Monday, 4 February 2013

Merge in turn....a rant


Each day I drive down the A629 Calderdale Way from the M62 towards Halifax. It's a fine clear dual carriageway (somewhat inevitably ruined by speed cameras enforcing a ridiculous 50 mph limit) that becomes a single lane as you approach Halifax.

As you drive along the dual carriageway towards the point at which two lanes become one there are a series of signs. The first says:

"Use both lanes"

Pretty straightforward - yet day after day there's a mile-long queue in the inside lane and a quarter-mile long queue in the outside lane. I, of course, use the outside lane (but more of this later).

The second sign says:

"Merge in Turn 200m"

Again pretty clear - the sign advises us to be prepared to merge in turn.

The third sign - just shy of the final dying of the second lane - says:

"Merge in Turn Now"

Pretty clear again.

So tell me why it is that, more often than not one of the following things happens:

1. A car (or more commonly a van) that has waited in the inside lane - presumably because they don't understand what "use both lanes" means - 'drifts' into the outside lane, straddling the centre line with the intention of preventing people in the outside lane passing

2. Rather than merging in turn, a vehicle (usually a car) in the inside lane squeezes right up to the car in front so as to make the instructions "merge in turn" impossible. Last week I witnessed a woman so eager to prevent this merging in turn that she ran into the car in front.

What is it with people that they cannot understand simple advice set out in simple English? If these drivers did what the signs said - used both lanes and merged in turn - the traffic would flow much more smoothly and everyone would get home safely and cheerily.

It seems that those of us who enter the lane with the least traffic and seek to follow the advice so kindly set out for us by Calderdale's highways engineers are not appreciated by the drivers who ignore that advice (I assume they aren't illiterate or blind). To the extent that these people deliberately drive badly.

What exactly is it about the concept of "merge in turn" that these drivers don't get?


1 comment:

SadButMadLad said...

I know the road well too.

Why do drivers not get the concept? Because they don't see the sign. You might say that they are stupid and dangerous drivers for not looking but in fact they aren't. The reason they don't look is because of over familiarity and also sign blindness.

Such things like lane merging only work if society takes them on. Like drink driving in the past where no batted an eye, now a days many will at least ask if someone is OK driving after a few pints.