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LondonRascal

Let's Drive: London To Norwich

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As you are no doubt aware on previous threads I am now a driver let loose on the open roads since last November.  For some time now I have had some ideas about doing something all rather swanky and well edited of a journey but frankly never got around to doing it (lazy) to set up cameras...

So this morning at just after 6:00am I decided to use my mobile and just capture the journey in a pretty informal way.  What actually happened is half an hour of me talking and moaning about driv1 ers and since my phone mount is not the best, the footage was a tad shaky..But it may be the basis for a new series of adventures on four wheels.  You might find it interesting, certainly the weather was

 

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Ahhh, the delightful Thickthorn roundabout. Its especially delightful in holiday season on a Friday evening. Spent many an hour crawling up to the roundabout so we now choose to leave a lot later. We do that A11 /A47 trip every other week to check on the boat.   Not once have we done the trip without seeing blue lights! 

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robin

The part about the A406- M11 interchange neither of you are on a motorway when you merge it is simply two slip roads that come together from the south bound and north bounds circular.

You actually come onto the M11 when you see the National speed limit signs.

  • Confused 1

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Ah yes, I remember many years ago losing my clutch on that roundabout and being taken back to Swansea on the breakdown truck with my poor dog still sitting in the back of the car. The driver didn't stop once and when we got there turned right around and headed back to Norwich wouldn't even have a cup of tea! Tough men these Norfolk fellas.

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4 hours ago, FairTmiddlin said:

robin

The part about the A406- M11 interchange neither of you are on a motorway when you merge it is simply two slip roads that come together from the south bound and north bounds circular. 

You actually come onto the M11 when you see the National speed limit signs.

This is correct but come day or night everyone either coming down from the slip above, or from the A406 does not see it as that way. If you hold at 50MPH here you will have people behind you trying to undertake and as you come into lane 3 finding that lanes 1 and 2 are moving along much faster than you.  Personally I think the limit should only apply to the end of the curve onto this section. 

Of course a lot of this area was a bit of a compromise because the separation  between the carriageways was intended for the never built M12. Also the M11 was meant to pass underneath Ringway 2 (also never built and would have been classified AS THE M15)

What would have come up from the M12 to join the M11

DSC06863_JPG.jpg.39f5083f4a9820108b6555d6c1bc3cf7.jpg

you can see that this was where the M12 to M15 sliproad met the M11 to M15 sliproad - only now it's the main M11 route to the A406. 

DSC06860_JPG.jpg.5164ff5b23b2afad09f01bf7961fdf78.jpg

Looking south, you can see where the M11 was supposed to go under Ringway 2 (M15) and head further into London.

DSC06852_JPG.jpg.dc0369521b867e7eb2c2c8c6983c2c71.jpg

The M11 rises over the bridge, under it should have run the M12

DSC06844_JPG.jpg.dd3639ee41f44356d83b477bd82c1f1b.jpg

 

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Robin, I don't understand the problem I have used those roads since before the M11 was built, the slip road from Waterworks to Charlie Browns was the original A406 before the underpass was put in and the A406 was improved, when it was first built the M11 went into Redbridge hence the reason why the current start of the M11 is junction 4 not junction 1, as for the speed and lane hopping that is normal for similar situations where you have 3 roads merging and exiting into 5 lanes and you need to find a gap to cross from the incoming slip lane to the outside A406.

Fred

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With all that "lane hopping" going on, perhaps the 50 MPH limit is justified, and if it is, perhaps it would be a suitable candidate for speed cameras. It amazes me that I suggest those things as normally I'm very much against them! 

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Try driving in Germany where crossing ( on and off ramps using the same piece of road) is used almost exclusively. Makes you slow down and check that’s for certain. Add cars going past on the two lane autobahn at 160mph plus and lane discipline becomes paramount. The aggressive closing the space that I have witnessed in the uk is disgraceful. Add to that people reluctant to merge at a suitable speed I.e. too slow / fast for prevailing traffic and oops disaster awaits. Recent law changes to encourage legal prevailing speed driving are to be welcomed IMO, not everyone will share that view and that’s fine.

in the uk I am more concerned with tailgating and always have been since I had children in the car. I now drive a two ton SUV hybrid as part protection as they are built like a tank. This saved us in 2016 when a van driver simply bounced off us and went through the lights on the wrong side on the Norwich road near the Asda. This was a merge and he decided to come through from behind but badly misjudged it. He had no documentation, for license or insurance or in fact anything. Police not interested. He also spoke very little English but did manage to tell me his license was at home in Portugal. Oh well...

His insurer eventually paid our costs and sued him ( their by now former customer) for the money. We had to threaten them a bit first but won in the end.

Robin try bad driving uk or uk dash cams on YouTube. Loads of examples of what you describe.

 

M

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1 hour ago, MauriceMynah said:

With all that "lane hopping" going on, perhaps the 50 MPH limit is justified, and if it is, perhaps it would be a suitable candidate for speed cameras. It amazes me that I suggest those things as normally I'm very much against them! 

MM. There are speed cameras both where the slip road enters and the roads split a short distance of a few hundred yards and where you count the volume of traffic in thousands including many HGVs, you speed up or slow down to filter into a gap to cross from one side to the other that's all, there is no real problem when you understand the difference between  practical everyday driving and the theoretical driving used to pass a test, I would be a rich man if I had a £1 for every time I have used this stretch of road using all the different combinations of entry and exit without experiencing any problems other than adjusting my speed to filter in or allow others to.

Fred

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Fred, That's why I used the word "Perhaps".

If the speed limit is justified then it should be enforced, if it is not justified then it should be amended to one that is, and that new limit enforced.

What I would always object to is either wrong limits, or appropriate limits not being observed. Whether the limit at the point in debate I would leave to the likes of you, those who use it often.

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many years ago I could (sticking to the legal speed limit) get from Ashford to Canterbury in 20 minutes, nowadays now that they have extended the 30 and 40mph limits its a good 35-40 minutes drive, the reason they have extended the limits- well there are houses along the road, so it has to have a maximum 40mph limit - for the first 5 miles out of town, (these houses have drives that exit to the road, not one drive is less than 200m long) where the old road was national limit almost all the way (60mph- single carriageway) there are now just 2 stretches maybe a couple of miles in total where it is national speed limit, the rest is 50mph (or slower).

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MM the 50mph limit is fine and applies to most of the A406 from Chiswick to Beckton, we are not talking about excessive speeding just traffic entering from the left having a short stretch to cross more than one lane of constant traffic to get on the A406 and if the gap is in front of the vehicles outside you then you speed up enough to reach that gap safely much as you might if overtaking.

Fred

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Fortunately there is a pretty major upgrade of the Thickthorn interchange in the pipeline...

Whenever it actually gets built, it will allow traffic to/from the A11 and A47 eastbound to avoid the roundabout.

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we have a section like that in Canterbury, two roundabouts only a few hundred metres apart, traffic from the left filters into the middle lane (left lane is a bus lane) traffic from the right and straight across goes into the right lane, if you wish to turn left at the second roundabout, you need to cross the centre lane and get into the bus lane right by the roundabout. everyone else turns right at the roundabout (there is no straight on) but do they let you through, do they heck. I remember one obnoxious car driver blocking me all the way to the roundabout, (i had been indicating all the way) and then hooting me when I pulled onto the roundabout in front of him and promptly took the left turn right across his front bumper (bet he realised why i had been trying to get in the left lane then...) once i had to go right round the roundabout to take my exit.

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The problem when joining the M11 from the A406 is that so few bother to stick to the 50MPH speed limit, either those who are joining from the A406 be it from where I joined coming from the Walthamstow area, or those coming over from the Redbridge area.

As the single lane joins with the other two, everyone is already well over 50 MPH - therefore if you were to stick to your guns and hold 50 MPH here until the beginning of the Motorway at the National Speed Limit sign then two things will happen:  Firstly everyone will fly past undertaking you and secondly you are going to hold up others in lane 3 who are used to ignoring the speed limit here, but unable to move out and undertake you for lane 2 and 1 are already doing that.

I found a video to better explain this:

 

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My take is the motorway started at the speed camera after the dip (blue signs started) still at 50, you then get the 50 sign leaving the dip on the left. The lanes from your left their last 50 sign is a mile back and then another 1/2mile after you merge by a signal 50 on the left so they know it's not camered and badly signed as it's not on both sides so their off.

So your either pushed along or stuck out there. I'd speed up move left and slow down by lifting off not braking.

It's not worth pushing it these days. too many camera behind signs across the motorway etc.

Guy I work with a few weeks ago sat doing 60 on M1 as per the varible signs and a dutch lorry (not a barge) join on the left which was the start of the 4 lanes into Sheffield and decided to move into the 2nd lane for no reason, he collected the rear of his van which he then got pushed sideways in front of the lorry and sent across lanes 2 & 3 with a car pop out from behind the slowing traffic and passed that close it rocked him but didn't touch. I have the video from the dashcam and it seems to be slow motion except the car at speed nearly head on.

 

 

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I have noticed many lorries have a blind spot, just off their passenger side when you are about half a car length ahead of them, on foreign lorries this will be when you are overtaking them, they can pull out too soon when you are not yet clear - seen it done several times on the m25, some have small mirrors to show them under the door, but once you are in front of the mirrors they cant see you any more.

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Ah a wonderful trip to work this morning-----NOT,

M25 Dartford crossing- bridge shut due to high winds, so southbound traffic using the east tunnel, 17 miles of tailbacks from the tunnel down the A2, I hit the back end at rochester at 6.30 am, from there it took me 2 hours to get to the slip road to the M25 - I didnt get out of first gear at all. on the slip road it took a further 30 minutes to make the next 30 yards, and it would still have been an hour to the tunnel, except joy of joys, they re-opened the bridge, so at 9am the traffic started moving again, 3 1/2 hours to do the 61 miles to work.

during that trip, I saw some horrendous driving, articulated lorries cutting across 3 lanes at right angles to the traffic flow, cars zipping in and out, lorries leaving it to the last few yards of sliproad to pull off the main carriageway, effectively parking in a lane empty in front of them until a big enough space was left for them to get in, or just sticking their nose in leaving the trailer blocking a lane (which by this point of the slip road the 3 lanes going past the junction had cars travelling at the limit, suddenly encountering this rear end of lorry blocking the lane.

it was chaos, all due to inconsiderate drivers

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4 minutes ago, grendel said:

Ah a wonderful trip to work this morning-----NOT,

M25 Dartford crossing- bridge shut due to high winds, so southbound traffic using the east tunnel, 17 miles of tailbacks from the tunnel down the A2, I hit the back end at rochester at 6.30 am, from there it took me 2 hours to get to the slip road to the M25 - I didnt get out of first gear at all. on the slip road it took a further 30 minutes to make the next 30 yards, and it would still have been an hour to the tunnel, except joy of joys, they re-opened the bridge, so at 9am the traffic started moving again, 3 1/2 hours to do the 61 miles to work.

during that trip, I saw some horrendous driving, articulated lorries cutting across 3 lanes at right angles to the traffic flow, cars zipping in and out, lorries leaving it to the last few yards of sliproad to pull off the main carriageway, effectively parking in a lane empty in front of them until a big enough space was left for them to get in, or just sticking their nose in leaving the trailer blocking a lane (which by this point of the slip road the 3 lanes going past the junction had cars travelling at the limit, suddenly encountering this rear end of lorry blocking the lane.

it was chaos, all due to inconsiderate drivers

Ah the joys of living in Norfolk :default_biggrin:

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Ah Robin you`re getting into the joys of driving, I used to travel all the said routes and junctions  regularly in a fourty four ton artic  and my policy (no detriment to anyone else`s ability) was to think of every body else as an idiot and drive accordingly. If you haven`t come across one yet watch out for the one who cuts across from the outside lane in front of every one to get on the slip road you are half way past .After doing fifty thousand miles a year my longest run now is from Yorkshire to The Broads. Oh the joys of retirement.

I hope nobody takes any offence from this as none is intended.  See you in May

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Never 'hang out' down the side of an articulated lorry - you could well be in their blind spot - and for foreign lorries this is especially so.  In traffic that is slow moving in both lanes I always have a quick look to see if the plate is a UK or overseas.  Also over hear most lorries will give a mirror check and then indicate, lorries from the continent then to indicate at the same time as move the wheel to pull out.

I do find the standard of driving in Norfolk is better than London - but perhaps it is because generally people seem less impatient here and more polite - giving way, thanking you and the like. Also although not all of the time there is a more general keeping to the rules of the road. In Greater London their is a far more relaxed approach to the rules but in fairness this is likely because there are a lot more people in London who originally learn to drive in their own country where such is the accepted norm.

I really don't let things get to me much.  If you've been held in traffic for a good while I don't mind but most do and that leads to frustration and an over eagerness to 'get on' after the traffic has begun to move freely again so I tend to keep far more cautious for  others and their actions.

 

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6 hours ago, Seagypsy said:

..... my policy (no detriment to anyone else`s ability) was to think of every body else as an idiot and drive accordingly.

I hear this said a lot.

My Dad said it to me when I just learnt to drive as did my instructor.

A possible problem though, and a serious one in regards to my Dad is that in taking that view you are subconsciously elevating yourself and believing you are better at driving than everyone else. That's not what the statement is meant to convey.

Dad drove a lot, also had a spell on artics, but over the years his driving got worse, he had developed such a superiority complex that he just couldn't see when he was being the idiot, as such his driving skills went down.

Not sure my message means anything to all the old drivers on this forum.....(tin hat time).... but I say, treat everyone like idiots, it'll keep you safe, but never forget that someone else is treating you as an idiot, because you are one, even though you can't see it.

 

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1 hour ago, LondonRascal said:

Never 'hang out' down the side of an articulated lorry - you could well be in their blind spot

sort of impossible sometimes on the M25 when you are the filling in a 4 way lorry sandwich, one in front - one behind and one each side, though to be fair the one behind will be so close that the ones at the side wont think of pulling over.

I reckon I see two or three lorry + car accident aftermaths a week around the M25 dartford tunnel, I have also seen a lorry pull straight over into the back end of a car right in front of me. but then I am also ready to hit the brakes and drop back if necessary.

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I know this will strike a chord with a few members here. If you want to learn and understand defensive driving, ride a motor bike.

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Aaah, never mind, when driverless cars are on the roads all will be heaven. I don't think! Let's see a driverless car negotiate the A406/A13 junction and subsequent junctions out to Essex on the A13 during the evening rush! It will never move, waiting for an appropriate gap. Because there isn't one. The traffic only moves because everyone knows you have to give and take, with feet to spare (sometimes inches). The real clog-ups happen when a nervous driver enters the fray. A nightmare, and one I'm glad I only have to endure on the odd occasion.

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