Got the opportunity a week or so ago to visit another road building site. The weather this time was sunny with clear blue skies. I was driven around the entire site. The fella that showed me round was in charge of the environmental side of things and was very generous with his time. In total I was given nearly two hours to snap away and had access to all areas. I came away with close to a hundred pictures. Mostly big plant such as dumper trucks, graders and drills though did also get a few people at work and some of the stuff thats being built like bridge supports and of course the road itself – deserted and empty – just the way I like them.
The environmental side is given a fair bit of consideration these days. Thats pretty much thanks to the road protests of the 90s’ which made the Highways Agency realise that they cannot get away with bulldozing through countryside with little more than lip service to the impact on the flora and fauna being displaced. On the site I visited about 4 miles of 4 lane dual carriageway was being constructed literally alongside the stretch of narrower (3 lanes) road it was replacing. When the new road is opened the old road is going to be dug up and removed. The old route will then be landscaped and given back to “nature” as it were. That’s going to be the most noticeable nod to the environment though there are other measures being taken to protect and preserve the natural habitat and wildlife.
All well and good but whether 120 million pounds should be spent on improving facilities for a mode of transport that is complicit in changing our climate is another matter entirely.
As for the pictures I’ve processed a fair few and pretty pleased with what I have made from at least 15 of them. I was given access to the site on a few conditions one of which was that I did not link to any of the pictures from “my website”. I agreed though wish I had asked why not and explored their reasoning a bit more.
Whilst I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from making the pictures without being able to share them it feels like I’m going back to the shoe box under the bed scenario. You never know; maybe they want to have first refusal on any they like. Fingers crossed.