the Hellgate"

      We have a place named "Hell's Gate" in New Zealand, complete with steam, boiling mud and much smell of sulphur in the air - but I certainly wouldn't recommend trying to drive in through it, or even stray off the paths.

  8. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Devil

    Was the driver living easy, living free?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Probably playing "Highway to Hell" on his car's player also.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Or Chris Rea.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Still Rea of the year.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Angry People in Local Newspapers

    Obligatory link.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Angry People in Local Newspapers

      Thanks for the APiLN link - not seen that one before but just wasted half an hour on it!

      To bring it back to IT - I was most amused by the 18 year old criminal genius in the Isle of Man who printed fake IoM bank notes and then tried to swap them for English ones at the bank. He was caught because (a) the teller immediately realised that the paper was wrong and (b) he'd only printed one side!

      https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/teens-fake-banknote-scam-fails/

      Cheapskate. Should've used a double-sided inkjet!

  10. andy gibson

    This is an oldie but goodie:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3mg4w9l3Kw

  11. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    I was on a fairly *remote stretch of single track road and I pulled over to let someone get past. Big mistake! I hit the pothole from Hell which gave me a puncture (and buggered the tracking). I then discovered that the spare tyre retaining boss was rusted in the hole. I had to resort to beating the crap out of it with a hammer before it would free up. The only good news was that it did not rain :)

    * Scotland, here's a link for you map lovers https://binged.it/2Yfhk6y

    1. H in The Hague

      "The only good news was that it did not rain :)"

      Can't have been Scotland!

      Greetings from The Hague, where it rains slightly less than in Scotland.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        "The only good news was that it did not rain :)"

        Can't have been Scotland!

        I dunno - I've ridden bikes round Scotland a few times and it didn't rain appreciably much more than in northern England.

        Ireland on the other hand - out of all the days I've ridden there I think we only had one or two rain-free days. And, no matter how good your waterproofs are, the rain will eventually get through. And putting on cold, wet bike leathers in the morning is not an enjoyable experience..

  12. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Liability

    Most of the comments here centre on the responsibility of local or central government to repair potholes. But when you try to claim for pothole damage you learn that their responsibility is actually to exercise some kind of diligence. In other words, if they can prove they've inspected the road within living memory, tough luck.

    I drove over a hole in the M25 that was sufficient to destroy a 2-week old tyre by cutting it through to the webbing. You'd think this an open-and-shut case - it's not like you can dodge potholes at 70 mph. The response to my claim was "we're not liable because we inspect the road surface and take care of it", with no indication when it was last inspected, and no suggestion how the hole magically appeared. Perhaps it's something to do with building motorways out of cheese.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: Liability

      You gave in too easily. The responsible authority has to have a timetable for checking roads according to priority. You should win you claim IF -

      The road was inspected on time and the hole was detected but not fixed promptly

      The road was not inspected to schedule*

      The hole was reported by other means but not fixed promptly.

      Pretty much every other circumstance is a get out of jail card.

      * this one is a bit dodgy as well.

    2. Phil S

      Re: Liability

      tl;dr - just because someone says they're meant to do something, doesn't mean they've done it.

      I had a similar response from Surrey CC when I had a banjoed mountain bike wheel from a hidden pothole during heavy rain - it wasn't a cheap bike (thank you bike to work scheme!) and the new wheel was c. £90.

      As I was skint (hence riding a bike as couldn't afford a car for the 24 mile round trip) I put in a claim, but got short shrift. They said they inspect it every 6 months/180 days (can't remember exactly which now), so they weren't liable.

      It wasn't so much the fact they dismissed it, that annoyed me, it was the 'be quiet pleb' way they did it - there are polite ways to tell people to p*** off.

      Unfortunately, I worked at a neighbouring council so am more than used to bureaucracy and the byzantine workings of local government, so didn't let it go.

      I politely emailed asking for the schedule of maintenance inspections for the last year, and after the auto-reply confirming they'd got it, didn't hear anything.

      I gave it a month (21 working days to be precise) before I forwarded my request back to them saying I was giving them 48 hours to respond to my request for information or I was reporting them to the ICO for breach of FOIA. Cue a hasty reply, saying that as I hadn't said "FOI" in the request, they were now going to treat it as an FOI and start the 20 working day clock, and they'd cc'd the FOI officer to "save me having to send it to them again".

      How sweet.

      Now, I'd also worked at the Cabinet Office when FOIA was born, so I replied straight away (keeping the officer cc'd) saying nowhere in the act does it say you need to say it's an FOI - it's any written request for information, to anyone who works in the authority. Weirdly, the FOI officer tried to argue this, so I sent them a link to the legislation,whilst secretly loathing the person they'd turned me into.

      A couple of hours later, I got the schedule, and 'several' pages of explanatory text about the things they measure, what constitutes a defect etc.

      Now, being in full on bureaucrat mode (I'm hating myself again, writing this...) I of course read this with interest and was delighted to write them a reply pointing out that their inspection of my bit of road had last happened six months and four days/184 days (still can't remember the deadline, but remember exactly how far over it they were!) before my encounter.

      This led to some more back and forth about the maths involved in working out how much time there was between two dates (I was truly committed now, so wasn't letting it go) until they finally went quiet, and a couple of days later a cheque arrived in the post.

      As a long-serving/suffering public sector worker, I don't like to be on the other end of this kind of childishness, but equally, I like to think I wouldn't have created the situation in the first place.

      The people dealing with the claims are essentially trying to preserve the council's insurance bill - which is fine. But I think they could be less officious about it, and might do better applying pressure to their colleagues over in the highways team to at least stick to their schedules, even if they can't afford to do the full resurfacing most of the roads need.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Liability

        @Phil S: Reading about your dragon-slaying exploits has almost reconciled me to the cost of my tyre. Thank you.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Liability

        being in full on bureaucrat mode (I'm hating myself again, writing this...)

        Nowt wrong with using the weapon that your enemy is most vulnerable to..

        (and I speak as someone with roughly a NG-with-chaotic-tendancies alignment who isn't above using legalities to achieve my ends if required)

  13. s. pam
    Mushroom

    Don't visit Buckinghamshire then if you want your car in one piece!

    Bucks County Council has successfully recreated the Moon here. Tens of thousands of sink holes, giant potholes and fissures regularly cause significant damage.

    Just pointing out yet another incompetent council!

  14. Dante Alighieri

    The Divine Comedy

    Given my moniker I couldn't not post.

    I refer you to the start of my masterwork.

    The blue police call box helped...

  15. A Nonny Moose

    Been there, done that

    Got the cheque from the water company. Didn't think to go to the local papers about it though.

    In my case I just wrote a letter to the local council roads department explaining what happened and got a reply saying to fill in the included form.

    Filled in the form (in triplicate) and sent it in. It was then sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. Then I finally got a letter from the water company with a cheque for the cost of two new alloys and two new tyres.

  16. whitepines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    GDPR?

    Clicking over to the York Press one gets a GDPR overlay...with an easy green Accept All button, and the dozens and dozens of trackers on the site hidden under a nondescript tab. Where if you don't click to open the tab you accept tracking from the ones that are still on after you turn off the switches shown by default.

    And there's no "bugger off, disable all" button.

    Is this even compliant or should the next story about the York Press come from the ICO?

    1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

      Re: GDPR?

      Similar situation with the earlier-posted link regarding Norwich pothole that "swallowed a bus".

      OK, there it was 4 buttons to flick from one side to the other, but no indication - other than the colour of the background in the selection icon(s) - to show whether the switch was from 'On' to 'Off' or the other way round. This can't be a valid implementation of GDPR rules either, I feel.

      Later - I revisited the linked site and the GDPR overlay didn't redisplay. Surely this is some sort of indication that a 'previous visit' record is being stored somewhere.

      Later still - just to chase this thing as far into the ground as I can.. Shut down my platform, re-booted and revisited the linked site. STILL no GDPR overly.

      Am I letting my ingrown paranoia out of it's cage again?

  17. N2 Silver badge

    Sounds like the Daily Fail

    Where everything: soars, plunges or plummets along with washboard abs and very TINY bikini

  18. oldfartuk

    Of course it wasnt a portal to hell, all the known ones are listed here http://www.entrancestohell.com/entrances.php

  19. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    If that had been my local Newspaper,....

    ... the driver would be stood by the side of his car, pulling what is know colloquially as 'The compensation face'. Seems the local reporters ask people to look sad for stories such as these, and it has not gone unnoticed.

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