I’VE spent an inordinate amount of time in my car recently, far more than is good for my personal well-being.

In reality, I quite like driving when I can make decent progress but when a journey you know can be accomplished comfortably in less than three hours (even sticking strictly to the speed limit) ends up taking almost six hours, you know something, somewhere is seriously wrong.

I am not talking mythical or theoretical journeys here.

A trip that took me less than three hours at night took me almost twice that long when I made the return journey during the day.

I suppose there are just too many cars for the roads on our crowded little island.

I guess it is something akin to the ‘butterfly effect’ when something very minor happens somewhere but the effect is catastrophic somewhere else.

There have been times when it has taken me more than two hours to get from Northwich to Warrington because the traffic was chaotic.

There was no apparent reason for it as I made my way along Warrington’s roads.

But in the end, it all became clear – a minor traffic accident on the Thelwall Viaduct.

The minute something like that happens, impatient drivers seek to find an alternative route and that inevitably means the already busy streets of Warrington become an impromptu diversion (for diversion, read car park.) And I can still recall the time an incident on the Runcorn-Widnes Bridge virtually brought a huge swathe of the north west to a standstill.

But having said that, sometimes you do just wonder if those men in grey suits responsible for planning our road systems actually ever drive on the results of their handiwork.

A Guardian reader recently submitted a letter to the paper and the basic thrust of his missive was that there were no inherently bad or dangerous roads or junctions, simply poor or careless drivers.

In my humble opinion, I would beg to disagree.

The one-way system in Northwich is a case in point.

I contend it is poorly signposted in places and forces drivers to change lanes without giving enough notice or enough room.

No matter how careful you may be as a driver, you can only drive safely if you have sufficient information, presented in a clear fashion and enough time and space to carry out your manoeuvre.

I have never really understood what the point of the gyratory was or what benefit it has brought, but hey, what do I know? I’m just a poor driver.

I had to smile when the powers that be decided to close Town Bridge in Northwich for repairs last weekend and came up with the somewhat ironic solution to do away with the gyratory system (oh how I really hate the gyratory) and replace it with a two-way traffic flow for the duration of the restoration of the listed structure.

I remember a previous, long-term closure of Town Bridge several years ago.

When it was announced, there were fears it would lead to even more traffic chaos in the town centre.

But some smart thinking by road planners reversed one-way traffic around the Bullring and everything went smoothly.

So it does show they can get it right when they put their mind to it.

Last weekend’s closure of Town Bridge wasn’t long-term and was planned for a quiet time but I would be interested to know the official verdict of how things went.

Who knows, if it was a success, maybe, just maybe, our road planners may have a re-think.

Regular readers may recall my musings last week regarding my warmth towards the efforts of 1874 Northwich football club following the side’s surprise promotion up the non-league football hierarchy.

And they may also recall my disappointment at a somewhat cutting, anonymous posting about the story on the Guardian’s website.

This prompted a response from the author of the comment, who was obviously very upset at what he views as unfair treatment of his club, Witton, over the years.

His letter includes the line: “When they [Northwich Vics] went bust, it was what they deserved.” He goes on to say that Witton, not 1874, is the REAL family club.

Rivalry between clubs is one thing but I don’t think welcoming the demise of any club – with the subsequent loss of jobs and income for innocent employees – really encapsulates the kind of family values I know and understand.