March 1st – Another grey day, but it felt warmer. At dinner time, I had to venture back into Walsall from Darlaston and took the canal, which was a mistake: the works to relay the towpath have made sections not impassible but hard going.

Passing over the Bentley Mill Way Aqueduct, I looked down at the works below. Running three months late, the road has been closed and totally relaid – but the main bottleneck that is the narrowness of  the bridge I’m standing on – has not been touched. I’m at a loss here to understand how anything other than the footpath and possibly drainage has been improved.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the benefit in road schemes until they operate in practice. I hope that’s the case here.

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