I agree with Tom’s comments about Fenland motorists. Filming bad driving could save someone’s life
I WAS pleased to read about Fenland roads in last week’s ‘Voice of the Fens’.
I totally agree with Tom’s comments about the standard of driving in this area and have been longing to offload my thoughts so now is the time.
We recently moved from outer London to Whittlesey permanently last October. We had lived there for 39 years and we were used to the driving conditions there.
We found most drivers to be courteous, well mannered and good drivers. Of course there was always the odd one or two that were not so, like anything else.
Also in that area are a lot of natural road calmers, like heavy traffic, many crossroads, traffic lights, roundabouts, mini-roundabouts, pelican and zebra crossings etc.
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However, when we moved here (I say permanently because we had been travelling regularly to Ramsey Mereside to see our son and family since 2003) we were soon to be shocked at the standard of driving we experienced, plus the lack of road manners and courtesy plus the incessant excess speeding and overtaking which amounts to plain dangerous driving.
We live in a dead end road which is narrow and twisty and has several roads going off.
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Only last week a young woman came, like a bat out of hell, driving out of one of these roads as we were passing, without even stopping to look and she only just missed us by a hair’s breadth. We stopped to say something but she was gone without a second glance.
We now take ultimate care along this road, as we do elsewhere I may add.
We have noted, as you say, if you are doing the speed limit, most of the drivers get irritated very quickly and drive close behind, breaking and accelerating all the time.
The only way we can deal with this is to slow right down which either allows them to pass or to get the message and back off. Most back off and start behaving, but the odd one or two, well... I needn’t say and more.
It appears to us incomers that there are several reasons for this type of driving.
Firstly it is the huge amount of long straight roads which are so ideal for having a ‘burn up’.
Secondly, you have to travel so much further up here to get anywhere, e.g. shops, schools, clubs etc hence the rush for busy young people.
Shopping for us here is an excursion, whilst in London everything was no more than two or three miles away. So we personally are spending much more time ‘on the road’ so to speak than we ever did and doing a lot more mileage at the same time.
For example, our son is now nine miles away, door to door. This journey only takes us about 15 minutes. In London doing the same journey you would be looking at 30-45 minutes minimum depending on traffic conditions.
Thirdly there is a lack of natural or man-made traffic calmers. Traffic is usually very light to what we were used to and roundabouts, lights etc are non existent on the country roads understandably.
Also, perhaps the drivers themselves haven’t been taught road manners in the way that we were in London.
It would do them good to be taken to Hyde Park Corner and to approach that and go round it several times. It would soon teach them how to filter, progress and continue without getting exasperated and thinking it is only they that have the right to be on the road.
So what’s to be done?
It’s rather like the seatbelt syndrome back in the 60s. Nobody would wear them until the amount of deaths and constant cajoling by Jimmy Saville’s advertisements finally got the message through. And still some people do not wear them to this day!!!
It is all down to the drivers themselves. I think we need more graphic advertisements, plus ‘spies’ that can record the behaviour of those concerned.
Yes, I think you should film your journeys and expose them on YouTube. Maybe, just maybe, you may just help to save someone’s life.
But it’s all going to take a long long time I think.