Blog : Middle lane hogs – make them cry

Steven Ward

Middle lane hog

When the news hit this morning that the Feds who patrol Britain’s highways could stop and fine those selfish souls who ‘hog the middle lane’, a collective ‘about bloody time’ was heard in roadside Costa Coffees up and down the country. From here on in, Britain’s beleaguered economy will surge ahead and we’ll all start to feel good about life.  Let me be quite clear about this; those who sit in the middle lane for no reason deserve to be fined and persecuted until they’re rendered homeless and too paranoid to drive.

If like me you drive for a living and then drive for fun, then the danger posed and time lost arising from those people – who really shouldn’t have a licence – is quite considerable.  These humans are anti-social, selfish, dangerous and mean.  Their interest in their immediate environment and of motoring in general is nil.

Since I was a teenager I’ve taken the first safe opportunity to undertake these numb motorists.  It was and still is the safest course of action if you’re prepared to tell the world that the law as it stood was an ass.  Flashing your lights in a vain attempt to get them to move over is  – in my humble opinion- anti-social and should remain the preserve of those in a BMW or Audi.

To me, the close bunching and frustration which is following in the immediate wake of a ‘middle lane hog’ is considerably more dangerous than undertaking.  One wrong sneeze and there’ll be a six car shunt involving at least one Insignia and a Sprinter van and 100 buckled yards of Armco.  Radio 2’s Sally Traffic will then have to work for a living.

Once the seal of undertaking has been broken, either ‘middle land hog’ will briefly realise the error of their way and move across or failing that, all the others behind them will steal themselves and follow my course of logical, yet illegal action.  The problem is over for the time being and I’m then free to get on with life in safety.

However, what if you cannot safely undertake?  What if your frantic flashing of main beam isn’t attracting their attention?  What if following them so closely that your respective lashing eyes are almost kissing isn’t enough to get these plebs to move across?

Well that happened to me the other week and the law landed on me as a result.  Let me explain the situation and you can make up your own mind (provided it agrees with mine).

At around 4.00pm on a weekday afternoon I’m leaving a city centre heading back to my garage which is 10 miles away.  In the loadspace of the car I’m driving are two wheels with freshly fitted Toyos. Back in the workshop there is a customer’s car in the air waiting for these two tyres to be fitted.  In service reception, the customer is supping tea waiting for the car.

Understandably I’m keen to get back, fit the wheels and take payment for my day’s work.  Except there is a gummy-mummy in a minging Picasso who is using the middle lane of the road as a ‘margin of error’.  By that I mean she is arguing with one child while pacifying the other some vile dayglo drink.  Therefore if she is in the middle lane, there is less chance of her leaving the road through chronic inattention as she has space to drift.

A slow six miles into this display of parenting and driving ineptitude and I’m starting to boil in frustration.  At last we leave the series of roundabouts and join a long straight duel carriageway where I hope there will be a undertake opportunity.  Sadly there isn’t as the road drags uphill and there are trucks slogging it out there.

Eventually, the minging-mummy clocks a police car doing 69mph and pulls into the nearside lane, without indicating nor checking to see if there was actually space.  I’m now sat in the outside lane, exposed to the prowling Fed and my exit is rapidly approaching.  Safely snicking into the nearside lane simply ain’t an option.

Doing the decent thing, I drop a cog, speed up and over take the uniformed Sergeant and safely exit the carriage way.  I leave to the sight and sound of blues and twos you’ll not be at all surprised to hear.  Sergeant has to justify his stripes and it isn’t the innocent mum-on-a-school run that’s being collared for anti-social activities, its this hard-pressed VAT and PAYE tax generator.

What happened when Sergeant strolled over to my now stationary car on the slip road?  Well that’s for another blog.  Suffice to say that while I strongly feel that there are more than enough laws ruling this land and those who drive on it, this is one law that is desperately needed for the health and wealth of the country.


Steven Ward


  1. It’s not rocket science. If you’re not overtaking something, don’t go in the middle lane.
    These people cause so much disruption and put so many in dangerous positions.

    But it’s not just lane hogging that’s dangerous.

    Just the other day I was overtaking an artic, and a VW Caddy slapped it’s indicator on (for half a second) and moved into my path. There was a three series looming in my blind spot in the outside, so on go the brakes.

    People think I’m just an idiot braking for no reason, and move around me anyway they can to get past the slow poke, which is dangerous in itself.

    How many times does that scenario take place each day? I think if the government are going to pour money into anything like this, they should educate people about the importance of blind spots and mirror checks on the motorway.

    But I agree with this blog. Shared on Facebook.

  2. I use the A14 daily.

    The traffic queues are exclusively caused by the ****ing arctic boys.

    They are supposed to do 50 max, yet they jump in and out of lanes like monkeys, and clog the middle lane.

    I hope and pray our talentless rozzers go pick on some waggons for a change….and allow the rest of us to make progress.

    Maybe if the driving test included a motorway session or mandatory motorway training our roads would be better.

    I will be 40 in a couple of weeks. I HATE driving. I drive with my HID headlights on….its just too stressful driving in the UK.

    This will cause much controversy.

  3. There is another new sport that’s even more dangerous, it’s called big white van doesn’t observe traffic and give way markings. Twice in the last three months I’ve been almost wiped out by drivers of large vans who don’t look and pull out at junctions. They don’t realise that a full size Iveco van can make a massive mess of a Ford Fiesta and its driver, who has to really slam the anchors on to stop crashing into them. Also a lot seem to sit up your back and seem angry you’re observing a 30 mph speed limit, another was up my back a few weeks ago and I could even see the headlines on his Daily Star( newspaper of choice for a lot of them) as he was so close.

  4. Just a thought. Advanced driving is all about driving defensively not aggressively. Our reaction to a situation is what causes stress – not the situation itself. We are all just sharing the planet – we are not in competition with each other. If we hate any activity we will probably be pretty bad at it.
    Whoever heard of a brilliant artist who hated painting?
    I respectfully suggest that those who get ‘wound up’ by other motorists might like to consider a RoSPA or IAM advanced driving assessment followed by some training and then re-assessment. You will be amazed at your performance – and your ability to deal with those drivers less skilful – without stress or resorting to breaches of best practice or the law.
    Stupidity on their behalf should not result in stress or aggressive reaction from us. A huge percentage of accidents are caused by low skill levels but a significant proportion are caused by reactions to those levels. Why risk an RTA to ‘get back at them’ or prove a point. Go do a RoSPA – be better, be quicker, be safer. The statistics are irrefutable which is why my insurance company gives me 7 percent discount on my premium on the faster of my cars.
    Peace – chill man. (As I used to say when I had long hair!)

  5. Lordy, I only hope that this works. In 28 years of driving, I still loathe numbskulls who think that just because they are doing 70mph, it is perfectly acceptable to sit in the middle lane…..they glare at you as you undertake because undertaking is illegal….and they just carry on as they were!! Arrrgh!!?….then there are those who reach for the rear fog lamps switch at the merest hint of drizzle (I think I have encountered fog so thick it required said lamps maybe twice in 28 years….BAN THEM!) The final category that gets my ire is the driver who is clueless on how to ventilate a car and trundles down the carriageway with excessively misted/no vision windows with maybe a hand rubbed drivers side window screen (touch the inside of my car windows with anything other than a chamois and I will impose sharia law on the offending hand) and a few kids inside to help with the misting up….LEARN BASIC CONTROLS OR OPEN A BL@£DY WINDOW!!!!!…..I feel better now.

  6. Indeed it will Jeremy, The overtaking truck debate will rage on and on and with out wanting to get personal you are very wrong.
    If you are doing 1 or 2 or 3mph faster than the car in front and speeding up isn’t an option wouldn’t you overtake? or would you just sit there so you don’t piss off car drivers?
    I’m not a truck driver by the way but I regularly tow trailers with cars on the back

    it is here I have my most problem with middle lane hogs, I’d like to sit at x mph but I cant, Mr. middle Lane hog is in my way, In my car not a problem, outside lane it is, but I’m towing and I’m not allowed in the outside lane, which law shall I break first??

    Stay in the middle lane Flash my lights, when that doesnt work go to full retina burn and get so close I can read part numbers off his taillight in an effort to bully them out the way?
    Undertake? my personal weapon of choice
    Or commit the ultimate towing no – no chance my arm in the outside lane.

    I could do nothing of course and watch my life slip by me but as you say yourself I wan to make progress

  7. I have read some smug, self centred, and frankly dangerous drivel in my time , but this blog and its sequelae takes the biscuit. Just when do these “safe” undertaking ( a very significant word ) manoeuvres occur . The person who should not have a licence is the writer of the original blog . The same applies to Carl and to Ex X Power who both sound as though they are serious accidents waiting to happen . thank goodness for some sense from Wolseley Man

  8. Anyone who has to use the M6 on a regular basis will agree with me that the middle lane is used so much because of lorries clogging up the left hand lane. It is bordering on dangerous to spend anytime in there at all. Get freight back on the trains and see that lane fill back up with cars.

    Also, as per usual, this has been rushed out to pacify ROADKILL or whatever the safety brigade is called. The idea is good but in practice will be a nightmare, overzealous or dodgy coppers will simply book anyone they think ought to have moved over, but their viewpoint (camera in a room in Walsall) is very different to the one in the drivers seat.

    You can’t overtake because you’ll break the 70mph limit and that’s really naughty/dangerous. You could undertake but its frowned upon in Broken Britain (yet works well in Europe) and flashing your lights is deemed uncouth but it is perfectly acceptable…..

    Jeremy is right about the A14, I’ve witnessed lorry drivers overtaking even when the practice is meant to be banned, and I’ve yet to see a copper on that road. However Jeremy is wrong about using his HIDs all the time, that’s just pointless and dangerous.

    The answer? Make people learn how to use a motorway correctly? The fact you can pass your test and then drive on one without any professional tuition scares me. I had lessons before I ventured on one and was taught about using sliproads correctly and about moving into the middle lane to let new cars join more easily. I rarely see others do this but I do see people stop at the end of a sliproad and treat it as a Give Way!?

    Seriously if you are that thick you shouldn’t be allowed to pilot 1.5 tons of metal. END OF.

    Also what is being done about those who think roundabout rules are optional? Or those who leave Dual Carriageways from the fast lane?

  9. Most people claim to be a good driver and most people are wrong about their own ability. Especially those whining about middle lane hogs. Now I am not a fast driver, but I do stay most of the time in the left lane. Briefly popping out to overtake the odd lorry.

    I have seen drivers getting outraged by the middle lane hog. Charging up behind some driver in there little Micra doing 60 in the middle lane. Outraged that their progress has been slowed. How dare someone hog a lane meant only for overtaking. So where do you think these fast driver spend their time?

    Yes, they live in the middle lane themselves, far too important to be bothered by having switch lanes to overtake slow moving traffic.

    Oh and undertaking is dangerous. The worst example i’ve experienced is some idiot in a BMW who decided I was taking too long to overtake a HGV in the slow lane, he nipped inside me, undertook, and barely missed me squeezing in the closing gap between me and the truck.

    Even undertaking without doing something so reckless is stupid, because drivers don’t expect you to be there. If it is a case between being safe or being a few minutes late, be late. Your time is not that valuable, so if you have to drive slowly for a bit till it is safe to overtake, then that is what you do.

  10. The thing is Ben, how hard can it be to drive on a road that has three lanes all going in the same direction, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of driving,

    Irrespective of my activities in a previous post if everyone had correct lane discipline which lets be honest shouldn’t be difficult, there would be no need for undertaking or tailgating

  11. I too hate middle lane hoggers, what I do is overtake them in the outside lane then move back all the way over to the inside lane in front of them (not cutting them up obviously) with my left hand indicator flashing all the way as I move into the inside lane – it does seem to make most of them realise that they should be over to the left and you’ll then see them move over behind you after it’s sunk into their heads (takes a minute or so, those cogs are rusty, along with their driving skills). Flashing them is a waste of time – if they’re unaware of twelve foot of empty tarmac at the side of them then they certainly won’t be aware of what’s behind them. I don’t undertake as you never know when the middle lane hogger will wake up and change lane – right (or rather, left) into the side of someone undertaking him.

    I may be wrong, but I seem to remember reading that undertaking, although against the advice of the Highway Code, isn’t actually illegal (or if it is, then it’s a Driving Without Due Care and Attention, hard to prove type of offense, the defence being, of course, that if you had enough time and space to undertake, the prat in the middle lane should have been in the inside lane himself).

    As for lorries, at the end of the day they are perfectly entitled to pass other lorries, even if there is only 1 or two mph difference. Yes it can be bloody well annoying (especially on busy two lane roads like the A1), but the fault lies more with today’s management culture of squeezing more and more from workers via unrealistic targets based on a constant best case scenario, including lorry drivers (and I know this from people who have been driving lorries for years). I do have some sympathy for Steven, as he was under similar pressure himself to get back to work, but that’s part of the problem – everyone is in such a hurry as well as people driving like prats hogging the middle lane and the roads are full to capacity and woefully need upgrading as well.

    Never overtake coppers though. They really don’t like it. 😉

  12. Isnt it time the speed limit on the motorways is increased to 95 mph,after all,everyone does that in the third lane.
    Two HGV’s side by side doing 56 mph in peak traffic is a pain.

    But like the title suggests those driving in a persistant vegative state on a reasonably busy motorway or dogmatically driving at 68 mph on the middle lane are a nuisance.

    • Hogging the middle lane is surely not the thing to do, and in some places it is a minor offence to do so. Though I cannot think of a European country where undertaking would be allowed… Personally I find lane discipline in the UK rather bad, possibly to do with the lack of motorway training during driving lessons.

      But reading the blog – Stephen you’re still too young and pushy…. How much time would you loose by just sitting behind the ‘offending’ middle lane driver on your 10 mile drive? Driving 10 miles with with 38mph instead of 40 it would take less than a minute longer! I think the police was right to pull you in the described circumstances. So instead of loosing about 1/2 minute by just staying calmly behind said car, you’ve lost some more time (and money too?)…

  13. Gents,

    My HID dipped headlights are left on all the time. Its not illegal….look at any car manufactured in Sweden. Main beams are illegal.

    The only way to make progress on the blessed A14 is to park your car on the bumper in front of your car.


    A14 is 2 lanes. The truckers “think” its theirs.

    When ever I do a trip, I get up early, and frankly the 70 mph is ignored anyhow, the speedos in most cars lie, look at any GPS design.

    I put it to the forum in many cases its hard to use the left lane, as one ends up being boxed in by white van man, it is easier to make progress, and treat the speed limit on faster lanes with a pinch of salt.

    The Feds after all, will not give you a ticket for cruising at 80.

    This is typical of our useless government, who would rather waste our tax money fighting illegal wars, giving aid to foreign lands instead of investing in the country and its rotten infrastructure.

    I never ever let waggons out as they are supposed to be in lane 1, (like in most of Europe) traffic always flows smoothly without the jamming of breaks and danger.

    This is dumb.

    I wish I lived in France.

  14. Mr. Boucke,

    This is rewarding bad behaviour….

    Time is money, and since it costs us more than most of our European neighbours to own/drive/tax a car, it is not unreasonable to allow one to make reasonable progress.

    I do not think the few middle lane drivers as described are that much of a problem….I would undertake, and not think twice about it.

    The big HGV rigs cause the mayhem, as on the 2 lane motorways (M11/M54) and main arterial roads its is them that tail gate each other, and hog the outside lane.

    In France they are not allowed to overtake and cause this mayhem.

    I hate driving in the UK…and I do not think I am alone.

    • This is rewarding bad behaviour….

      No, it is not. Is reacting to bad behaviour showing bad behaviour (or even worse – see undertaking, tailgating etc) a civilized behaviour?

      I dare to say that those who get into a rage while sitting behind someone they feel is blocking their way as described here, are just as bad drivers. If undertaking is the action of choice, they are probably even much worse drivers, taking themselves much too important (i.e. in thinking to stand above the law). The sum of all these makes driving unpleasant – for all.

  15. @17

    We have a house there already.

    I have older parents and am not that selfish, and a company.

    Not that easy….but that day will arrive one day circa 20 years from here.

  16. Mr. Boucke,

    Life is not perfect.

    We are all under time pressure, need to earn a living.

    Let alone it would be nice to be able to arrive on time for a change.

    It is selfish drivers whom hold up others…and if your calling me a bad driver…so be it.

    What about, when you have sat behind someone for miles, whom thinks its funny to stand on the breaks, and is say doing 50 in on a motorway. you try to undertake in desperation…and then they speed up.

    I think people whom cannot drive correctly and safely, should have their ability to drive removed.

    If someone wants to fool with me/mine, they will end up following me and if that make me a bad driver….

    This is so typical of the UK, knee jerk reaction to fix a problem. if drivers were taught to use a motorway BEFORE having a license our roads would be safer.

    Meanwhile, I drive a nice big heavy safe car, and all I care about is me and mine.

    Am I a bad driver…not bothered.

  17. Mr. Adams,

    You are on the money.

    I try to treat others as I like to be treated.

    It doesn’t always work like that.

    I probably have a bad attitude as well as being a bad driver.

  18. Round here no-one knows how to use 3 lane sections of motorway, as they’re mostly new.

    The original 3 lane section was up a hill, to the inside lane was effectively a crawler lane.

    The other side was upgraded a couple of years ago, but the inside lane ia a lane drop at the next junction, so anyone wanting to carry on just stays in the middle. Similar with the Westlink – M1 3 lane stretch.

    When I drove in England, I didn’t think it was that big a deal. But then, I was caning it a little…

  19. Actually ‘overtaking on the left’ is not ‘undertaking’!
    the former is allowed when the traffic in the right hand lane does not allow you to move out and the lane ahead is clear (Its actually in the highway code!) and thus overtaking a ‘middle lane moron’ is allowable as long as you stay in your lane. however moving from the middle lane to the left hand lane to overtake.. that is illegal.

    Actually this change is an utter waste of money, as correctly applied the laws we had covered both ‘middle lane morons’ and tailgaters as it stood, it just was not being applied properly

  20. I very much agree re truck drivers. It is exceptionally annoying when you have to drive the entire length of the M1-M42 stretch of the A42 behind an artic driver who has chosed to obstruct all faster traffic by driving at the exact same speed as the artic he is alongside with no speed differential whatsoever.

    Clearly and obviously, the guy in the nearside lane is not going to be considerate enough to allow the other guy to get in front, and the selfish prick in the truck trying to overtake simply decides that if he can’t get in front, then nobody else should be allowed to, even if car drivers could (and should) legally be allowed to do 70mph on that stretch.

    The ‘better me’ ought to sit it out patiently. However, I am not blessed with a great deal of patience, so by the time we hit the M42 my blood is boiling with frustration. Occasional bad driving I can tolerate (we don’t all make competent drivers and we all make mistakes) but willful acts of selfishness and ‘dog-in-a- manger’ attitudes really piss me off.

  21. The idea of punishing people who sit in the middle lane for no reason is right – they are a danger.

    Would I undertake them – no.

    What really gets me is those people who think that if they indicate they can automatically pull out – this is not the case and, if that is the quality of your driving, you should stick to something made by Little Tikes. The reason I leave a gap is so I have time to brake not so you can put me and my family in danger (you chose to risk yours)!

    Re lorries – in the main I find them fine with many excellent drivers although, as with cars there are exceptions.

    As Keith says its all driver attitude – be safe and don’t hold anyone else up.

    Finally – am I a good driver? I don’t think so but what is scary is that there are so many much worse than I am!

  22. ‘Undertaking’, if sensibly done, is both safe AND legal. And having driven in America a fair bit, if you’re observant there’s no reason why slower traffic in a central lane is any more dangerous or inconvenient than in an outside or inside lane.

    Your biggest risk is two drivers passing a central lane driver and then going for the central lane themselves, and if the inside was clear enough for the central lane to be unreasonably occupied, you’ve got time to make sure all is safe and clear before having to move and pass anything yourself 😉

    In fact, if drivers planned ahead, there’s a strong argument for drivers not using slip roads to remain in a central lane, and leave the inside one for those leaving and joining the motorway – with slower traffic leaving sufficient gap for traffic to merge (that’s the one that gets me angry, people not joining motorways cleanly, quickly and confidently, and drivers equally not allowing them to do so). There are certain junctions where I’ll remain in the centre lane until I’ve passed the slip roads, even if it is clear, particularly the A500 (J15?) on the M6 Northbound.

    But the 95mph argument has a real flaw. What causes the biggest problem is not slowness, or bunching, it is speed differential. If you can legally go 95mph, there will still be people comfortable at 65, vehicles limited to 56, etc. and if there’s one thing we’ve demonstrated in the UK, it’s that drivers get bloody angry when they can’t do what they want.

    I spend most of my time between 65-80mph and rarely keep the 80 sustained. Central-lane drivers do annoy me, but it’s not worth getting angry – and I find the inevitable mile-long queue of people sitting in the outside lane with two mostly clear lanes to the inside of them, nose-to-tail at 68-80, braking then racing then braking, considerably less pleasant to be around.

  23. There is an interesting (and sometimes amusing) twitter account whose initials are MLC (I won’t put the account name here as it may offend!). This has been highlighting the mahoosive lack of awareness of drivers ploughing up the middle lane at a steady 65 with NOTHING on the left lane for miles ahead! These people really are MLCs (or hogs if you prefer) – and if they are that blissfully unaware of where they should be (in their own little world) the are likly unaware of what else is potentially hazardous going on around them.

    I’m sure we’ve all gone “where did the last 10 miles go” and this is possibly often the reason for being in the middle lane.

    I was taught (25 years ago officially, but also watching and listening as a child in the back of the P6 or 2500S with no seatbelt on) that you move out to overtake, and then move back in when safe to do so.

    If we all obeyed the rules and spirit of the highway code then congestion and frustration would diminish significantly.

  24. Just out of interest, with regards to HGVs hogging both lanes overtaking each other at 56MPH, if they weren’t fitted with speed limiters, would that make much of a difference? Obviously they wouldn’t be able to thunder along at 100MPH in the outside lane, but it would help the traffic flow a bit better I’m sure.

  25. Jeremy – post 3: Could not agree more – I used to have to drive 30 miles down the A14 on a daily basis and in the two lane section the trucks were a nightmare. There is a section in Northamptonshire where it is forbidden for trucks to overtake each other in peak hours but this is completely ignored.

    On the subject of undertaking, I do it all the time to prove a point. About 8 years ago I was travelling south on the M3 to see relatives in Hampshire. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I had pulled into lane 2 to pass some container lorries and there was a Ford Galaxy sat in lane 2. I actually looked to move into lane 3 but there were two MG ZT’s racing each other. I moved into lane 1, undertook said Galaxy and then moved back out to lane 2 as there was another long line of trucks. Anyway, the guy in the Galaxy clearly took offence to being undertaken and flashed me continuously. At the time I drove a Focus TDCI Zetec so I am afraid the red mist descended, dropped into 4th, slammed on my brakes and accelerated off giving him a little wave.

  26. @Warren I don’t think the haulage operators will like that – it keeps fuel consumption down if you maintain that sort of speed. Not to mention the stopping distances increasing with speed of course, especially for a 38-44 tonne artic thundering along at 80!

  27. Wasn’t all that long ago that trucks weren’t speed limited. Having to make an emergency brake application on the fast lane with an almost jack-knifing Duke’s Transport (of Ireland) Volvo F12 behind you is pretty heart-stopping.

    With the kind of 500bhp+ motors in some artic tractors these days who knows what their top speed would be, I would imagine it would be somewhere north of 100.

    • In the late ’80s, when I started to drive, lorries were not restricted. A well running 40-ton truck than was able to crack 80mph, police stopping lorries doing 75mph and more was not such a rare thing here in Germany back then. I also vividly remember being flashed out of the fast lane in the MG Maestro doing about 90mph in France – by a huge double deck Neoplan coach! But the accident rates were horrific. I actually found the amount of HGVs on the roads in Britain not too bad, compared to German motorways with all the transit traffice from east to west and vice versa. The speed limiter is basically a good think, I think. But overtaking is another thing – although forbidden on the Autobahn, if the speed difference is only marginal, many do still do it and cause plenty of unnecessary risks. I think overtaking restrictions for HGVs need to be extended much more than they are now.

  28. I have to admit, I was under the impression that the act of undertaking is not in itself illegal.

  29. I don’t think it is. It is a ‘should not’ rather than a ‘must not’, and the cops would have to prove dangerous driving.

    If you were cruising in lane 1, come across someone in lane 2, but continue in lane 1 past them, could you argue that your lane was going faster than the congestion (ie. them) in lane 2?

  30. One problem is that not all trucks are limited to 56- some are optionally limited to 52 by fleet owners (probably makes quite a difference to fuel economy over a year). And then there are coaches and buses that are limited to 60mph (IMHO they should be allowed to go at 70). All these are small speed differentials that make for lengthy overtaking manoevres.

    Another factor is the amount of weight on a semi-trailer. Typically, a 7.5 tonner will be able to overtake a 40 tonne artic going uphill (higher power-to-weight ratio), but the artic will be faster downhill, as the weight on the back will allow it to ‘overspeed’ the limiter.

  31. “In fact, if drivers planned ahead, there’s a strong argument for drivers not using slip roads to remain in a central lane, and leave the inside one for those leaving and joining the motorway – with slower traffic leaving sufficient gap for traffic to merge (that’s the one that gets me angry, people not joining motorways cleanly, quickly and confidently, and drivers equally not allowing them to do so). There are certain junctions where I’ll remain in the centre lane until I’ve passed the slip roads, even if it is clear, particularly the A500 (J15?) on the M6 Northbound”

    Spot on Richard Kilpatrick, this is the sort of excellent driving attitude I was taught in my additional lessons and believe others should know.

    Seeing as this government is keen to legislate behaviour rather than encourage better driving standards I’m surprised they don’t throw anyone in prison who causes an accident on the motorway but never had any motorway lessons!

  32. Gents,

    It seems we are more qualified than our dumb politicians.

    Today, I spent the whole 6 miles stretch of the A14 stuck behind a ruddy waggon.

    57 mph via GPS, he did not appreciate the “friendly 2 fingered gesture I gave him…nor an appreciative honk”

    This happens day after day….and frankly the A14 is warfare.

    All the heavy waggons should be limited to 50, I think, this should include coaches and buses as well.

    They should be forced to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

    Driving in Europe is a pleasure compared to here.

    I have another question…seriously…what will happen if your driving on the M25, with the variable speed signs up. we all understand that 50 means 50, you are surrounded by cars/waggons…and the signs BEFORE this section expressly FORBID changing lanes. This is surely contradictory.

    Can anyone explain that to me???

  33. Oh ffs. After the way I have been treated by the police I’m more than happy to stove their heads in.. a fact that’s been made abundantly clear to them.. but this is ridiculous. Three point turn on a mini roundabout… sorry no action.. no other witness. Following the two second rule in a sodding traffic jam.. no action. overtaking on a crossing at 60mph in a 30, missing two teen girls by millimeters (one ended up sat on my bonnet) no witnesses, no problem. Tailgate some mindless idiot who redlines at 35mph.. penalty points. Stupid thing about the road safety whiners is that half of their kids were doing something so stupid when they got mashed as to be Darwin award hopefuls from birth! That’s not even to start on the cops themselves, killing left right and centre and getting off scot free. I think the quote was “looking at a hammer from below”… So angry about this I’m liable to blow a gasket..

  34. Living in US but frequent visits to UK I share many of the strong views. I also drive many miles for many years for me there are really two seperate issues.

    1) Hogging the middle lane, when it is perfectly safe to pull back over, causes high stress levels,seriously restricts flow and I am most definitley in favor of some action.

    2) On the other hand we need to also recognize that with the volume of HGVs in the left lane and the disparate speed of some vehicles, one can drive for miles before it is safe to do so. We need to be ultra careful we do not create more problems by forcing people into these ever changing slots.

    I try to be ultra courteous and to move over but how many of us can honestly say that we have not stayed out a little longer than we should because we see the next slow moving vehicle in the left lane ahead.

    I agree lets get more Heavy Goods on Rail.

    Living in the US, I am very used to undertaking and done carefully it works and can be OK, but I do remain opposed to it and feel the UK approach on most roads is safest. I am constantly checking my mirror (unlike many in the US) and am always very conscious of if I am holding anyone up behind me when overtaking or in the outer lane. Personally I find such situations in the US to be the most annoying and stressful. Usually the guy behind is sat right on your tail with no hope of stopping if you have to. I always pull over at the earliest opportunity but more often than not the guy behind will dive for the inside lane and is too close for you to see his signal, if there is one. If you delay to check they get mad, if you dive for the inside it seems they do to. Trust me many many accidents caused on Thruways like this.

    My advice do not allow undertaking on a general basis.

  35. I forgot the driving through the backs at 60mph with paper in one hand and lipstick in the other. Or the ever popular “my cars pouring out more smoke than the HMS Hood at flank speed, should I stop or what?”. Or the I’m driving a GTi so you aren’t going to overtake accelerating to keep up while you’re trying to get past. Or “my damaged back door almost spat my child out onto the Tollgate roundabout… what am I doing wrong?”. I’m sick to death of the my sister was killed whiners who when you probe a little deeper admit that said idiot was riding a push bike at 3am down a road that makes a welsh forest stage look like the autobahn with no lights wearing black. The only difference between that and carpark stuka-ing is that you screw another life up too.

  36. Interesting the A14 comes up so often. TBH, I find the A14 perfectly easy to cope with – I set my speed limiter at 70 or 50 accordingly so I’m not actively watching my speed, pay attention, and pull back for the HGVs ’cause they’re not about to vanish before my trip is done.

    However, I DO find the A14 mind-crushingly boring and on quiet times, frustrating because of the cameras and policing. It’s a road which needs speed to keep you alert if there’s no traffic. It’s also an absolute bastard to deal with driving east in the morning or west in the evening, and it’s important to remember that all the other drivers are having to deal with that exact same sunshine and glare, and may cope with it differently.

    Driving from Leicester to Harwich at 6am in summer may have been one of the most fatiguing drives I have done in a long time. And Birmingham to Glasgow doesn’t bother me in the slightest…

  37. I think that all of you who get annoyed or resort to abuse and crude gestures to other road users should hand in your licences. You are obviously not fit to be piloting one and a half tonnes of steel in the company of other members of the public.
    The roads are too congested to cope with the volumes of traffic they have to cope with, and this will only get worse.
    Getting all wound up will only make it worse and create health problems for you. I learmt this years ago as a professional driver, and it has stood me in good stead ever since. The time difference on a London to Nottingham run in the rush hour with cruise at 60mph pottering along or in the outside land speed/brake/speed/brake is little or nothing, plus the fuel savings are huge.
    It is a much nicer place to drive on the continent due to the simple fact there are many less cars per mile of road. Try driving the Antwerp Ring in rush hour, it is no different to the M25.

  38. Jemma,

    I hear you. you are right.

    The HGV boys are a curse, they need reminding of the speed limits on a dual carriageway 50. car limit is 70.

    To No 43, Sir you have the patience of a saint. I often drive from Cambridge to near Ruffec in France. I am not dim enough to want to sit in traffic jams so make sure I am on the UK roads well of peak….and if someone is hogging the middle lane, I will do what I have to do get past.

    30 mins out of Calais (and all the brits) the roads are a treat. 6 hours of driving in France is part of my holiday.

    I am not a habitual speeder, but I do want to make progress, if YOU choose to be kind to the planet, and your fuel bill whilst doing the London-Notts run, why don’t you make life easier and drive in the INSIDE lane, to be reasonable to other users whom want to get to their destination in a timely fashion.

    The Antwerp ring is OK, the Paris Perifierique is the worst piece of road I have ever been on.

  39. I completely agree tha something needs to be done about inconsiderate & dangerous lane hoggers, but why is the standard approach from HM Government always fines, points, fines, points & more fines & more points to absolutely everything? Perhaps I sound cynical, but so long as there is a chance of squeezing more money out of cash cow drivers, they are happy to “take action” to sort out what is comparatively an easy problem compared to other issues this country faces & for which nothing seems to be done about.

  40. I’m lucky not to have used the A14 much on a normal weekday, it’s never been that much of a problem.

    When on family visits use the the section from the M1 to where the section where it merges with the A6.

    I’ve been on 2 holidays in France, though when I was too young to do any driving. The standard to roads & driving didn’t seem much different, though there were a few quirks to catch out the unwary, like major roads being renumbered so newish maps are out off date.

  41. Jeremy, I do move to the inside lane when it is free.. I pride myself on correct lane discipline and professional standards of driving. The people causing the jams in the outside lane are the tailgating maximum attack reps who dance from brake to accelerator during busy times when the road is at maximum capacity. That is why they use the variable speed limits on busy sections of Motorway, which now runs much better since its introduction.
    I have never driven in Paris, I refused to take my car there.
    I have seen how they drive…
    I do prefer driving abroad though, so much nicer.

  42. Hi Andy,

    So do I…

    There are a hard core of t***ers that drive their company cars how you describe, and then the hgv boys play silly buggers too.

    My other half drove my new car on the Paris perferiferique. I am still traumatized.

    Sadly, we pay the most and have the worst infrastructure in the Eu.

    Anyhow, drive safe….

    This scheme is just to get some more tax dollars in 🙁

  43. One of the worst bits of road for being unable to drive at a steady speed is the M66 – A56 north of Bury.

    Many times I’ve driven along it & tried to pass a car doing 50mph only to nearly be shunted from behind by someone doing 80mph+ even when I was keeping a close check on my mirrors.

    I always had to be prepared to either put my foot to the floor or quickly pull in & more or less do an emergency stop.

  44. @7 Christopher – I think you must have been blushing when you wrote that….is there something you would like to confess? 😉

  45. The people bashing truckers and coach drivers have clearly never driven either, they do not “play silly buggers” Jeremy.
    I suggest everyone has a go at driving a vehicle with a speed limiter set at 56-truck or 62-coach and see how you get on. Someone said coaches should be limited to 50, such a measure would further slow the rest of the traffic approaching from behind. Trucks and coaches are travelling at a constant speed-how can that possibly cause a delay? it’s other motorists speeding up and slowing because they’re driving too close that causes hold ups.
    I can assure you with no doubt at all that most cases of traffic bunching up for miles on end is usually caused by ONE car driver, either in lane 2 travelling at 60-65, or a caravan creeping along at 50 in lane 1.
    Someone also said they were surprised at people trying to join a motorway stopping at the end of the slip road and using it as a give way, it IS a give way! lane 1 traffic has right of way and is under NO obligation and may not be able to move, if you cannot join the flow due to volume of traffic, or more usually by the fact that you have not matched your speed to the traffic in lane 1 and found a slot then you MUST stop. Training for motorway driving should be compulsory but common sense should provide enough clues to begin with.

  46. Sorry everyone, this whole blog and discussion is a complete waste of time. I have just come down the M4 between 16 and 18 where the chevrons are used to try and get people to drive the correct distance apart – i.e. 2 chevrons.
    Bugger! I’m the only driver who can count! There’s no hope! We’re all doomed!!!

  47. @51, Dominic,

    I have the greatest respect for most truck drivers, except the ones that insist on driving parallel to other trucks at the same speed on dual carriageways (where, incidentally, legally they ought to be going slower anyway) so that nobody else can get past.

  48. In Denmark there are long sections of motorways where it is forbidden for lorries to overtake between 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm
    Which is brilliant unless you are on the motorway at 6:01 pm in which case the next 50 miles will consist of lorries creeping past each other after three hours of bunching up, Only a couple of days ago I was on the great belt bridge (combined railway and motorway) when about 200+ lories worth of goods rattled past on the railway doing a steady 80 Mph. When will the world come to it’s senses and realize that goods should be sent by rail. It’s better for the environment, better for business, and better for motorists

  49. @51 Dominic

    ’twas I that commented on drivers who literally drive down the slip road and then stop. I should have said ‘as if they were at a STOP sign rather than a Give Way’ but my point still stands, it is dangerous to join the motorway at 4 mph and if people don’t have the skills or common sense to see that then they must either learn more or hand in their licence.

    I lost respect for truck drivers the second that one tried to kill me because he simply ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to look in his mirror when he swung into my lane. He has never even apologised and attempted to pervert the course of justice and a smooth insurance claim. I don’t believe he was the minority either. I think the minority are the decent, intelligent ones who know how to drive because they damn well listened when they were being taught!

  50. Shame AROnline seems to have lost all editorial direction these days – once the definitive resource for BL/AR info, it now seems to be deteriorating into just another rant & predjudice blog with bleatings about rogue motors and, worse still, nasty drivel like this.

    I look to this site for information and BL-relevant anecdotes, not this sort of opinionated ignorance.

  51. @ No 51

    Most truckers are good guys.

    There are a minority of absolute ****ers.

    The beloved A14, which I sadly use daily, all the issues are caused by large waggon, the arctic kind sitting an inch on the bumper of the one in front. The speed limit for these beasts is 50 on the A14. if you think I am wrong, check.

    I am sick and tired of being cut up by mindless morons in waggons, on their phones, picking their noses, looking at their manifests etc.

    They have absolutely no business causing mayhem by forcing their way into lane two.

    Why on earth would I want to try being a waggon driver….

    Sir, use the A14 daily and watch them play silly buggers.

    I just hope Cambs constabulary have the balls to start policing the waggons.

    It would make my day.

    For work we use a nice german forwarder, and their driver is so decent, helpful (and has saved our bacon many times), he is the only supply on our Christmas list.

    Said driver, cannot be bothed to overtake, unless its a tractor, he uses his cruise to control his speed, and his waggon is always immaculate.

    It is not all the waggon drivers, but a hardcore of ****ers whom bully others.

    Now, I never ever let waggons in. I get cut up, I make a point of contacting their directors.

    Goods should be on the railways, encouraged to be moved out of peak hours and all the foreign waggons enjoying cheap diesel should pay tolls.

  52. Auntie Ian,

    I refute that accusation, as we’ve been blogging since 2006. The very premise of blogs are that they are opinion – and if you’re not here to read the opinion pieces, then don’t click on the links.

    There’s currently 6000 pages of content on this site, well under 500 of which are blogs.

    It’s easy to criticise I find – so many are so very good at it – but harder to contribute positively. I’ve always said that blogs are open to regular contributors, and the invite is there for you. If you would like to blog or contribute, then the door is always open.


  53. @54, Tim Baldwin,

    The only freight that should be on the rails are bulk shipments of containers, oil, cement, china clay, bulk aggegates, etc.

    The very obvious effect of getting all or most freight on the rails would be more car traffic on the roads, as there would be nowhere near enough capacity on the rails for passenger trains- even if the bulk of freight was carried at night. Also, many trains would be making much more frequent stops for loading and unloading.

    Further, our towns and cities would be clogged with lorries making the ‘final mile(s)’ deliveries to factories, supermarkets, etc etc,- that is, unless you are advocating that all such facilities should be relocated to the railside, or much more damaging to local town and cityscapes, the rail would have to be brought to them.

    The result would bankrupt any country’s economy with massive amounts of disruptive construction work needed to accomodate vast numbers of railway freight handlong facilities and new or widenend lines, with industrial and commercial facilities that are away from the railway lines forced to relocate- plus the need to build far more roads to accomodate rail passengers who would be displaced to the roads. Not everyone can (or should) drive, however, so they would be forced to either change jobs or make use of what would be much busier coach and bus travel. And, of course, there would be the necessary demolition of homes, businesses, etc, to make way for the new rail facilities.

    There are more and more bulk freight on our railways. However, for most freight movements, it is far better that they travel by road, as to travel by rail would slow things up considerably, as trains can’t be summoned up at will, so if Bloggs Gizmos wants to send a shipments of widgets to Acme Industries, they would have to store that shipment until the day the train can come (so adding extra warehouse space would be a must), and Acme Industries would have to delay onward shipment of those widgets to retail customers until another train could pick them up, then the rail operator would have to store, divide them up according to final destination, and place them on various trains as required. It is easy to see why Bloggs Gizmos would greatly prefer to send their items directly by road to Acme Industries.

    Modern trucking operations are generally efficient, with highly flexible operators able to divert trucks at will to pick up extra palletloads here and there so they don’t run empty more often than they need. And it is much less polluting to have small shipments carried by truck than it is to have huge diesel locomotives stopping and starting, picking up bits and pieces here and there- not to mention the conflicts with other train movements. The Victorians operated railways in that manner but at the time there was neither the road infrastructure nor high capacity, high payload trucks. And it is far better to get thousands of cars off the road by offering rail passenger transport than trucks, since those cars would take up far more road space than lorries do.

  54. @ No 59


    Have terrific road and rail networks.

    Reliable. CHEAP…FAST…

    Both systems here are a bit of a joke.

    I would love to use the rail and not drive…really

    And anyone insulting ARONLINE has lost the plot….

  55. Has anyone else ever experienced the mindless idiots who indicate right when approaching roundabouts, but then proceed to go straight on! or the idiots who use the right hand lane of a roundabout to go straight on.

    One of the worst/bizarre/infuriating pieces of driving I have encountered was on the M1 in Ireland heading towards the border:- middle aged woman in a knackered late 80’s BMW 7 Series on UK plates was driving at approx. 50mph, then sped up to 80 for about 5 minutes, then went back down to 50 for a bit, then back up to 80, etc. etc.

    Mind you, considering most male drivers in Ireland are better than over here, women drivers are definitely worse, e.g, stopping at roundabouts when there is nothing else on the road, turning right on a roundabout in the left hand lane, etc.

    Like some of the other posters, I have found the Police to be a bunch of useless, patronising jobsworths, who delight in telling you that they are a better driver, because they are an advanced motorist. Well I’m sorry, but being an advanced motorist does not make you a better driver, it just makes people think you are anally-retentive!

  56. With regard to the trucker bashers out there, mentioning no names (Jeremy and Chris Baglin) it would seem to me and others no doubt that you two are amongst those who haven’t the slightest concept of how the stuff in the shops gets there (that’s right by lorries). Whilst I have no doubt there are a number of Professional Drivers who are drawing a wage under false pretences to refer to them as selfish p****s really IMO calls into question your entitlement to hold a driving licence. It is because of selfish people that trucks are stuck at 56mph maximum speed. You know the sort of people: Rubbish at everything they do, no friends, no sex life or indeed any other life to speak of , so they join / begin campaign groups, in this case stick speed limiters on lorries. Eventually The EU after much haranguing instigated this so you now have large vehicles essentially nose to tail on the inside lane. Not all the trucks are set to 56mph , some are slower so it is quite natural that the faster moving trucks will want to get by the slower moving ones. Unfortunately due to the speed limiters doing what they are meant to do this impedes the trucks abilities to do this and as a consequence hold everyone else up. I wonder what would happen if cars had speed limiters fitted that cut in a speed below their legally allowed maximum( and if the short sighted, clueless about the consequences people in this world have their way it will happen) would we all be shouting about time too? Incidentally I’m not a full time Truck Driver but I do drive HGV’s as part of my job and I am not in favour of trucks doing 80-100mph. I think 60mph is an adequate legal maximum but It would be nice to be able to have an extra 5-10mph in reserve for over taking/ steep hill climbing when required. For those who are ignorant in such matters trucks are fitted with Tachographs which record the vehicles time , speed and distance travelled along with the drivers details which are monitored by the DOT and have been used to prosecute offending drivers and protect innocent ones so do they really need speed limiters fitted? If you are still not convinced , next time you do a long motorway drive , sit behind the same vehicle at the same speed for the duration. I wonder how long it would be before your nerves/ patience had a meltdown. Going back to the original point of this blog I too get very irritated by people who sit in the middle lane when the inside lane is perfectly empty and so I agree with the authors points. I’m also aware that the police for all their faults have a job to do as well and it would appear the only powers they have these days are traffic enforcement. Rant Over

  57. “Training for motorway driving should be compulsory but common sense should provide enough clues to begin with.”

    I think common sense gets overridden by lack of experience. My weaknesses are town driving and urban congestion, I am useless at driving and reacting for quick progress in cities – I’m a defensive driver, I assume everyone’s an idiot, and won’t risk pulling out or crossing the path of traffic unless my confidence in that move is very high. I seem slow and dawdle in town by comparison with drivers that have grown up surrounded by side-streets and alleyways.

    The flipside is, I drive incredibly fast on country roads, scanning the horizon for vehicles, pedestrians/horses, farm traffic and entrances. It may seem to someone used to staring 50 yards ahead that that farm entrance just sprang up out of the hedge; I was probably watching it long before it was seen. Likewise on an unfamiliar road, I will slow down a lot. The only thing I’m aware of that other fast rural drivers disagree with me on is the purpose of the white line – that thing is an absolute barrier, I will not cross it when cornering even when the road is visibly clear; too many drivers get into that habit then end up finding bikers or HGVs with the same nonchalance.

    But for the motorway, everyone has a part to play with the slip road. The slip road and Give Way signs do, indeed, mean give way. I got told off by my examiner for slowing excessively for a give way where the road was visibly clear on both sides – in fact I passed my test on the second attempt in part by being a lot more confident about that same junction. More so than I would be now with modern car blindspots to contend with.

    The motorway inside lane should be moving at 50-70mph. You should use the slip road sensibly to reach that speed. The gaps between vehicles should be sufficient to safely merge into traffic. If the traffic is stationary, visibility should allow that to be obvious, and drivers should still maintain a gap to allow traffic to merge – or do you suggest everyone goes nose-to-tail and anyone wanting to join the network waits?

    Some drivers lack the confidence to join a motorway at the proper speed – and that’s something that really needs to be addressed in driver training. But if there’s a car using a slip road, I don’t blindly carry on, preventing them from joining – I either slow down (or speed up if that’s the right solution), or move into the middle lane, to let them join safely. I appreciate that HGVs may not have room to do this, so as a rule I’m aiming for 50 rather than 70.

    Stopping on the slip road and then having to use that reduced distance, or worse, the inside lane, to reach motorway speeds is dangerous. That’s why they’re slip roads, even on 50mph dual carriageways.

    As ever, it’s lack of cooperation and awareness, rather than a specific action, that is the real problem – and that’s something that could almost be said to pervade Society as a whole!

  58. “In Denmark there are long sections of motorways where it is forbidden for lorries to overtake between 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm”

    We have a couple of those – I’m sure I saw a bit of it on the ever-popular A14, and there’s a stretch of the A42/M42 with it. They help a bit. The worst area is the hilly bit of the A1, where truck-racing brings the whole trunk road to a crawl. Simply treat it as a 50mph road, chill out, stop staying in the outside lane hoping your proximity to the car in front will suddenly make the queue of frustrated drivers vanish and it’s surprisingly tolerable. Nice scenery, too.

  59. My experience of Truck Drivers is generally positive, to me they seem proffessional and generally considerate. of course there are exceptions.

    Obviously what casues the issues is when they have pulled out to overtake and can only inch by the truck they are passing. This needs policing or controlling. Overtaking means overtaking, there has to be an obligation to complete the move. I also notice apparent disparate performance between trucks who make a run down hill but seem to struggle to complete the move on an upgrade. Surely there should be sufficient performance these days. I dodnt know the answer but overtaking is overtaking not hogging the lane for miles and miles.

    I also agree the Truckie who mentions at the head of many problems is a slow car or caravan. I know its a free world but people who want to drive along at 45 to 50 have no place on a MWay

  60. @59 But they ARE making the “last mille deliverys” at the moment, it’s just that they are doing all the other miles as well!
    As for the cost you can motorways cost vastly more than railways :
    don’t get me wrong I love cars and I love driving, I just don’t see the sense in filling the roads with goods.
    And they have this new thing called electric trains that do not fill the air WHERE PEOPLE LIVE with fumes and cancerous particles like disels do.

  61. I too would like to see more freight on the railways and less trucks on the road. However even if we invested and upgraded our rail network sufficiently to make this viable you would still need trucks to move goods to/from the railhead and in any case the mere thought of a railhead being built close to a NIMBY’s house puts the hammer on the idea. There was a proposal to build one on the site of a former Colliery near Warrington with direct access to/From the M6 and A49 and a Morrisons RDC. However the local NIMBY’s quashed it over fears it could mean traffic going through their one horse village. Probably the same type of people moaning about not enough freight on the rails/ too much on the roads and didn’t give a hoot about all the local jobs it would have created. You can’t have it both ways folks.

  62. @ No 62.

    Kindly don’t insult me, or my sex life…

    On every one of my posts Ive said some/a minority of truckers. I sadly got stuck behind one today, and after he cut me up, I spat my dummy out at his MD.

    “This isn’t the first call Ive had, this will not be his first written warning either”

    Excellent work.

    If you don’t like sitting at 56MPH….GET ANOTHER JOB.

    Not rocket science.

    I have ordered a fancy in dash camera with GPS, I cant wait to help the police and employers deal with poor waggon drivers.

    Sir, I wish you a safe driver home….hopefully the police will use these new powers to reduce the waggon drivers whom give truckers a bad name

  63. @62, Kev Sharp,

    I have not been ‘trucker bashing’ – if you’d actually bothered to read my posts above, and think about what was being said, you would realise that I do understand transport and distribution. You will have noted that the only truckers I’ve criticised were those that insist on driving side-by-side on dual carriageways (or two lane motorways) at exactly the same speed so that nobody else is permitted to pass. Given that you have called me out by name for making this single criticism, obviously you think this is perfectly acceptable practice!

    @66, Tim Baldwin,

    Yes, those trucks make the last mile delivery, and all the other miles as well, however if you want to see the kind of chaos caused by a transport hub being used as a convergence point (ie most vehicle movements occurring within a short timeframe, as would happen if ‘just in time’ deliveries were to be made to a rail distribution centre, go back in time 25 years to when Cheltenham (where I spent my teens) was the centre of the National Express network- and virtually every coach left St Margaret’s Coach Station at (I think) 3.20pm. Dozens of vehicles suddenly released onto Cheltenham’s creaking road system meant traffic chaos!

    Motorway systems are expensive to build, and so are new railways, especially given that trains need minimum curve radii and gentle gradients (although very fast passenger trains can climb steeper inclines). Road systems are subsidised but then so is rail- in fact more so since privatisation! But look at the other benefits to our economy- if we still had a wildly inefficient pre-Beeching rail infrastructure and no motorways, how well would our economy function? We wouldn’t get nearly so much inward investment and domestic industries would suffer hugely.

    Of course, where appropriate, freight should travel by rail. But it would be ridiculous to have the kind of steam-era style stopping freight trains- and many goods would have to travel miles out of its way to get from Point A to Point B because there is no direct route (even in Victorian times this was the case because there had to be an economic case for building a railway- and many went bust). This is the case also for bulk freight- for example the Murco oil trains going from South Wales to just outside Bristol have to go about 60-70 miles out of their way, passing through Gloucester, since freight trains are barred for safety reasons from using the direct route via the Severn Tunnel. It inconveniences relatively few people if that train is delayed by breakdowns or ‘knock-on’ effects because of other issues on the line. It would be another matter entirely if a train full of fresh produce was unable to reach stores elsewhere in the country- that would be an entire trainload spoiled, considerably more damaging than if a truck broke down.

    Freight by rail is highly efficient if it is bulk deliveries of a product that does not need to be ‘just in time’. Besides, most major rail routes are already close to saturation point. The West Coast Main Line for instance will only be able to handle substantially more freight when HS2 is built- as that will free up capacity as passengers opt for the faster route.

  64. “if we still had a wildly inefficient pre-Beeching rail infrastructure and no motorways, how well would our economy function?”

    I don’t think we can make that call. Social movement and behaviour has been shaped by Beeching’s timing and development of our economy – we may well have had a far more diverse, spread out pattern of life and work, fewer cars – more heavily taxed car purchases, cheaper rail. It was never necessary to cut the rail network to engineer the motorway network, only to justify it in the minds of the Ministers at the time. We needed both, and we needed common sense; the Borders was horribly affected by the loss of the rail and subsequent lack of investment in roads, and that’s a story that applies across much of the UK by land, rather than population distribution.

  65. Driver attitudes are really at the heart of it,every single evening while travellng home from work you get folk on the M62 leap-frogging each other to get to the Simister island junction for Bury and M56/M60 (M60 a fine ring-road) when there is no need. This causes untold delays for no reason,why not a get in lane command for such junctions and penalty point thier arses off for late lane changes.

    Life is one big rush now,in part to being socially and career mobile.

  66. @62 and70.
    In the cold light of a new day I’ll accept I deserved a little bit of your dummy spitting. I too have muttered under my breath when trucks are trying to overtake each other but I am aware they need to get where they are going by a certain time too. The point I was making was a number of years ago there were outcries of trucks and coaches being too fast and now people are moaning they are too slow, you can’t have it both ways. It would appear that some (short sighted) people wanted these vehicles to have speed limiters , they got them fitted with speed limiters and we all now have to live with the consequences. In short be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Incidentally Driving HGV’s is only part of my current job and an ever diminishing part of it unfortunately, so I don’t need to get another job at present thank you much .

  67. 73, Kev Sharp,

    For the record I am not in favour of the 56 limit, I think 60 would be better. Speed limiters are necessary because some truck drivers are not very responsible, and most truckers are under pressure to get the job done, and overcome delays (for example road works). However being in the ‘fast lane’ with a truck that had been doing over 80mph then doing an emergency brake with the trailer starting to jacknife is not good- a truck at that speed is capable of doing far more damage than a car is likely to at that speed.

    As for ‘dummy spitting’- you called me out by name after not having taken in what my posts had actually said. If you call someone out under such circumstances you can expect to get the reaction that you provoked. The only ‘dummy spitting’ therefore was that done by yourself.

  68. OK so in this one piece you’ve stereotyped BMW and Audi drivers as Xenon flashing road hogs, refereed to someone who’s driving skills fall below your own exceptionally high standards as a “minging-mum” and suggested the Police officer who pulled you over is some sort of jobs worth with nothing better to do. Again I am prompted to ask the question – ever wonder what other people make of you?

  69. For the record it’s actually the outside overtaking lane . There is no such thing as a slow lane or fast lane for that matter. The same speed limits apply to all three (or four if applicable). What a truck was doing out there I don’t know and can’t excuse unless the inside lane was closed . Yes 80 mph is too fast for a truck but then again now trucks and coaches have speed limiters fitted the next logical (if draconian ) move would be to have all cars pegged with speed limiters (and not at 155mph either if you know what I am getting at).
    I agree there are too many irresponsible drivers out there and not just those driving HGV’s, but they are a nice easy target for pinning blame for ones lack of situational awareness on. I don’t profess to be a perfect driver but what gets my goat up are the self righteous individuals who think they know best when there particular skills aren’t quite what they think they are. And as for the individual proudly waxing lyrical about his in car camera and GPS. I wonder how much attention he will be paying to the road whilst operating this device? What will be his next mission after all the bad HGV drivers are stopped? Bad Chelsea Tractor drivers? Motorcyclists? People wearing Manchester Shirts who have never been to Old Trafford? Where will it end?

  70. ” the next logical (if draconian ) move would be to have all cars pegged with speed limiters (and not at 155mph either if you know what I am getting at).”

    I may be alone in this, and I await the comments saying if I can’t moderate my speed then I shouldn’t be driving (oddly enough, as I drive a non-limited 340bhp V8 in town and still have a clean licence, I’ll ignore them anyway!) – but I positively welcome speed limiters for urban areas. The C3 has a limiter that is a simple matter of flicking a stalk to set whatever I’ve preset, usually 32 (which is 30, if GPS is to be believed), and holding a button to increase or decrease that.

    In built up areas, I don’t bother about the usually faster flow of traffic nudging me over an acceptable speed. I don’t bother about watching for cameras or even trying to keep my foot at an uncomfortable position. The car will not exceed 30mph unless I plant my foot in the carpet.

    So instead I watch the road, I let people out, I chill out. Same goes with 50mph average cameras, and all those other annoyances (cruise is also welcome).

    I don’t think many people deliberately speed in built up areas. I think 35-40 feels like 30 compared to old cars, particularly in SUV-like things.

    So an appropriate broadcast system that informs the car that a limit other than NSL is in force, and an option for the driver to tap a stalk and have the car limited to that unless they put their foot down for an emergency – I’d be happy with that.

    The flipside is that with driver intervention being optional, where it’s not been used should be a factor in accidents where vehicle speed is a contributing factor. And I wouldn’t want them to be enabled by default, just easier to use to set the prevailing limit. The 300C and SLK don’t have limiters despite sharing the Mercedes cruise control tech, and it seems baffling to me.

  71. @76
    Pay enough money, you get a device that videos front/rear with gps speed. No user input… busy avoiding the moronic waggons that give truckers a bad name.
    All hgv/coaches/buses should be limited to 50….and stay in lane one…
    2 crashes yesterday on A14 yesterday all involving waggons. …which means both sets of traffic chaos caused by waggons.
    Sounds like you have issues with others having an opinion….let alone it being different to yours.
    Sounds like a temper. I hops you control it better on the road.

  72. @78, The biggest risk to truck drivers and motorway users as a whole is i would hazard 6 of lorry drivers falling asleep and half a dozen of loons in cars cutting you up.
    In fact the most dangerous time for truck crashes is in the dead of night on quiet motorways in the small hours.
    I have a portfolio of damaged truck pictures prior to repair and 75% of them crashed in the small hours,including a suicide by car that hit the tractor that hard it sent the prop though the diff. The sad thing is,HGV crashes are normally really serious for obvious reasons.

    Like guns,its rarely ever the machine you are in,only the driver.

  73. @78, Jeremy,

    Why should trucks and buses be limited to 50? That will make congestion even worse. Plus, for some of us, travel by coach is the most affordable way of getting around, and coaches are pretty slow at the moment, being limited to 60. The previous Tory government lowered the limit from 70 as a knee-jerk reaction to a coach that had overturned on a curved slip-road, so having 70mph as a limit on the actual motorway wasn’t really a factor.

  74. @76, Kev Sharp,

    I’m aware of its proper title, hence I put ‘fast lane’ in inverted commas. Most people know it as the ‘fast lane’and may not know what it is meant to be called.


  75. Mr Baglin. Thank you for at least acknowledging you know the correct terminology. Something a lot of other road users don’t seem to know. As for post 78 whatever anger issues I might have are (a) my business and (b)don’t transfer to the road. I am aware I hold a great deal of responsibility and moral obligation every time I take a vehicle on the road be it 20kg of bicycle, 1 tonne of car or 40 tonne plus of truck etc. In addition whilst I may not appear to be as techno savvy as your self, if you have nothing better to do with your life than spy on other road users and then report them to the authorities, I stand by my original post. Incidentally If you (or anyone else) are offended by a difference of opinion so easily might I suggest you don’t post comments on an interactive webpage if you don’t expect a reaction

  76. Most of the mayhem in the uk is caused by waggons whom should stay in lane 1. Not give some bs about being unable to control thier vehicle speed going downhill.
    Congestion is caused by stop/start motion. Exactly what badly behaved waggons do.
    Keeping them MOVING at 50 not parked would enable everyone to get around better. If they cant stay awake they need to find another job.
    Quit making excuses. Hgv man

  77. I really despair at what I’m reading from people have not the faintest idea about what they’re talking about.
    I could go one to fully explain what the driver of a vehicle with a speed limiter is up against, but clearly I’d be wasting my time.
    For instance, Someone questioned why a powerful truck can overspeed down hill but is reduced to a crawl up it. Well, 480 BHP is great for getting 44 tonnes rolling but when you approach an uphill climb at 56 you’re already on the back foot.
    Speed limiters are set to the same speed usually, but there is always a slight variation, THAT is why it takes a while for one truck/coach to pass another, it’s a case of foot to the floor and it won’t go faster, who’s going to let off and lose what little speed they have ?
    Certainly some of the laws regarding coaches was brought about by people driving school minibuses and killing people in the process, I’m referring to teachers working a day in school and driving into the night and falling asleep. We do the best we can with the rules we have to put up with.
    Speed limiters are actually dangerous, the only way out of a situation-ALWAYS caused by some berk in a car is to brake.
    The thing is, the car driver ALWAYS blames the largest vehicle in the vicinity for whatever happens, but usually it’s the car driver who is at fault.
    Open question; Why is it that when there is a coach/truck following a line of traffic, the car behind the coach/truck HAS to pass ? they usually cut in front and don’t seem to realise that, A they’ve got nowhere, and B, they’re running a sizable risk of getting 16-44 tonnes up their stupid, impatient ass. And WHY must car drivers get past the truck/coach before braking and veering off the carriageway within 50yds of the exit? THIS is another cause of sharp braking that causes bunching further back.
    Sorry, but most car drivers are utter morons with no clue whatsoever about the consequences of their appalling driving and total disregard for others.

  78. By the way, 100% of goods are moved by road at some point. People seem to forget that much of the country has no rail service at all. Refer to DR Beeching.

  79. @84,I dont think i can disagree with anything you said,another thing drivers i speak to sometimes is the pressure their transport manager put them under in terms of hours driven etc,and it is widesprad,soits nouse saying ‘oh well refuse then’ when you are a agency driver and need the bread.Thankfully i know of one firm that has none of it,you could be 30 miles from depot and he will insist you doss down for the night.

    HGV drivers are in the main professionals,they did not legislate the 56 mph limit and why the stress on motorways?
    Plan well ahead, keep ‘phones,lipstick and all the other nonsense it the glovebox and concentrate and keep refreshed-good advice to ALL drivers.

    I have no problems with HGV on our motorway network or distribution hubs. What does irk me is the congestion they create at Tesco express and similar inconvenience stores when reversing into a converted pub carparks that takes ten minutes in and the same out.

    On the whole,as i have stated previously its six of one half a dozen of the other,nobody owns the road unless you are 5’6″ and drive an X5.

  80. @84, 85, 86. You get my vote. As for Jeremy, George Orwell might have been proud with what your doing, but as I understand it , nobody likes being spied on. I pray for your own sake that the people you are reporting on don’t catch you doing it. It could turn ugly.

  81. @86, francis brett,

    Agree re Tesco Express. Here in Gloucester just down the road from me (and within about 400 metres of another Tesco Express) is a newly built small Tesco, with flats over.

    There are nowhere near enough parking spaces, and chaos is caused when people park on the road itself- especially as their vehicles obstruct the vision of cars trying to pull out of the few spaces there are. I’ve never seen a delivery take place but I can’t omagine any truck being able to access that car park without entirely obstructing anyone who’s parked there, as well as the flat dweller’s parking area.

    Similarly in town, Tesco Metro delivery drivers have to obstruct the taxi rank next to the bus station, as well as the Furniture Recyling Project where I am about to start voluntary work. All I can suggest is that their legal department is very proficient in getting planning permission for stores that should never have been opened.

  82. @88, And they have a huge land bank.Its not just the credit crunch and online sales that has killed the high street its these places,aparantly there is only one post code left that Tesco has not sullied!

  83. @89, francis brett,

    Indeed. Trouble is, like most people who moan about Tesco, I shop there! Actually the main reason is poor stock management from Tesco, meaning that very often you can fill two carrier bags worth of ‘about to expire’ stuff for pennies- fruit and veg that actually needs several more days to achieve full ripeness!

  84. @87

    That almost sounds like a threat.

    I have a large dog, so forgive me for not quaking in my boots.

    I am a capitalist not a communist, so George Orwell is not my cup of tea.

    It would be lovely, If the coppers start picking on waggons whom insist on breaking the 50 limits on dual carriageways….after hearing your veiling threats….I think a letter may well be printed tonight.

    For the record, I clearly don’t own the road, as I am not 5ft6, and I don’t drive an X5…Japanese any day of the week

  85. I’m not threatening you Jeremy. For the record I live nowhere the A14. I don’t agree with what you say or what you are proposing to do but I also don’t agree you should end up in hospital or worse for thinking the way you do. I am actually concerned that your actions will cause a number of people whom you cost their jobs to take matters into their own hands.

  86. I have to set speed limiters on some of our fleet,its no fun hitting the 62 mph brick wall when you may need power and speed to get out of a situation rather than brakes,as i have experienced once or twice,that brick wall applies downhill as well, i dont see many HGV drivers applying lippy at the wheel (perhaps only weekends) but what i see is many car and van drivers being tools,especially van drivers of the cavity wall insulation firms-5 tonnes of gear in the back of sprinter lutons doing upwards of 85 mph,overloaded and driven by people that only care about thier bonus,its too simplistic to blame truck drivers because of a percieved inconvenience to ones journey,if you are cutting it fine and you are running late its not the HGV drivers fault-he has is own responsibilities.
    I work in Horwich and its a 21 mile, two motorway 20 minute breeze of a drive at 6am,at 6.40 its a car park, i have never been late for work and im happy to get ‘undertime for an early start.

  87. “Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or other characteristics.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. described bigotry in the following quotation: “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.”


    So, it’s not me who said this, it’s a copy from Wikipedia, and a reference.

    I on the other hand; I simply treat ‘all the others’ as idiots. And that’s works well for me.
    Mind you I’m not SAYING of believing that they are, I just treat AS IF they are, expect anything and give “them” all the room they want, if so needed.
    Yes, there is an occasional fit, but those are really exceptions in a 30k+ miles motoring year.

    On the other hand; when I have the chance, I drive too fast.
    I admit; because I like driving and driving fast.
    Keeps me from dozing off. Let’s just say that.

    But no tailgating, undertaking, pointing and shouting, no stress; the sun shines.
    It’s not taking away my precious time anyway, because I probably take a detour again through the twisties somewhere. Just for the fun of it.
    But yes; I get the occasional ‘finger’ or ‘wanker’ gestures, but that’s ok. I deserved it. Let me just get out of the way then, as far as possible in front, preferably. Bye!

    WHEN I get pulled over by -or get a ticket through Pat from- the police, I do not complain with large arm-movements and blame the “others” for what and why I did what I did, I take it as a man pay up.
    I might grumble a bit, maybe.
    To myself.
    Because I didn’t see them.

    If you do this well, you could have, just as me, have a stress- and accident-free two decennia.
    And with only ONE speeding-ticket. A good one, but still only one.
    And a point…

    How’s that for a reaction? 😉

  88. @86. Why are you moaning about HGV drivers taking a long time to get in to small stores in towns such as Tesco Express and their ilk?
    What fault is it of the driver for heaven’s sake !? did he build the place? did he build the road it’s on? he has to do his best with other people’s usually ill thought out creations.
    Mind you, I get the same stupid comments from motorists when I do the school run, “you shouldn’t be bringing that thing down these small roads” do they think we go out in the morning and randomly drive around looking for unsuitable roads to clog up? they’d soon whine to the council if they refused to lay on a free coach to get their little monsters to school. Morons as I said earlier.

  89. @96,Who lit the fuse on your tampon? cool your jets mary-ann. A unit and trailer have no business reversing down a narrow side street at 9 am or 2 pm blocking a major route,why not fill a few 4 metre spinters or a 7 1/5 tonner at 5am?

    Imcurious,do you

    (a)fall into the 250kg and over bracket?
    (b)Drive a BMW or 4×4?
    (c) wear a big baseball cap and leather the missus?

  90. @97 Hahahahaha. An unnecessarily aggressive reply I think, I didn’t address you like a **** so don’t adrees me like a ****, Oh and none of the above. Do I have to explain the simple economics that is the reason one artic goes out to several stores rather than a fleet of small vans ? or how many vehicles they would need to deliver to each store at a time convenient to you ? ie 5am? Apart from anything else, your pot noodles would be £5 a go.
    If you’re going to argue, hold up your end of it.

  91. @98, im happy to argue all week long, first off you assert i make similar “stupid comments” to the ones in your post.
    In my thread i fall on the side of the HGV driver-them being professional and all.

    I dont like “convenience” stores popping up when a boozer shuts down,they are a complete pain in the arse causing congestion by cars,vans and trucks. Im speaking from my point of view,in the area i live- that being my enviroment i would like the places shut down and pissed off to some industrial park where they belong they dont do anyone any favours like they have you believe they just put decent grocers in our village out of business.

    Corporate greed and bent planners.

  92. @99
    Sadly, the “professional” HGV arctic boys are few and far between.
    Too many of them bully other car users…the A14 is my pet hate.
    They ignore the 50mph speed limit, and jump lane as they insist on almost touching the waggon in front.
    I got a free app on my phone, that videos with a GPS speed on…I get cut up, their MD has a call.
    I think the 62 MPH limit should be reduced to 50…less diesel…less congestion…less emmissions.
    If the waggons don’t like it…many other jobs for them

  93. @100. What 62 limit is that then? get your facts right.
    Hmm, 50mph limit for lorries eh ? people only quote the less side of it don’t they, to try to justify their ill thought out argument. 50mph also equals MORE time spent on the motorway, tighter scheduling, more risk of accidents, more queues behind lorries overtaking and climbing hills even slower than they do now.
    Many other jobs for disgruntled drivers are there ? where exactly? have you looked at the job market recently? and once again I say, EVERYTHING has to me moved by road at some point, so unless you’re going to go all “Good Life” you need them to deliver your provisions.
    @99, whatever your gripe, be consistent in who you’re moaning about, if Tesco build a store in a hard to get to location with the help of a bent planner, moan at them, it’s not the driver’s fault.

  94. Surprised by the animosity towards lorry drivers here. I live alongside the A14 and use it regularly, too – and would say although we do have ‘elephant racing’, and lots of it, it’s only part of this dual carriageway’s problems.

    Personally speaking, you have so many other issues on this road – and generally in the UK:

    1) Belligerant business drivers in their A4/3-Series/C-Class who don’t leave enough braking distance, cause bunching and snagging
    2) Dozy mini-MPV drivers who don’t know how to demist, signal or accelerate when overtaking
    3) People who brake to 55mph for speed cameras on 70mph sections
    4) Bunching due to not looking ahead and leaving escape room
    5) Not using on- and off-ramps/slip roads properly
    6) Not using lights correctly
    7) Forgettting the ‘keep left unless overtaking’ rule
    8) Inability to judge speeds depending on weather
    9) Inability to hold speeds on upward inclines
    10) Inability to hold speeds on downwards sections.

    I could go on…

    Basically, and it’s anecdotal of course, from my perspective as a high mileage driver that uses lots of different cars, for every one truck driver induced issue, there are dozens of car drivers who cock up. In my humble opinion, I just think standards here aren’t high enough, and far too many people take their licence for granted, and don’t take enough care with their own driving – you should take pride in it, and seek to improve on every journey.

    I’m very much in favour of 10-year driving test re-takes for this very reason. It won’t happen, though, despite creating lots of jobs.

    And finally, in badge-conscious car-snobby UK, how you get treated on the roads VERY MUCH depends on what you drive.

    • And finally, in badge-conscious car-snobby UK, how you get treated on the roads VERY MUCH depends on what you drive.

      If my journey last week was anything to go by – that is very much true. It is downright funny (yes indeed, very much so) to see drivers of typical company cars keep distance behind a Mercedes S-class (regardless how slow I drive) compared to last years trip in a Rover 827… But this has happened here in Germany too, but less noticeable.

      All in all, I find my travels in the UK quite nice, but most of the time I drive a classic car (which does not mean to potter around at 50mph all the time) – and this is an occasion where you get treated better by other road users, as you do in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France. Possibly raising a smile in the face of stressed fellow motorists does this – I don’t know, but it helps.

  95. Keith,

    Your the boss of this site…but I speak as I see…as a high mileage (used to be very high) driver.

    Driving in France is such a pleasure.

    I often see flavours of the non HGV motorists out there, but they cause less hassle than the waggon boys.

    In the UK, the larger and uglier your car the less you get cut up…they don’t get much uglier than my beast 🙂

  96. True, but France has five times the land mass of the UK, with its population evenly spread. It also has a barely used toll network of autoroutes. Germany is a much more valid comparison. Driving standards are higher there and they have days where trucks are banned from the motorways, but still there are similar issues at commuting times.

    Bottom line – we’re in a small, crowded Island, with population concentrated in a small area of it. We all need to learn to drive more skilfully and cooperatively. And until we can, the situation will deteriorate. Unless of course we’re all priced out of making non-essential journeys – not my favoured scenario.

  97. Truth is..there is a lot of traffic on he road that could be removed tomorrow.
    How many people drive to work, sit at a desk with a computer and a phone on it, spend most of the day using one or other of those two devices and then go home. These people could do much the same without leaving home at all.. this should be encouraged!

  98. @ 104, Keith, O often visit Germany, Nurneberg/Munich and driving is interesting, mainly as I am not used to going that fast!. 90 maybe 100 is quick enough for me…

    The roads are better than ours, people drive better, and the waggons are better behaved…. Germany..if you are overtaking a waggon and you flash your lights, that means “keep out of my way coming through”

    Its not just the south east of the UK that has problems, the NE/Manchester/Birmingham/Bristol….its chaos on a daily basis…

    Maybe @105 has a point…or force waggons off the road in peak times and force them to use the empty roads at night…

  99. @101, I was just on the throne thrutching a greasy one one as i was reading your post Dom-Dom, i have been consistant throughout my posts,that is erring on the side of the professional HGV driver,(its not Hansard,just scroll your mouse) even after today when i was near junction 22 Rippon turn off and at least half a dozen artics are a metre off one anothers trailer doors or even venturing into the fourth lane-presumeably because they pulled the instruments/limiter fuse,which MD cares as long as the job is done?

    I dont want HGV’s blocking roads carte blanche any more than i want Gary Glitter walking through a primary school with a stiffy. That the third time i have stated the fact so is that consistant enough?

  100. @101…you are so funny…

    Keith, my Scooby “only” does 120…and frankly its built for comfort not speed…and my brother (New M5) is not stupid enough to loan me his car 🙂

  101. How would you rate the Boxer diesel kieth,say compared to a six cylinder diesel and the like?

  102. Keith,

    I was running late for a trip to France, on a certain train…being very naughty.

    140….well….I will have another go later this year as I am doing a Holland/Switzerland/Germany/france trip.

    It got to 120 easily…BUT, I had a ton as in 1000kg of freight.


    My Scooby is one of the best cars I have ever owned. I have used it off road, on road, it does all really well.

    The engine is different, it likes to rev and makes a nice noise….not as refined as a 6 pot diesel, but not clattery and rough (once warmed)

    It does like the expensive diesel…and we get 43+ to the gallon.

    Simply a nice car.

    Once its in 3rd and upwards it flies….:-)

    no vibration inside at all…

    The stealers are good too

  103. @ 102

    “I just think standards here aren’t high enough, and far too many people take their licence for granted, and don’t take enough care with their own driving – you should take pride in it, and seek to improve on every journey.”

    Here, here.

  104. “And finally, in badge-conscious car-snobby UK, how you get treated on the roads VERY MUCH depends on what you drive.”

    With the Honda facing a seemingly uneconomical repair, I’ve been swanning around in a Hyundai Getz, and I’ve never seen so much ignorant, arrogant tailgating and blatant pulling out of junctions.

    Perhaps they think that I’m a 40mph dawdler.

  105. @ Will M,

    Mate get a large 4×4…..people keep out of your way….I like the drive of a small nippy car, but hate the way you get treated…

  106. Even better is a scruffy old range rover, with a few off road battle scars visisble, it’s like the parting of the red sea then!

  107. @Jeremy

    It’d need to be something like Ford Prefect’s old Rangie, or an old Hilux/L200. Even at that, something like a Q7 is ridiculously big even compared to most 4x4s.

    I don’t want people to get out of my way, I just don’t need tailgaters (in a variety of cars, from 3 serieses to Astras) inspecting my badly painted bootlid while I’m stuck in the lane behind yet another dawdling MPV.

    I’m not really a fan of SUV / crossovers though, especially as they have usurped the tradition D segment saloon.
    In terms of aesthetics, the rear of an X5 or 3008 to me just looks bulbous – reminds me of a character from Viz’s ‘The Fat Slags’ compared to the elegant proportions of something like an XF.

    Last time I drove a couple of SUVs – a Nissan Terrano and a Navara, I didn’t like the experience. It felt too disconnected from the road, and while the van-like ‘sit up high above the peasants’ gives you good visibility, I also felt like I could run over somebody and not even know.

    I also get the impression that some people buy executive SUVs to ‘move people out of the way’ on the road….

    A cruise ship has greater visibility than a dinghy, but I know which I’d rather paddle up a river in.

  108. It nice to see, that still nobody has blamed themselves and that all road problems are always the “other” motorist’s fault.
    Think of this; if everybody states that their driving ability is above average, that makes their driving style the (new) average. And the average driving ability (“them” in the title “Make THEM cry”) is precisely what this discussion is about.
    Long – short: dare I say, the majority of this discussion-group is complaining about itself?

  109. @ Will M,

    Although, it must be said a merc sprinter is always the fastest vehicle…and no one messes with the van man.


    Im not perfect…I am human…but I still reiterate the arctic boys are the root cause of most of the chaos…they bully other road users.

    It was lovely to see the coppers on the A14 in unmarked cars giving them hell this last week…thumbs up

  110. @114. Classic motoring could be the answer, I drive a classic SAAB (not a BMW as Francis suggested in his derogatory summary of my character earlier-though I now know HE drives one ! strange that)anyway, I rarely ever have any problems getting let out, being cut up, tail gated etc, but do get approving/admiring looks and comments, friendly wave ons and the like..
    Basically, everyone needs to make driving their no1 priority when at the wheel, not 3rd or 4th as some seem to, read the situation, instinctively know what to do and take the appropriate action swiftly.
    I have been criticized by passengers for not talking to them when I’m driving, on the mike commentary or just chat to the person behind for instance. Fact is, I’m a bit tied up with what I’m doing-apart from the fact it’s illegal. I drive a huge mileage, have done for many years and without an incident worthy of comment, mainly down to 100% concentration on the surrounding traffic. There’s always someone who will manage to cock it all up for you in the end but if we all do the best we can we have a chance of getting home alive.
    Going back to what you drive affecting others behavior, I recall back in about 1989 I had a white Rover SD1, I think we all remember doing a double take while lifting off the gas when one filled our rear view mirror.. 🙂

  111. @122, I was just picking the dog turds up while reading your post Dim Dom and i will clarify that i dont drive the E30 i merely own one like a few other cars that will soon be filleted down for space, im almost lacrymose with joy that you are a safe driver and i hope you continue this trend.

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