Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Non-motorway Madness

Just returned from a weekend jaunt in the camper and one of the first blogs I read on my return was from the Filthy Engineer  complaining about Sunday drivers.

It really does make you wonder where some of these muppets come from. The upper reaches of the M6 on a Sunday afternoon and they wander along in the middle lane at a speed varying between 55 and 65 mph while the impatient queue of people behind them grapple with the dilemma of whether to try and push into the crowded outside lane or illegally undertake on the empty inner lane. I sometimes wonder whether there is a whole sub-category of middle aged women drivers whos concept of the mirror centres round nothing other than applying makeup, then when on the move their attention, vision and waving hands are completely occupied by the conversation they are having with their passenger. I also suspect there might be sections in the Polish constitution and also in the Koran that prohibit the use of mirrors as those races seem to make up a lot of the other mid-laners.  Or maybe its just an urban driver thing that causes a mental blank when they find themselves on a fast 3 lane road without turnoff direction arrows or traffic signs every 10 meters?

We must be one of the few countries in the world that has a complicated driving test, with written test and everything, yet one that expressly forbids any training or assessment on the fastest and most crowded roads in the country.

Anyhow, on Sunday I saw an even better manoeuvre just off the motorway. Crawling along in a queue on a fast busy single carriageway A road we assumed a tractor or something was up ahead, but as everything slowed further we could see no obvious cause. Then the lead carsignalled right, pulled to the central white line and stopped. Odd we thought as there was no junction. Then nothing happened for a few minutes and a couple of 4 wheel drives went around the obstruction using the grass verge and we could watch the scenario. The car driver, leaving his car running, door open and indicators flashing got out of the car. He carefully crossed the flow of oncoming traffic, fought with a padlock and opened a field gate, carefully crossed back to his car, conscientiously fitted his seat belt, and slowly turned right into the field.


  1. Not illegal as such to pass on the left. Highway Code Rules 268 says:

    Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake. In congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right. Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake.

    Also note that's a "Do not", not a "MUST NOT".

    I do it all the time on the M60 which is full of lane gains and drops.

  2. You might get me started on living nearly opposite a school with limited parking. Grrrr.

  3. No Curmudgeon, not when it's slow moving and you are already in that lane and travelling at the speed in that lane. But when the road is free flowing and has no drop or added lanes at junctions there will still be some slower traffic in the inside lane so people catching the lane hog can get done for dangerous driving if they move to the left and undertake - because you are not allowed to move left to do it - as your quote says.

  4. While I was aware of that rule I have to confess breaking it on many occasions - I believe, when traffic conditions permit, it is called using common sense.