Sunday, 11 June 2006

Well Meaning But Illegal Advice.

Between Windy Corner and Waterside the speed limit used to be 40 mph. Then for some unknown reason some one in the local Highways Department decided that this was too fast and changed it to 30 mph. Now I have driven along that streach of road for 8 years and have never noticed anything that might suggest that 40 mph was too fast. There are no schools, no children playing in the road, no pubs, no pedestrians, no shops, nothing except big houses all with cars in the drive.

Now there was a slight problem with the plan. There is a section of the road that is a duel carrigeway. And there is some rule in the Department of Transport in London which says that duel carigeways that have a 40 limit can not be slowed down to 30 mph.


Oh yes there is an "unless" clause some where if you look hard enough. And this unless clause is;- if you pull a bus lane in the duel carrigeway the it can become a 30 mph road. So the council spent lots and lots of our money to put in bus lanes on both sides of the carrigeway. Completely useless bus lanes. Worse than completely useless, they upset car drivers who think that some how we, the bus drivers have conspired to get these useless, expensive bus lanes and are not happy. Well they were made even more unhappy by the fact that some clowns dressed as bus drivers and driving vehicles that look exacly like our buses were using the bus lanes to over take cars on the inside and then cutting up said cars as they emerged from the end of the bus lane at speeds well in excess of the 30 mph the poor car drivers were being forced to drive at.

So a notice went up at work it which the company hinted that they would monitor the situation with a radar gun to check bus speeds. Some one must have moaned to the union, they also put up a notice, this one supporting the company's attempts to deal with these impostors.

So far so good. No problem so far. Drivers should stick to the speed limits even when they appear to defy logic. Even if it is just to avoid 3 penalty points and a £100 fine. The problem comes with the last paragraph of the Union letter which urges drivers to drive, and I quote, "Well below the official speed limit."

Now there are only 3 reasons that you should drive well below the official speed limit.
  1. Your vehicle is not designed to be driven that fast, i.e. a milk float or moped.
  2. The road conditions demand that for safety reasons you drive below the speed limit.i.e .Lots of bends, snow or ice, lots of pot holes, fog, lots of parked cars, poor visibility and many more I can't be bother thinking about.
  3. The traffic conditions also demand that you drive below the speed limit.i.e. All the vehicles in front of you are doing 5 miles an hour and if you drive at 30 mph there will be an awful bang as you hit a few of them. And loads of forms to fill in, including one which will ask,"Why did you leave your last job."

I used to be a driving instructor before I became a bus driver, trust me on this. If the road is clear and the traffic conditions allow then drive at the speed limit, not well below. Some car divers already hate us (see next post ( re Clarkson in the Mirror)), do you want all of them to hate us or are some people just paranoid.

No comments: