We’re just back to Canterbury from visiting friends in Lancashire. The trip prompts me to ask whether anyone else has noticed Highway England’s cunning plan to cut off the north of England with extensive roadworks on every major road or motorway.
My cunning plan to avoid the M6 roadworks by going cross country to the A1(M) was plunged into chaos by my decision to avoid the roadworks on the A1 by cutting across to the M11 via the A14.
It was proved to be hell. Anyway, after seven-and-a-half-hour journeying we got home, oh and it rained for the last hundred miles.
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Reflecting on the previous hours of my life, I realised how much time we had spent in the company of groups of HGVs.
They always come in groups because eventually the faster ones catch up the slower and that’s when you reach them – six or seven HGVs pulling in and out with absolutely no regard for cars trying to get by.
The faster ones are always only marginally faster than the slower, so you grind along for miles while a driver who can achieve 55mph overtakes one who can only achieve 52mph – except on a hill of course where the one in the inside lane pulls ahead and the whole process starts again and goes on for miles.
On three-lane motorways HGVs are not allowed in the outside lane but large chunks of the motorway and primary road network are still two lanes: much of the A1(M)/A1, the M11 and the M2/A2 route, for example, exactly the journey I was undertaking.
I don’t want to tell my friends that I can’t visit. On the other hand, I don’t want the living hell which is travelling there.
There is a solution: ban all HGVs from the outside lane of motorways and dual carriageways. They will all have to travel at the speed of the slowest, but we motorists will suffer less stress, less risk of accidents and will get to our destinations fresher and earlier.