Traffic lights are now 150 years old. Is it time to unplug them? Are you sitting uncomfortably? In an endless queue for your local traffic lights? Lights that seem to multiply in numbers weekly? Good. Here’s a fairy tale that will brighten your dreary day. Once upon a time in Wales, a set of lovely brand new traffic signals were installed by those clever wizards in the traffic engineering department at a tip-top cost of £800,000. However, instead of thanking the council for their kindness… Read More »Traffic Triffids
The Psychopathology of Everyday Driving by Mark Simpson Do you fantasise about roadside executions when someone fails to indicate? Find yourself talking back sarcastically to motorway dot matrix signs talking down to you in HUGE LETTERS? Abandon all hope for humanity whenever you visit the Hobbesian horror of your supermarket car park? Hate cyclists when you’re driving – and motorists when you’re cycling? Are you surprised and hurt when your wise advice and running commentary on your friend/partner’s driving isn’t gratefully received? If so, then Mark… Read More »Driven Dotty
By Mark Simpson Personalised number plates are the pits. The egotism of them! The silliness of them! The waste of them! The motoring equivalent of a sovereign necklace, their only value is warning everyone that the driver ahead is a BI6 DCK. Or so I used to think. And I suspect many of you may have done so too. Personalised plates or ‘vanity plates’ as they are sometimes called are booming. According to the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency almost 350,000 registrations were sold over… Read More »VAIN 1 – In Praise of Personalised Plates
By Mark Simpson You’re stuck behind a MG Rover that is going a little slower than you would like. It’s driven by someone with white hair, glasses, and perhaps a hat and driving gloves. They are taking their time at junctions and traffic lights while peering over the steering wheel like that ‘Kilroy Was Here’ Second World War graffiti that they are probably old enough to have drawn themselves. Suddenly the idea of bringing in compulsory re-testing of drivers who are over 70 becomes very… Read More »Older Drivers: One Foot in the Grave – The Other On The Brake
Mark Simpson on how hard shoulders are being given… the hard shoulder Hard shoulders don’t sound very inviting – and often look very unloved and untidy. But you may miss them when they’ve gone. The Transport Secretary just announced that 32 miles of hard shoulder will be axed from the M4 between Hayes and Theale as part of an ‘upgrade’ that converts the hard-shoulder to a fourth lane. Earlier this year, another twenty miles of hard shoulder disappeared from our motorway network as the latest stretch… Read More »Smartening Up – Or Dumbing Down?