A Driving Instructor's Blog

OK, so a little bit of yesterday included.

Last night I was in a quiet industrial area with a pupil going over a couple of manoeuvres. She was completing her Turn in the Road and just about to drive forward in pouring rain (and it was torrential) when this thug in a gold Rover, I think it was (R338 SJF) decided he was going to not stop at all and just went for the gap. Both me and the pupil had to brake hard (I can’t take chances when cretins like this are in the area). He drove into the UKMail depot at the end of the road.

This morning I was on my way to my first lesson and an articulated lorry (FY53 EYO), which had just taken a corner on to a roundabout with a turning radius similar to the orbit of Saturn, decided to break the 30mph speed limit on the inside lane in order to undertake me so he could pull out in front and turn right at a mini-roundabout several hundred metres ahead. I was about to say it isn’t often you get lorries doing this, but oddly enough I was with a pupil yesterday and we were joking about how we were doing the 60mph limit on the road we were on, and the lorry in front was pulling away quite rapidly. It must be big business being able to tinker under the hood of an artic…

No Left or Right Turn

No Left or Right Turn

Driving back from this pupil, as I crossed the tramlines and a railway line heading towards the city – clearly marked with the sign shown on the right – a specimen of White Van Man driving an Oriel Printing van (YJ05 YDZ) slowed down, causing me to almost stop on the tracks, and turned left. All he had to do (and he was probably following his satnav anyway if he wasn’t from this area) was go 100 metres ahead, turn left, then left again, and he’d have been on the road he wanted – except legally.

Later, I was near a school with another pupil around lunchtime and we were doing the Left Reverse exercise. Some guy in a Ford people carrier (L4 RLX) decided those yellow zig-zags meant he could stop there. He only drove off when cars coming up behind couldn’t get through, seeing as he was blocking the road as well. But personalized plates mean you can do this sort of thing, right?

But the most overriding feature of today was an overturned lorry on a roundabout. It happened sometime before 11am (and it appeared to be some sort of skip-carrier), because when I drove around the roundabout at 10.45am the traffic had already started to build up and the Police had got at least two three-lane feeder roads coned down to a single lane to keep traffic away from the affected lane and the one next to it. It was already pandemonium.

It meant that I was late to three lessons today. The last one I nearly cancelled, but the pupil was fortunately able to move it back by an hour. This was at 6pm (moved to 7pm). Now, I don’t want to criticise whatever it was people were doing up there, but at 5.15pm there were tailbacks of several miles on all the roads leading to the roundabout and – I subsequently found – on just about every other road within a 5 mile radius as people sought to avoid it. Wherever I went there were queues, and people turning around to try and find alternatives. It was chaos.

So why the hell did it take over 9 hours to move an overturned lorry? God only knows how many days it would have taken if it had caught fire or something.

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