Camille Berriman: Gaping hole left by the ‘drive of dread’

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Anyone who uses the roads of Bury St Edmunds during rush hour knows what a headache they can cause. On leaving the house at 8.15am, I never know whether I’ll have a clear run to the workplace or if the traffic will be queuing past Sainsbury’s.

But while in Bury we have to contend with the sheer volume of vehicles using the roads, Brandon residents have the added headache of the level crossing, which intersects the end of the High Street.

It’s not a route I take frequently since moving back to Bury from Norfolk some years ago, but back then it often caused significant delays on my commute. Now, however, there is some good news for Brandon residents in that a long mooted relief road is ‘more likely now than ever before’ according to roads bosses. In addition, negotiations with Network Rail over the possibility of building a bridge over the crossing have been positive.

Since the level crossing switched from being manned to automated last summer it has been causing more delays than ever, so I hope all planning applications and funding bids are successful and that Brandon town centre will have some welcome relief from delays and gridlock at last.

Speaking of Brandon High Street, I did in fact drive along it this week for what I have coined ‘the drive of dread’. No, this was not the dread of potential hold-ups but rather the dread of reaching my destination. I was on my way to RAF Marham, knowing that at the end of the journey I would be saying goodbye to my husband for months.

Any forces husband or wife will tell you that saying goodbye never gets easier. And in addition to the worry about your loved one while they are away, you have to adjust to life on your own. So while you might get the benefit of having the remote control to yourself, you also have a gaping hole left by your partner.

Being determined not to mope around this spring I have devised a cunning plan: I will fill my time with fun outings and social engagements. So if any readers have ideas for fun outings let me know – all sensible suggestions will be considered!