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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies to Mods if:
  1. This has been done to death before
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  3. It's not really the correct platform to have a moan

Since August, I have had to commute to work via the M5/M6 in Birmingham, which is arguably the worst in the UK for miserable motorway driving. Technically, I travel only 3 junctions (get on M6 Spaghetti J8, get off M5 J2) but my journey can be as long as an hour.
A lot of you by now are screaming "well go home a different route then!", but Brummie locals will know that the alternate route from Erdington to Oldbury will consist of either the Aston Expressway, Birmingham City Centre, Dudley Road (hospital), Hagley Road & Broad St. or the Soho road. I apologise to forum members who have no idea what places I am on about but believe me, you don't want to be in those places at 5:30 pm in the week.

This is why I trust motorways. Implicitly.
I have slight O.C.D. and strictly believe in straight lines at a decent speed rather than 'shortcuts' through side streets full of traffic lights, roundabouts, cars parked up both sides of the road, etc.
Yeah, the motorway route can be a couple of miles longer and curve round in a slightly different direction to where my destination is initially, but in the long-run the fuel economy and time factor are better... theoretically.

Granted, there is a hell of a lot of traffic on the roads now and motorways are congested with the sheer volume of it, but - I'll be very diplomatic here - thoughtless drivers actually create the jams and frustration.
I'm not saying that I'm right and everyone else is wrong, but I use this section of the motorway at least 5 times a week.

As follows:

Lorry Drivers:- I believe this is the main cause of traffic jams on the motorways UK-wide. Why? A lorry is limited to 56mph. They see another lorry they want to overtake, therefore turn into the middle lane. Cue an ensuing battle where it will take at least a mile for the overtaking lorry to safely pull out, overtake, and pull back in.... all at the same speed as the lorry being overtaken. This then makes for the lesser confident car users to go into the fast lane which will slow others up, which then makes people tap their brake pedal - more on this later. Another thing with the lorry drivers is that they think they are being courteous by when a slip-road to get onto the motorway is approaching, they automatically get into the middle lane allowing for the car to have the whole normal (left hand lane) all to themself. Rubbish - if the vehicle on the slip road had any sense and was a safe enough driver, they wouldn't deliberately crash into a lorry trundling along minding his own business in the left hand lane???
It seems here that I'm pigeon-holing lorry drivers here and I'd be interested to hear from members who do this as a living. Two of my mates are lorry drivers and the industry I work in means I liaise with dozens of lorry drivers everyday and they all have the same attitude: car drivers on the motorway are peasants (because they are literally looking down on them), only lorries should be on the motorways anyway and they've got a place to be so they can finish earlier (I think this is where the overtaking which lasts a whole mile mentality comes from).

Unconfident Drivers:- I see day in day out brake lights flaring for no reason at all, which is down to unconfident drivers tapping their brake pedal for a bit of security/comfort. I read somewhere once that if someone taps their brake pedal just enough so that the brake light comes on, it causes a chain reaction so that the person behinds brakes that little bit harder which means that several miles back and one hour later the "final" car in the queue to brake would actually come to a stop. Don't know how true that is, but it sounds reasonable. I was going to do another section about people who don't know where they're going, but this category will do fine. People turning off at the last minute without indication, indeed so in the cross hatchings (I see this daily) and I've seen two cars on separate occasions embedded in the same crash barrier on the same junction inside a week. I'm not saying that everyone should have a sat-nav as not everyone likes them or can afford one (I use my phone's), but a little bit of knowledge where you are going on a highway limited at 70mph might be an idea?
I think the general consensus for me here is that if you're not that confident on the motorway, why are you using it at all?

Arrogant Drivers:- I constantly see tail-gating - and not by white transit vans - usually by a German-made vehicle with ghastly L.E.D. lights blotting out your whole rearview mirror in normal daylight which is so dangerous it's untrue. There's this thing that if you feel that someone in front of you is going too slow, then you should get up their rear end and flash your lights so they move into the slower lane, and then you're that frustrated that you had to put your brakes on and it slowed your journey down by 10 seconds, you should pull in wildly in front of them and "brake-test" them back. Idiots!
I also see plenty of people driving with mobiles plugged to their ears - including lorry drivers carrying in excess of 40 tons - ermmm, isn't that illegal?
People not driving to the conditions of the road - unbelievable how many cars I've seen screaming past me at 100+mph in the rain!
People who don't use indicators - they might as well have a sign slapped in their rear window reading: "I don't really care for my own life or others, so tough". A policeman once told me that you are encouraged to use your indicators whilst learning to drive and indeed on your driving test but apparently it is not required by law; unsure of how true this is?

Roadworks:- How long have you got?!

I should think that's it for now but I think it's nice to be nice and if everyone was a little more considerate (my driving instructor told me to give way to someone every journey, to which I have done ever since I passed my test 13 years ago) then the motorways would free up a little.

I'd really like your thoughts on this and to correct me if I am wrong. The only defence I have is that I see these things every day with my own eyes - maybe I'm interpreting them in a naive and bigoted fashion.

I'd also like to hear about other nightmare stretches of motorway, worldwide even, but the M25 keeps popping up in my head.

I will end here on a self-mickey-taking joke:

Q. Why is the M6 in Birmingham always congested?
A. Because people are always rubber-necking sighing with relief that they don't live there


:d
 

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Thankfully I live in a county where there are no motorways so I don't contend with them on a day to day basis (suicidal pheasants are more of a problem than middle-lane-hoggers here:d),but I can say that the M25 is a particular nightmare at times,and the nearest motorway to me,the M27,can be a nightmare where it ends at the A31,especially on a Friday evening (and times that by 20 in the summer.....and then by 50 if it involves a bank holiday!).
 

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Plenty of tractors too eh Lag ! ooh arrr. :rofl:

Only one real motorway near me, the M1 and that can be a bit of a mare sometimes, but generally its OK.

Luckily I dont need to go near it for the commute to work.

I find the traffic in Birmingham city centre a bloomin nightmare. Its OK at the weekend, but in the morning and the evening trying to get out (paradise island area) is a chuffin nightmare ! When I do have to go to Brum (we have an office) i wont drive there in the week and take the train instead, much less stress !
 
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Yep, mainly suicidal pheasants for me too and perhaps the odd peasant on a bike
The M40 is pretty close, but it's not too bad comparatively

On the odd occasion that I venture to, or beyond Birmingham, I feel your pain tho, it does seem to be a bit of a mare

Reading the bit on the unconfident drivers, I can't help thinking that a lot of this comes fronm the fact that nobody is taught to drive on a motorway properly. I think it's a bit daft that someone can pass the driving test here, then go onto a busy motorway that evening in torrential rain in the dark and all is expected to be good :crazy:

We do all make mistakes tho .... nobody has ever accused me of being under confident in a car (perhaps the opposite :eek:) but I have made my fair share of mistakes at junctions and been in the wrong lane at the wrong time as I'm sure almost everybody has. Local knowledge is a wonderful thing
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Reading the bit on the unconfident drivers, I can't help thinking that a lot of this comes fronm the fact that nobody is taught to drive on a motorway properly. I think it's a bit daft that someone can pass the driving test here, then go onto a busy motorway that evening in torrential rain in the dark and all is expected to be good :crazy:

We do all make mistakes tho .... nobody has ever accused me of being under confident in a car (perhaps the opposite :eek:) but I have made my fair share of mistakes at junctions and been in the wrong lane at the wrong time as I'm sure almost everybody has. Local knowledge is a wonderful thing
Yeah agreed there. I've read my thread title again and it does seem I am a self-important model driver. I AM NOT. I have written off every car I have ever owned :loser: - except my Megane (so far, touch wood, thud-thud). I am far from a perfect driver but I see others who are far worse than me, and this is what winds me up.

As for extra tuition on the motorways - it is available, but of course, you have to pay for it ;)
 

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HotShoe WANNABEE..
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:d... not LED in AUDIs, surely?

:eek:.. White Van Man, me, so really do see all of it, m8

Jogga, Jogga - Truck Passing - on TWO lane A1 is a real page turner... Amen.

I'm very 'give the guy a break, let him in, give him room, don't get hett up by 'Knife & Fork' style Reps....' Sounds too good to be true..but, hey, thats ME :beer:

:loser:
knownClone
 

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Every time I get hassled by a truck driver I let him pass. I just give them a smile and a wave.

Why because I've lived longer than he is ever likely to - he/she needs all the help they can get. So in essence I just refuse to get stressed out by their antics. It's about then I start chuckle then begin to hum the Chris Rea song - "The Road to Hell"

Sad to say truck drivers life expectancy is 10 to 15 years less than average mainly due to ill-health.

Where I live there's not much more than about 50 miles of motorway and as rural roads are little used journeying along them is a dawdle.:)
 
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As for extra tuition on the motorways - it is available, but of course, you have to pay for it ;)
Yep, I'm aware of that.....(my daughter has just started lessons) ..... I do however think it should be compulsory.

She wont thank me for saying it in public (don’t you dare Laggy), but my Mrs is very under confident on the motorway, hates merging onto the motorway and changing lanes….but then she’s never really had to do it as I do all the driving when we go anywhere. I do believe that the main problem is that she’s never been shown how to do it….and of course she won’t listen to me :rooleyes:
 

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Yep, I'm aware of that.....(my daughter has just started lessons) ..... I do however think it should be compulsory.

She wont thank me for saying it in public (don’t you dare Laggy), but my Mrs is very under confident on the motorway, hates merging onto the motorway and changing lanes….but then she’s never really had to do it as I do all the driving when we go anywhere. I do believe that the main problem is that she’s never been shown how to do it….and of course she won’t listen to me :rooleyes:
To be honest,Mrs.Lag is just the same for the exact same reason.She has only ever driven on motorways a hand full of times and panics every time.Usually shes quite a confident driver but show her a motorway and she becomes a gibbering wreck!.
 

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I'm a gibbering Wreck too when i'm on the motoway too Lag,theres so many idiots out there today you have to have eyes in your backside...Only the other nite followed a woman off the motoway at j6 Worcester doing about 25m.p.hi though the motta was playing up to my suprise she had her posh phone on her lap and was texting!!!!i gave her a bit of stick but she just took no notice!!!!and Friday morning a patrol car in the outside lane blue lights on obviously off to an accident came up to a bloke in a Merc and the bloke in the merc just ignored him ,he wasn't best pleased i can tell you... idiots i see them every day,combing there hair,writing down stuff and reading while going along its just lucky we get where we go to i think sometimes..
 

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To be honest,Mrs.Lag is just the same for the exact same reason.She has only ever driven on motorways a hand full of times and panics every time.Usually shes quite a confident driver but show her a motorway and she becomes a gibbering wreck!.
Exactly the same for my wife, and she freely admits it. She says it stems from having an old underpowered car when having first passed her test (didn't we all), and venturing onto the motorway.
The inability to make decent progress and the fear of breaking down knocked her confidence in motorway driving. She's better now, newer more powerful car, but if we're out together on a motorway it'll be me driving.

I would say that the general standard of driving across the board is falling not just on the motorways.
The test isn't really fit for purpose any more as others have said no motorway training, no skid control lessons, do you even have to drive in the dark ?
One test when you are 17 shouldn't be it until you have to reapply for a licence at 70. It's so easy to pick up bad habbits without realising, and I cringe when I'm out and I see the standard of driving of some of the more senior motorists out there. (My mum scares the living daylights out of me and unless unavoidable I don't let her take my kids out in the car)


Additionally how many drivers ( and I guess it's many of us on here) have had any training over and above DVLA test. Theres the pass plus schemes for new drivers, IAM for established motorists and I know that some companies send drivers on various schemes, but for the vast majority of us the DVLA test is the one any only assesment of our driving at all.

Then we have the multitude of drivers who learnt in a different country to different standards that are let loose on the roads for up to a year before they have to obtain a UK licence, but thats another discussion I guess.
 
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I decided to get my daughter lessons rather than teach her myself just because I have too many bad habits. I suppose it might have done me some good to teach her, but it certainly wouldn't have helped her.
Having said that I'm pretty sure that there are far worse drivers on the road than me.....:think:.....but I guess we all think like that
 

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Has anyone known, seen, announce that they are a FULLY experienced driver as I have been driving for over 50 years and I cant lay claim to being that but the times I have heard claim to being so makes me cringe as every time you go out driving you see something different that makes you think.
 

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HotShoe WANNABEE..
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Has anyone known, seen, announce that they are a FULLY experienced driver as I have been driving for over 50 years and I cant lay claim to being that but the times I have heard claim to being so makes me cringe as every time you go out driving you see something different that makes you think.
Hmmm.... NOT PERFECT. However, I do look ahead, use my mirrors, and act courteously :(

...like, on the A1, a tractor is ahead in the ns lane - Mondeno Man is not aware - I move out well in advance (and leave room for Mondano Man to pull out, right in front of me....:eek:).
AUDI Man [trousers on fire] approaching from behind... move into near lane smartly (after overtaking whatever) and leave him safe to die somewhere else...

You get the picture?:loser:

knownClone
 

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Mostly I agree but perhaps a little harsh on the lorry drivers.

I don't want to plough into the side of a lorry when joining a motorway but I also don't wan't to stop and wait for ten of them to go past before I get into the flow of traffic from a standstill. Neither more do I want to slip into the small gap between them to avoid having to stop! I have no problem with them pulling into the middle lane to allow merging traffic a bit of space! I'm a bit laid back about it really, if I have to slow down a bit then so be it...if I can't spare a minute or two then I didn't leave early enough!

I know some truckers are nobbers who deserve all they get but by the same token some of them are perfectly reasonable and don't deserve the contempt with which car drivers treat them. On an average journey I feel threatened more by the antics of other car drivers than I do truckers!
 

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Apologies for butting in here but as for unconfident drivers, I took my Pass Plus just after I passed my test 6 years ago. Yeah it costs extra...£120 I think but I saved more than double that on my first insurance premium and it only took me 6 hours! :)

I think it should be made compulsory as it gives driving experience in all of the things you mentioned that you wouldn't get in your lessons/test - night time driving, motorway driving, city driving and driving in severe weather conditions (obviously depending on the time of year).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep, I paid for extra motorway tuition and an advanced driver's course. Made me more aware but certainly not a better driver...

Interesting comments guys & gals, thank you.

Another one I forgot to list was people driving in the middle lane when there's nothing on the road; this winds up my colleague no end.
I initially thought it harmless but then he explained it to me - unfortunately I'm too ill at the mo' to type much :(

Good point about the general downslide of everyday motoring :)
 

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I don't want to plough into the side of a lorry when joining a motorway but I also don't wan't to stop and wait for ten of them to go past before I get into the flow of traffic from a standstill.
Simple solution to that - you have at least a 1/4 mile to get your car up to a speed higher than their 56mph = if you (or your vehicle can't) then choose an alternative route (my van does it quite comfortably).

I'm a great believer of a minimum speed limit for each lane - that would cure a lot of the inappropriate driving & congestion that I witness.

Paul
 

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The French have solved the problem of people being in the wrong lane by making it an offence not to pull back into the driving lane after overtaking (although they do sometimes pull in a little too quickly)

The French police are very pro active in prosecuting people who don't pull back in. It seems to work well.
 

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This thread seems to tick all the boxes I have on my most hated list after more than 20 years driving. Having passed my test in 88 and had many years of claim free driving since I do have a good laugh at some of the driving I see on the road, especially in 'difficult' conditions. I have ADI and am a qualified driving instructor, although I never did it as a job as I got a teaching job after qualifying (while unemployed) and have been doing that instead.

I remember clearly the day I passed my test and was indeed on th M25 in a tired 1.1 litre Fiesta within hours of passing my test off to a big party at a friends place 40 miles away.

The roads were obviously less busy then but thinking back on it, I just did it with full confidence that I had just passed my test so obviously knew it all.

I am on the fince about trucks and such, my family had a haulage firm until it was sold in the late 90's and the first thing I drove was a 71/2 tonne truck as I used to park them in the yard as a kid. I think having spent many, many miles on the motorways as a passenger in all sorts of vehicles while growing up, helped me to develop a better view of what is expected of you as a driver.

My biggest groan though is discourteous drivers, always in a hurry, cut into your braking zone, the list could go on forever. I see this even at the end of my road, often full with traffic at school time yet people will not leave a gap so you can turn right, they just squeeze up tight, because those few extra feet mean so much!

I sympathise very much with the op, there is madness on the roads of all sorts and much of that is down to a lack of training/experience. The modern instructor has to take a learner onto national speed limit roads and fast dual carriageways, but this still doesn't make up for the lack of real motorway training in the current testing system. I have been an advocate of limiting the type of cars new drivers can drive and where they can drive them until they have taken and passed a second harder driving course within a fixed time of passing their basic test to drive up the standards of driving on our roads.

I am though a grumpy git as my wife loves to remind me, so what do I know! :d
 
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