Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Not a grand junction

This is the junction at the Grand Hotel on Torquay sea front. As you approach this junction all the traffic is in one lane. Then there is a second lane for traffic to turn right for the Grand Hotel or Torquay Train Station. Then, for about 20 yards there are two lanes going straight on. Unfortunately 20 yards the other side of the lights these two lanes reduce to one lane.

So what happens is that most people stay in the left lane and form a nice, orderly queue. However there are strangers who don't know that the lane they are in is about to vanish. When the do realize they usually end up slowing down which causes confusion. Confusion is not a good thing when you are driving a car.

The other thing that happens is boy racers (see yellow car) on an adrenalin rush come up the right hand land and dash across the lights and force their way in to the flow of traffic putting everyone at risk. The gain in journey time saved by this action must be as much as half a second.

Recently, due to road works we have been diverting along the ring road. Not a road I had driven along much in the past. One thing I did notice was that at every set of traffic lights along the ring road the junctions are like this. One lane changing in to two lanes while you drive through the lights and then back to one lane almost immediately. It seems that some one in the Highways Department thinks," Oh look. There's room for two lanes here. lets make two lanes even though it's only for 40 yards. People will think the road is wonderful. Its got two Lanes." All it does is encourage people to overtake two or three cars for a very small decrease in journey time. Oh, and annoy the poor sod who has to brake hard to let them back in. Usually me, though not always.

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