Stan parked his new Rover 2000, got out, closed the door, clicked the key in the lock and turned to walk towards his office across the car park. Glancing back over his shoulder a couple of times to admire his new purchase. Streamlined, gleaming, polished, ready to go.
As he took his seat at the drawing board his colleague Tom called across, ‘You’ll never guess what.’
They’d been working for months on the drawings of the most complex motorway junction yet to be built. The Worsley Braided Interchange just where the M60 and M61 meet together with access roads for the busy A580 and A666. It would mean shifting millions of tons of peat and earth. Laying miles of new tarmac, building overpasses and connecting roads. Quick access to the North for the people of Manchester.
Stan didn’t like the tone of Tom’s voice. He didn’t want any surprises. But he got one.
‘The maps show there’s a footpath just at the widest point of the junction.’
‘What? How can that be? I thought we’d checked everything?’ replied Stan.
‘So did I, but there it is,’ responded Tom.
‘What are we going to do? We don’t want protests and delays now. Just when everything’s prepared. The contractors are due to start work in a couple of months,’ said Stan with a hint of desperation.
‘No worries old chap. Problem solved. I’ve put a footbridge onto the drawing already. It’s not going to break the bank on a project like this,’ said Tom.
‘Can we do that? A bridge that long? Just for a few walkers and their dogs,’ asked Stan.
‘It’s already done. Here just sign off the drawing,’ reassured Tom.
As Stan scrawled his signature on the drawing his mind was already wandering, imagining the day he’d take his new car for a spin up to the Lake District. Manchester to Kendal. He’d be there in a couple of hours. No problem.