A Driving Instructor's Blog


This time of year you get some real idiots on the roads. I’m not talking about boy racers, but middle-aged plus fossils who simply don’t know how to drive. To make matters worse, they usually have big 4x4s specifically to advertise how much money they’ve been able to borrow in order to get it. If only they’d spend some money on refresher lessons.

A good example came just now. I was doing a merge in turn just after a set of lights, and so as not to cut anyone up I was dropping back to merge behind a grey 4×4 in the lane next to me (registration number: FN15 CDK). In actual fact, this would have meant I was giving up my “turn” in front of the 4×4, who had accelerated away just fast enough to show that he was going to “fight” over the issue. At no point did the front of my car extend further forward than his rear bumper while this was happening, so it was obvious I was not in any way trying to get past him. I was freewheeling at about 15-20mph – no gas whatsoever – so he could make progress into the gap. The problem then was that just as the road narrowed the f***ing idiot slowed right down, forcing me to brake quite sharply as I found myself alongside him. He had no reason to do this – the cars in front had accelerated away, and there was a gap.

This, of course, gave him the opportunity to shake his head and explain to the woman sitting in the passenger seat next to him how great he was and also, no doubt, to utter the immortal phrase “[insert adjective] learners”.

He was a silver-hair, and these are among the worst drivers on our roads – irrespective of how many accidents they have. A minor accident was only avoided in this case by me taking evasive action. I have no idea what was going through his fossilised brain cells. He didn’t want me to get past him, that was clear. But having “won” he then proceeded to slow down unnecessarily. Quite possibly just to “make a point”.

Drivers – and especially older ones, who have difficulty in the brain department – need to understand the concept of “merge in turn”. When a road splits into two lanes at traffic lights, it is not a mandate for you to block both lanes or attempt to prevent anyone overtaking you at any cost (it’s actually illegal for you to do that). Nor is it a mandate to sit in the right hand lane and then pull away slower than everyone else (technically, that’s illegal these days, too). Yes, your aged grey matter is probably already thinking fixedly about boy racers going faster than you, but although they are also wrong if they break the speed limit or drive discourteously or dangerously, the simple fact that they’re younger than you and drive faster (both of which are liable to put you off your Horlicks) is not reason enough for you to get involved.

And if you can’t understand that, hand over your licence before you kill someone.


Someone found the blog on the search term “are blacked out windows ok for driving instructors?” I think the terminology used speaks volumes, but let’s look at the Law.

The official government policy states:

Vehicles first used on 1 April 1985 or later

The front windscreen must let at least 75% of light through and the front side windows must let at least 70% of light through.

Vehicles first used before 1 April 1985

The front windscreen and front side windows must both let at least 70% of light through.

You will note that there isn’t that much difference between the two parts of the Law. But there’s even less flexibility when it comes to actually doing it. One window tinting company states:

Most modern car windows are made of glass with a 80-70% VLT [visible light transmission], so even a very light film applied to the front windows will take the VLT the wrong side of 70% and therefore will not be legal.

In other words, “blacked out” front windows are illegal, and even attempting to tint existing windows so they look darker is pretty much guaranteed to make them illegal, too.

Rear windows (side and back) are not included in the legislation so they can be as “blacked out” as you like. Of course, everyone knows that a car with almost opaque rear windows and normal front ones looks stupid, which is probably why people ask questions like this.

The government website also points out:

The police or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) vehicle examiners use light measuring equipment to measure window tint.

If your windscreen or front side windows are tinted too much you could get:

  • a ‘prohibition notice’ stopping you using your vehicle on the road until you have the extra tint removed
  • a penalty notice or court summons

As you can imagine, companies who provide window tinting are anxious to explain this in much greater detail. The same tinting company linked to above says:

An instrumented check is performed by a suitably trained officer with a ‘TintMan’ VLT meter. These checks are normally from Vosa roadside campaigns.

65%-46% VLT: Advise only – The driver will be advised that the legal requirements have been breached.

45%-30% VLT: Delayed prohibition – The driver will be given a prohibition notice and will usually have 10 days to have the film removed before going to a vosa testing station to have the VLT re-checked.

<30% VLT: Immediate prohibition – The vehicle is considered dangerous and cannot be driven until the film is removed.

However, another company is less willing to identify apparent loopholes. It says:

The Window tinting Regulation was amended from 1st January 2004 which now clearly rules out any tinted films being applied to driver windows (Front doors).

What they are saying is what I said above – that windows already have 70-80% VLT, so any further tinting sends them out of range.

Many instructors use cars which have tinted rear windows. They are not a problem on test, though I would imagine that if someone had been stupid enough to tint them so much that you couldn’t see out of them properly, the examiner might decide that they were a problem. And that says nothing of the disservice such an instructor would be doing their pupils by teaching them in a dangerously modified vehicle.

But any tinting of the front windows is likely to get you a cancelled test, a wonderful reputation, points on your licence, and perhaps a shiny new Job Seekers Allowance claim form if you get thrown off the register of approved instructors.


Please note that there is a petition open for signing over at Change.org. I’m going to put a separate article up to emphasise this. And thanks to blog reader “Sam” who brought all of this to my attention.

Regular readers will know that I have no sympathy for older drivers who end up killing or maiming people as a direct result of their age and deteriorating physical capabilities. Only last week I wrote about a 98-year old who was complaining that his insurance premium had gone up as a result of his age, and in that article I mentioned how a few weeks before that an 87-year old had got himself on to the M1 on the wrong carriageway near Nottingham and killed both himself and the passenger of another vehicle after he collided head on with them.Desreen Brooks and her son Jackson

A few days later I wrote about an 82-year old woman who had gone missing in fog and instead of completing a 4 mile journey in perhaps 15 minutes, had been discovered by police 6 hours later 50 miles away, having taken a a route that utilised several very busy (and foggy) motorways. Thank God that she was recaptured before she could hurt anyone.

But this story had gone under my radar. It happened in 2012 and involved a young mother being killed when an 83-year old drove into her as she pushed her two-year old son in his pushchair. Another pedestrian was also left with permanent brain damage and the loss of sight in one eye.

That was 2012, remember. There is then a huge gap of more than 2 years until the next update appears anywhere. Geoffrey Lederman, the 83-year old in question, along with his lawyers had apparently been delaying the case going to court, trying to get it thrown out based on his “anxiety” and “stress”. However, once it got there it was the usual tale of an older driver in an automatic car getting confused about the brake and gas pedals, hitting the wrong one, and not having the capabilities to switch to the correct one instead. Lederman failed to see NINE pedestrians on the pavement as he mounted it at an average speed of 54mph (this was in a 30mph zone in West Hampstead, London). It also became clear that Lederman had defective eyesight and had previously suffered a stroke. The report I have linked to here also notes that:

Moments before the crash he had stopped to check his car after ‘nudging’ a pizza delivery man before carrying on his way, the court heard.

Mr Kark [prosecutor] said: ‘He said he lost control soon after that, within seconds he seemed to be on the wrong side of the road going at almost racing car speed.

‘He was tugging on the handbrake with no effect.’

In the minutes before the crash Lederman’s Mercedes was seen revving loudly for up to ten seconds as it sat stationary outside West Hampstead Underground Station.

So, he’d actually hit someone only minutes earlier and had been revving for some reason just prior to that!

There was no mechanical fault with the car, and investigators found that Lederman had mistakenly kept his foot on the gas pedal thinking it was the brake before driving off and causing this.

Mr Kark said: ‘It may be that when Geoffrey Lederman engaged the drive gear when he believed he was pressing the brake or hadn’t realised the car had slipped into neutral.’

At this point in time (2014), Lederman was expected to claim that he’d had some sort of seizure.

In December 2014, Lederman was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was also banned from driving for life. It’s worth pointing out that Lederman will probably be out of jail by now, though Mrs Brooks is still dead, and her son still has no mother. You have to read different versions of this latest story to piece together a true picture of what Lederman has put Mr Brooks-Dutton (Desreen’s husband) and Jackson through.

Lederman had been to a 7-hour bridge tournament and was driving home in the dark (it was a Saturday evening in early November). His defence team did indeed try to get the case thrown out on the grounds that Lederman had suffered “an episode” and could not be accountable for his actions. When that appeal failed, two doctors testified that it was “unfair” to try an old man who was now suffering mental health problems as a result of the accident.Fortunately, the judge was having none of it, and he accused the defence team of “holding a gun to the court’s head”. There is no mention of whether the two “doctors” were struck off – they damned well should have been.

Lederman has shown no signs of remorse at any time during proceedings (which have lasted more than two years).

Dr Jonathan Beckett, an expert in old age psychiatry at the private Nightingale Hospital in Marylebone, told the court that Mr Lederman’s mental health had deteriorated rapidly in the run-up to the trial and he had become very anxious.

He said: “He is also a very proud man who has led an unblemished life. He has a very strong moral code. The fact that he would be here in the court being tried in this way… he would have to view himself as a liar.”

Tom Kark QC, prosecuting, said during the appeal: “He is apparently able to conduct his life relatively normally… The court cannot be blackmailed into not trying serious crimes.”

Judge Clarke said: “Do you think that his concern about the destruction [of his reputation] is even greater than his concern that he has caused someone’s death? Does he not regard himself as having any duty towards the next of kin of the woman [Desreen Brooks]?

If ever anything bad happens to me, I want Tom Kark on my side.

Please sign the petition over at Change.org to lobby for compulsory retesting of drivers when they reach 70. I’m dubbing it “Desreen’s Law”, along the lines of “Cassie’s Law” (Cassie McCord was 16 when she was killed by an 87-year old). That petition was successful – let’s hope this one is, too.

It needs a loud voice from the public. Remember that these aged time bombs constitute a significant proportion of the voting population and their political allegiances would, I suggest, make this current government somewhat reluctant to upset them in any way. But the government cannot ignore the majority if that majority is large enough.


Please note that all my “Darwin Awards” posts are my own take on situations and have no connection with any real award. I just like the term, as it describes people who are idiots very appropriately.

Sometimes, your faith in British justice gets a shot in the arm. This story is a good example of just such a shot.Speedo reading 192mph

It helps if you understand just how fast 192mph really is, because then you start to realise just what sort of value Shaun Davis (and his 23-year old daughter, Jordan) put on anyone’s lives except their own.

At such a speed, Davis would have been travelling more than 3 miles every minute. To put that into figures that the average reader might comprehend, he would be travelling more than 85 metres every second – or about 20 car lengths. If he’d have had to stop, even under ideal conditions it would have taken him about 620 metres (around 140 car lengths).

If you’re still not clear on what this means, 620 metres is more than the length of five football pitches. 

However, the distances involved are academic, since initiating an emergency stop at that speed would most likely have resulted in a catastrophic accident. It is simply too far outside the range of human reaction times, and the capabilities of vehicle parts (i.e. tyres on roads). Recording it on a handheld device would make it a hundred times worse.

Shaun Davis appears to be one of those people you’d have reservations about if he moved in next door. It appears that every inch of his body below the neck line is tattooed, and he has a penchant for fast cars. It was that penchant for speed that proved his undoing. You see, Davis – who was the kind of person to get arrested on an unrelated matter – had videoed himself driving at very high speed in several fast cars using his smartphone. Whatever the other reason was for his arrest, it was deemed serious enough for police to examine his phone, and it was then that the videos came to light.

In the video footage, Jordan Davis (his daughter) can be heard egging him on, and for that she earns herself a nomination for the Chav Category of the 2015 Darwin Awards.

Davis, who apparently showed no remorse and who denied all charges, was jailed for 28 months, banned from driving for 10 years, and ordered to take an extended re-test. His daughter, who he had obviously brought up to be just as soulless, and for whom the fact that she was even accused of anything let alone found guilty must have come as a major surprise, was banned for 2 years and given an 18-month conditional discharge.

I’m sure that the Davises will find this assessment harsh, because it’s a sad indictment on our society that a great many people who break Laws often aren’t even aware that those Laws exist. Even more worrying, though, is that they often don’t care. So we can only hope that this is seen as a wake-up call and not something to be proud of.


To add to the gridlock caused by road works – arranged by Nottingham’s incompetent council – an incompetent motorist decided to increase congestion today by “[becoming] wedged on the [tram] tracks” on Lenton Lane. You can’t beat a good euphemism.Car wedged on tram line 

I have yet to find a version of the story which makes it clear that the retard who was driving had entered a tram-only area and had actually fallen into the track cut out. The phrase “became wedged” doesn’t tell the half of it.

Whoever it was should be banned for life. If you’re stupid enough to do something like this, God only knows what else you’d be capable of if you were allowed to carry on driving.


I mentioned a little while ago that Nottingham has become a horrible place to live in. It’s filthy, full of road works and trams, and has 20mph speed limits liberally and randomly distributed throughout. No one cleans up litter or fly-tipping properly. Buildings are ugly (they consistently demolish any that have character in favour of hideous “modern” constructions.

Maid Marian Way has won awards for being so ugly

No one maintains the facades of city centre buildings, in spite of most having been been stupidly painted white or built with more glass than brick. Maid Marian Way – which has won awards for being hideous since the 60s – gets uglier with each new glass-fronted monstrosity they put there. They cut down trees and shrubs on roadsides simply so they don’t have to prune them. They ignore the public, preferring instead to build wind turbines, solar farms, housing estates, and recycling plants on green belt land, even after “public consultations” has shown mass opposition to their schemes. There is no warmth to any of their actions.

Well, this is now semi-official. Nottingham comes 8th in the top ten list of council areas having the most deprived neighbourhoods within their boundaries (where “deprivation” is indexed in terms of crime, health, and employment). Yes, I realise it isn’t a direct statement of what I’ve listed above, but I think we can all agree that “deprived areas” are not usually going to be given any design awards. Mind you, one thing that is becoming clear is that such areas are guaranteed to get the tram at some point – the idiots on the council seem to think they’ll turn into model communities by sending in the tram.

Another story which hammers in another nail has just appeared concerning last week’s marathon. Now, I thought I’d made adequate arrangements this year as far as my pupils were concerned. I normally steer well clear of the marathon route, anyway, even if it means taking a long detour, and that’s what I did for my first lesson on Marathon Sunday this year. I arrived about 5 minutes late in Carlton, even though I’d given myself an hour to get there (it would usually take 15 minutes by the normal route). During that lesson it became clear that the marathon route had changed. Furthermore, instead of roads being restricted (i.e. runners and traffic in a contraflow system), they had simply closed them to traffic this time around. By the end of that lesson, traffic trying to get out of the city had increased to the point where it was gridlock. I had to cancel my next lesson in Clifton, and then I got a call from my lesson after that in Top Valley informing me that traffic was at a standstill around her house. That lesson had to be cancelled, too.

What had happened is that there was no north-south route through Nottingham on the west side (i.e. via the ring road), and not access to that side through the city. As a result, everyone was having to head northwards to find a route around the blockade (I later discovered that it was the same on the west side, with people trying to go north having to detour elsewhere).

I often refer to the council as idiots. That word is simply too tame. They are complete wankers.

Quite a while ago in one of my tram articles I said that anyone who was in an ambulance (or who was waiting for one to arrive), and it was delayed because of the tram works, should consider suing the council for criminal incompetence. Well, the same goes for the fiasco during last week’s marathon. That BBC article illustrates why very clearly.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) is Nottingham’s main hospital. You can think of it as being a large square building, with each side bordering on to  one of Derby Road, Abbey Street, Gregory Street, and the A52. Well, it turns out that the first three of those roads were closed completely to motor vehicles, and since two of them cross the A52 (the ring road at that point) –  where everyone was trying to figure out how to bypass the closures that they knew nothing about when they set out that morning – traffic was at a standstill.  The only ways into the QMC for emergency vehicles are off the ring road or one of the closed roads. The closures were, according to the signs, in place from 7am until “approximately” 4pm.

The BBC story relates how ambulance staff had to push a patient almost a mile in a wheelchair to get her to the hospital. A three-mile journey took ”more than an hour”. Race organisers claimed:

…there was a “permanent passage” to the hospital.

Listen, you twats, you cannot say there is a passage when traffic on that passage is gridlocked.

Since the ambulance was non-emergency, the same twats repeatedly exercised the power invested in them by the higher twats on the council and told it it couldn’t pass. The female patient was still in hospital on 1 October – four days after the marathon.

East Midlands Ambulance Service said on a few occasions, during the marathon, it had to use police escorts “to help navigate through the road closures safely”.

Yes, and I bet that in the gridlock that still didn’t improve travel times significantly. But in response, the twats running the marathon stated:

At no point was it radioed in that there were concerns surrounding this patient.

If there had been, they would have made sure she was blue-lighted immediately to the QMC.

We will use the learnings from this year’s race for planning for the future.

So there you have it. The last line simply states what everyone else can see: the marathon organisers screwed up big time, even though they’re trying to blame the ambulance staff!

As a footnote, I drove along a road in the opposite direction to runners (there were some contraflows), and they consisted of a lot of fat people walking and carrying those stupid round drinking bottles that hold about half a litre of fluid (approximately 3 litres less than a real runner should drink). Although I’m sure that they will, you can’t really claim to have “completed a marathon” if it took you over 8 hours and you walked most of it.


Someone found the blog on that precise search term. The arseholes on Nottingham’s City Council have made it very difficult for the average driver with their overdue tram and the resulting speed limit changes.

Within the city ward there is the council’s “blanket 20mph speed limit on urban roads”. Not all urban roads, you understand. No, the morons couldn’t justify making it 20mph on all roads. So you find yourself moving from a 20mph zone, to a 30, then back to a 20 again, all in the space of a few dozen metres. But then you have the boroughs, who haven’t adopted the same policy, and to add to the confusion some areas of those (e.g. West Bridgford, in Rushcliffe Borough) are several miles closer to the city centre than some city areas (e.g. Clifton and Wilford).

Then there is the criminally inaccurate signage. There are still city areas where the original 30mph signs haven’t been taken down, and these stand isolated between the new 20mph signs. Much of the signage is probably illegal or non-enforceable, since it is of the wrong size – the City Council totally underestimated how many signs it would have to erect, and how much that would cost, so as well as the old 30mph signs it couldn’t afford to remove, it also couldn’t afford to replace existing large 20mph signs (where an old 30mph zone changed to 20mph) to smaller ones (now that those 20mph zones are within a larger 20mph zone). This breaches the The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) legislation.

Beeston and Chilwell are not within the city boundary, and speed limits there vary for reasons other than the incompetence and bloody-mindedness of the City’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing. To answer the question used to find the blog, the speed limit on Chilwell High Street (actually, it’s Chilwell Road at the Beeston end and High Road at the Chilwell end) is 30mph along most of it. However, outside the Clown College for a distance of a couple of hundred metres it is 20mph. There are signs, but they are about half way in size between the big ones and the smaller repeaters, and they aren’t easily visible among the tram ironwork littering the place. At the time of writing they do not appear on Google Earth or Google Maps since the imagery on there was taken while tram construction was still incomplete.*


* It’s still incomplete now, but less so than it was then.


I love this story. It seems that from Monday, teachers and parents outside Essex schools will be able to act as traffic wardens with the power to issue tickets. In what must rank as one of the greatest understatements of all time, a teaching union has warned:

…it could create conflict between staff and some parents.

I’ve mentioned this story before, but when I was working on tech support we dealt with calls from all over the country – sometimes, even from outside the UK. I think I can safely say that callers from Essex were generally the most obnoxious and aggressive of the lot. In one particular case, just after we’d had a new phone system installed which didn’t work too well, I answered one particular call with my usual cheery greeting, only to be answered with a tirade of abuse about how long he’d been waiting (a ridiculous 90 minutes). I explained that I understood his frustration and apologised to him, but I explained we had a new call handling system which had a few teething troubles that were outside the control of the support agents. His response was “don’t give me that”, and he went off again in his crass Ilford accent. I just said: “OK. You can wait another 90 minutes” and hung up.Essex - county of class

There’s a pretty good chance this guy – and plenty of others like him – turning up in their Chelsea tractors and parking wherever they damn well like (which is why this is happening in Essex in the first place) will not take that kindly to having their crassness highlighted by others.

Thurrock council has a rose-tinted view of the potential problems:

We have teachers, parents and residents telling us time and again about frighteningly dangerous parking outside schools, but we don’t have the money to have an army of traffic wardens.

There are teachers and head teachers who try to marshal the traffic already and what they’ve said to us is that if they have the authority to issue a ticket, it’s another weapon in their armoury.

I think we will get volunteers because issuing a ticket will be the last resort – it’s about talking and cajoling people to change their behaviour and I would be delighted if we never issue a single ticket.

What planet is this moron from? It’s Essex, with Essex mothers (and fathers) involved. The problem is so widespread that they have teachers, parents, and residents reporting serious parking problems ”time and again”. And he hopes that “talking and cajoling” will avoid the need to issue “a single ticket”? Why doesn’t HE sort it out instead of leaving it to the teachers? It’s his bloody job to handle it.

I wonder if I could get good odds on predicting when the first physical conflict will place?


As I write, it is Friday 4 September. There are delays on the A60 at Ruddington – a combination of gas mains work near the petrol station and the installation of “pedestrian refuges”. Worryingly, there are also yellow signs warning that “work commences here 7 September 2015 for 3 weeks. Delays expected”. These signs are in place along the whole of the A60 from the Nottingham Knight roundabout all the way up to the Business Park south of Ruddington.A typical pedestrian refuge

The existing work has been underway for at least three weeks already, with temporary lights up for most of the day (while they install the central refuges), and all day the last couple of days due to the gas main work. Both sets of work have been planned and carried out by incompetents, and should have been completed much sooner.

Edit: no signs of any works (other than the stuff started 3 weeks ago, which is not being touched and is still unfinished as of 9th September.

There are delays at the Crown Island due to the “ring road improvements” the Council got an EU grant for two years ago, and is desperate to spend before the EU asks for it back. It is not possible to predict precisely where the delays are on any given day, since traffic is sometimes at a standstill back to Nuthall Road heading south, and at other times (like yesterday) standing still as far back as the QMC heading north.

Edit: Tuesday 8th it was down to one lane northbound. Wednesday 9th it is one lane southbound, but with no advance warning until you turn on to the roundabout and hit a wall of cones.

There are delays along Queens Drive due to one lane being closed. Although this is due to the replacement street lighting – and has been going on intermittently for several weeks – it is connected with the tram. If nothing else, the work could easily have been done concurrent with the tram work while the road was restricted. Instead, I suspect they deliberately did it this way so they could officially announce that the tram was “finished” two weeks ago (albeit almost a year late), when they knew full well that it wasn’t.

Signs on Bilborough Road, and on roads in Wollaton and Lenton proclaim that due to the Tour of Britain cycle race those roads will be closed on Friday 11 September between (approximately) 2pm and 4pm. You will note the day – Friday – and the time – rush hour, which starts early on Fridays. You will also note the proximity of these areas to Crown Island, mentioned above.

You couldn’t make this up. But they’re not finished yet.

Signs proclaim that the roads around Silverdale Island will be closed for two weeks from 7 September. You will note the proximity of Silverdale Island to both the Crown Island and Ruddington.Silverdale Island

You will also note the dates – 7 September – which means that everything, including that idiot cycle event, is going to be happening next Friday.

Edit: The incompetence gets worse by the day. They did NOTHING on 7th or during the day on the 8th, meaning pointless alternative routes were taken by myself when trying to access Silverdale. Then, it was chaos Tuesday night. Wednesday morning it is all gone again, but watch out for Wednesday night.

Also, it appears the work extends on to the A52, which was a single lane northbound Tuesday night (8th), as was part of the A60 from Ruddington.

Colwick Loop Road still has those road works – which started in January, are a month overdue, and which show few signs of concluding soon – due to the building of a Sainsbury’s store on one of the industrial estates.

The junction between Carlton Hill, Cavendish Road, and Station Road in Carlton has delays due to the “upgrading” of the junction. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think the sign says “3 weeks”. I didn’t see any advance warning of this, either.

You may remember that this junction is the temporal focal point of my derision towards National Grid, since it was here several years ago that gas main replacement commenced (blocking roads for months at a time) and has spread out like a cancer across the city since.

Driving through Ruddington this morning I saw two people with “NCC” (that’s the County Council) on the backs of their fluorescent jackets with a big tape measure and a can of yellow spray paint marking up the junction of Clifton Road and Wilford Road.Ruddington Clifton Lane/Wilford Lane junction

So brace yourself for weeks of misery there in the near future as they “improve” the road. The actual work on those pedestrian refuges I mentioned right at the start commenced less than a fortnight after some people with spray paint and a measuring wheel had been seen there.

Incidentally, the two people I saw this morning betrayed nothing to suggest they were qualified surveyors (no theodolite, just a big tape measure). They looked like they could be emptying bins later today after they’d finished this job.

These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. There are lots of others, but it just goes to reinforce my assessment of the City and County Councils.


It’s actually quite a simple equation they use. It only has one variable:

x = “make the motorist wait as long as possible”.

I saw it in action this morning. I came off the A453 and turned into Clifton, along Green Lane. As I approached the junction with Southchurch Drive (the tram crossing), the lights changed to red. This is the sequence that followed:

  • a pause of about 10 seconds
  • pedestrian crossings go green for approximately 30 seconds, then back to red
  • a tram has stopped by this time
  • a further 10 second pause
  • Southchurch Drive lights go green, tram and following traffic move off
  • Southchurch Drive lights stay green for at least 1 minute
  • Southchurch Drive lights turn red
  • a further 10 second pause
  • pedestrian crossings go green again for another 30 seconds, then back to red
  • a further 10 second pause
  • Green Lane lights change to green
  • there’s a minor delay moving off because two people with Clifton genes (one riding a mobility scooter) have proceeded to cross well after the green man turned red and we have to wait for them
  • After less than 15 seconds the lights change back to red

Only a fraction of the traffic that had built up along Green Lane got through, and it had to endure the same protracted sequence all over again.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Those responsible for the tram are complete wankers.