Once again I had to walk into town early this morning, well, I say ‘had to’, no one forced me, I just like walking! The roads seemed quieter than normal today – maybe it has something to do with lack of school traffic during the Easter holidays. Or perhaps we are back to Blood Brothers again – “Feels like everybody stayed in bed, or maybe I got up too soon….” However, I was passed by two cars as all three of us approached a mini roundabout.
The lead car was driven by a mature woman and driving sensibly, she approached the mini roundabout in text book fashion, gently slowing her vehicle to a near stop. This roundabout isn’t like its larger siblings. There is no clear line of sight to all approaching roads – it’s in a built up area and all four roads have large garden walls in each corner where the roads meet the roundabout.
This means that the mature woman would not have been able to see whether anything was approaching from the right – the side to which she would have to yield. However, the car behind her was being driven by a young, impatient girl. Driving her shiny new mini, she was in no mood to be held up by anyone. The moment the mature woman slowed, the young girl thrust her hand forward to her horn, sending out a sharp blast to the car in front.
Now fortunately for me, I was already looking at the two cars and could see the young woman stretch her arm forward to blast the horn otherwise I may well have been caught by surprise and skipped a step at this sudden shrill. The more mature woman was not only slowing because she was approaching the roundabout, but also because she was actually turning left into a road on which cars park on both sides and narrow it down to one lane. This means that as she turned into that road she could quite easily have come bumper to bumper with a car coming in the opposite direction. Even more reason to take the roundabout slowly.
The young woman, however, couldn’t care less about potential traffic or even the Highway Code. She just swerved out around the car in front and shot across the roundabout merrily on her way. I watched her drive further along the road heading towards the infamous railway crossing gates which, as you would expect, were closed!
There was already a queue of traffic waiting for the gates to open. The road has two lanes for about 20 yards before the crossing but single lane from there back. Most cars join the right hand lane as the bulk of the traffic goes straight on. Young girl decided she was going to sneak up the inside to get to the front of the queue in the left hand lane. What she hadn’t reckoned with was the part of the road she decided to sneak up was actually a lay-by; a parking area for the local shops. She was now stuck!
Several other cars came up behind her and trapped her in whilst others, sensibly, went round the outside, on the wrong side of the road, to get to the front and cut back in to the left lane.
She was not happy! 🙂
As I continued my walk, I came across a temporary sign – the sort put up to inform drivers and pedestrians of forthcoming road works. The sign warned of potential traffic delays during road repairs. This in itself was a good sign, preparing us all for the inevitable.
But was it actually correct?
My issue with it was that the road is actually going to be closed during the repairs. And if the road is closed, there will not be any traffic on it – will there? So there can’t be any delays on it! There may well be delays in the journey, but not delays on the road which is closed to traffic! Surely the delays will be on the route being used as the diversion. There were, however, no signs warning of delays on these roads. The only signs on the route were arrows showing which direction the diverted traffic should take!
I know what you’re thinking; my pedantry can be taken too far!
Now, back to my unhappy young female driver; having cleared herself from the parking bay, she, like me, continued on her journey. I can’t be sure, at least not 100%, but a little later on I saw a young female driver in a very similar shiny new mini approaching yet another mini roundabout.
This time, it was she who caused the traffic hold up, as she tried to go completely round the roundabout. It is difficult I grant you, effectively doing a U turn on one of these mini roundabouts, but she was in a mini. As the name suggests, not a very large car! But, three quarters of the way round, she couldn’t quite make the turn and so had to reverse back onto the roundabout before completing her turn. All the drivers waiting for her to complete her manoeuvre sat there patiently – hands away from their horns!
What a shame the earlier mature woman driver wasn’t there to return her compliment with a blast of the horn herself!