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TheQ

The Northern Distributer Road AKA Norwich Northern Bypass

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I think maybe the intention is to reduce speed to make it easier to join from a minor road? That awful roundabout at Newark just before joining the A1 / just after coming off it onto the A17 is probably what they're trying to avoid?

The problem is that people just take them at the same speed and then come unstuck, especially as the trend is for people to drive SUV's and crossovers which have an inherently high centre of gravity and therefore poor handling.

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On ‎16‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 07:30, TheQ said:

Is it just me that finds once its dark AND damp, the markings on the roundabouts disappear ? Driving from Wroxham the change in the brightness of the white lines is very noticeable. People seem to have enough trouble staying in lane as it is on the roundabouts, but when you can't see the lines ...... nearly got taken out again this morning

 

 

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The problem with the NDR is the way the roundabouts vary along the road. Now, take the A11/A47 it has a kin of rhythm about it the signage, warnings, and even the signs on the roundabout. Come to the NDR and some of the roundabouts are lit, and have good advanced warning - others are not lit, but will have a 40MPH speed limit on approach, which acts I guess as a warning, but then another will not have that speed limit.

The thing is when it is dark some of the signs are not quite angled correctly - they reflect the headlights of cars, but not as much as others which are at the correct angle to oncoming traffic. Having used it rather a lot and at night I can appreciate how going from a smooth, quiet road surface on a fast road to a dark roundabout where the signs at the exits may have been hit, where the actual roundabout markings have now begun to wear and you have headlights from cars around you and approaching as they come around the roundabout all add up.  I can't put my finger on it but there is just something about some of the roundabouts that eel 'weird' or 'different'. Putting some solar powered lights on the signs would make a big difference.

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The NDR’s signage travelling from Wroxham back to the the A47 is absolutely terrible , If someone is simply following the signs to Thetford they will be sadly disappointed as they suddenly stop mentioning it.

Its ok if you know roughly your route  but if relying solely on signage then you will most likely be directed into Norwich city 

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One of the main fundamentals of driving is having the ability to adapt to the prevailing conditions something that seems to be sadly lacking here.

Fred

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COAST - Concentration, Observation, Anticipation, Save Trouble. All needed more than ever these days.

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9 hours ago, CambridgeCabby said:

If someone is simply following the signs to Thetford they will be sadly disappointed as they suddenly stop mentioning it.

That's something that happens all over the place, and bloody annoying it is too. The same thing happens with "Diverted traffic" signs! You arrive at a junction without diverted signage and have to give it your best shot. More than once I've found myself back to where the diversion started.

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Or arrive at a junction where there are two signs pointing in oposite directions... Diversion and Diverted traffic.

 

 

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11 hours ago, rightsaidfred said:

One of the main fundamentals of driving is having the ability to adapt to the prevailing conditions something that seems to be sadly lacking here.

This is true, but I find it amusing as a new driver when people who have far more experience seem to get things so awfully wrong.  Much of this I think is habit. While everyone at some point will travel to new areas and have to deal with new things like road layouts and new situations, a great number of peoples 'everyday driving' is around areas they are used to and drive often on.  Because of this they are not paying as much attention as if it was a first time on a new road, or in a new city.

If you live on the Outskirts of Norwich and often travel on the NDR then it will just become second nature, but someone new who has popped up from Thetford to visit Norwich may not - hesitate, dither and then make the wrong move and hey presto you could have an incident.

Also the lane markings are now beginning to wear and some of these are pretty vital, like the chevrons on some of the Roundabouts that direct you out of the inside lane and outward.

I have to say though driver in Norfolk generally speaking are better than Cambridgeshire.  In Norfolk I have noticed people seem more sedate in their driving, more patient and on most roads seem to stick to the speed limits.  Head into Cambridgeshire and perhaps it is the long straight flat Fenland roads but people seem in much more of a hurry, less patient and far more keen to do well over the speed limit regardless of the road type or weather. 

Oh and one final point, has anyone else noticed generally on the road network how poorly Cats Eyes are being looked after?  Motorways, A Roads - even B Roads.  You ill have metal holders long devoid of the actual reflective insert - or more modern designs which you will have several metres of missing units.  On a wet dark night with no street lighting these simple things are to my mind one of the real unsung heroes of road safety and yet if they break or go missing they are left.  Even roads that used to have them having been re-surfaced are no longer there at all. Big shame.

 

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15 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

This is true, but I find it amusing as a new driver when people who have far more experience seem to get things so awfully wrong.  Much of this I think is habit. While everyone at some point will travel to new areas and have to deal with new things like road layouts and new situations, a great number of peoples 'everyday driving' is around areas they are used to and drive often on.  Because of this they are not paying as much attention as if it was a first time on a new road, or in a new city.

Yeah I think that's pretty much it. Also, some 'experienced' drivers were probably marginal passes anyway and have gone downhill from there...

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10 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

This is true, but I find it amusing as a new driver when people who have far more experience seem to get things so awfully wrong.  Much of this I think is habit. While everyone at some point will travel to new areas and have to deal with new things like road layouts and new situations, a great number of peoples 'everyday driving' is around areas they are used to and drive often on.  Because of this they are not paying as much attention as if it was a first time on a new road, or in a new city.

 

Unfortunately while experience is important it doesn't make a bad driver good it helps a good driver to get better, there are far to many people on the roads that learnt to pass the test often after to many attempts but have never learnt to drive, to many don`t even know the size of their vehicle, living in London I come across them every day, also there are a lot of drivers who don't have and have never had a license.

Driving is a mental skill and like everything else not everyone has the right level of ability, I and anyone else can learn the mechanics of most things often enough to pass a test or exam that doesn't mean I have the necessary ability to perform the task in practise in the real world, I know how most things work but I don`t have the skill or ability to repair most of them and driving is no different, passing the test doesn't make anyone a driver it just shows a minimum level of knowledge in controlling a vehicle.

Fred 

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True Fred, and like anything else if your mind is otherwise engaged and you are not concentrating on what you are doing the results can be just as bad, good driver or not.

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43 minutes ago, grendel said:

True Fred, and like anything else if your mind is otherwise engaged and you are not concentrating on what you are doing the results can be just as bad, good driver or not.

Totally agree. I actually think the act of holding a phone when driving is no more dangerous than lighting a fag, eating a sandwich, or having a drink. The danger is what it does to your concentration. My last four cars have all been bluetooth equipt but if a call comes in I reject it and call them back later. I know that talking hands free is somehow completely different o talking to a passenger and I will not do it.

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Something that Robin said earlier about not being able to put his finger on something not quite right with the NDR struck a cord with me. 

I do not use the road often, normally only when I am going to Bucks or Oxford. Maybe it is the effect of being close to the end of a 3 hour journey but twice now, having come off the A47 at Thorpe I have found myself approaching one of the rounderbouts at excessive speed. I just seemed to come upon it unexpectedly!

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On the matter of driver distractions I have a small observation to make (and wonder if Cambridge Cabby found the same) I used to have a CB in my car, and at a later stage I have been a cabby with a radio. I had no problem speaking or listening to either of these two radios without loosing concentration on driving, but for reasons which I do not understand, I found using the phone while driving far more distracting, even on hands free. Anyone else found the same?

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I know an ex police driver who always turns his radio off when driving in town and tells his wife to shut up as well!!!

To all those who cannot read signs,  in the Advanced Driving Test, the examiner had a habit of asking what the road sign was you had just passed! That sharpens your thoughts!

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to be fair I think a sat nav is also a distraction from driving (though at times they can be helpful too, but they are still a distraction) 

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16 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

Oh and one final point, has anyone else noticed generally on the road network how poorly Cats Eyes are being looked after?  Motorways, A Roads - even B Roads.  You ill have metal holders long devoid of the actual reflective insert - or more modern designs which you will have several metres of missing units.  On a wet dark night with no street lighting these simple things are to my mind one of the real unsung heroes of road safety and yet if they break or go missing they are left.  Even roads that used to have them having been re-surfaced are no longer there at all. Big shame.

I do agree with Robin here. His comments reminded me of when I was very young and I thought there was a little man who worked underground and he spent all his time in the tunnels replacing all the duff bulbs in the Cats Eyes. :default_dunce:

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They really come into their own in thick fog, something to which the whole of the East Coast is very prone.

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Thing is these days the driving test is way too focused in my opinion on the navigation of Sat Nav - whole lessons are taken up with following the instructions, and while that is okay - it is also important to keep an eye for what road markings and signs are telling you.  I am pleased in my test the Examiner opted for following the signs - twice - because that really makes you plan ahead, where you are going, what lane to be in and when to move over or turn etc than just waiting to be told 'in 500 feet turn left'.

A great example is on the M25 as you are heading towards the M11 as you enter a tunnel road markings begin to show what lane you will need for the M11 (S) or (N). I knew I wanted to head north, but the Sat Nav was telling me to stay in the two lands second from the left. In short follow the road for the M11 southbound.  Out from the tunnel and the Sat Nav tells me to 'keep right' and then 'keep left' follow M11 South. If you did this you would have a very short period to then move over after it instructs 'now keep left and follow M11 North'.  Because I was ignoring this and following the road markings and signs I was already in the correct lane hundreds of yards back.

Another great distraction are those who fiddle with their phones (or sat navs) while driving along. Even though they are in a holder, pinching and zooming looking where the route heads next, you think how far you have traveled at 70MPH in one second - it is 104 feet! One second of looking at a screen, swiping, tapping and you've just traveled over one hundred feet without being aware of what has just happened in that distance. 

We all make mistakes, but it is best to just carry on until you can safety turn around or correct things. I do however find I suffer from a jinx whereby you are going along a road and nothing has come up behind you for ages - you make an error and need to turn around so pull over only to see a car approaching behind, followed by another...and another...And before you know it minutes have past while you wait for an opportunity to turn around. I can guarantee this will happen even on a country road, or an otherwise quiet car park lol

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my sat nav is located securely out of reach from the driving position, and while it turns on automatically, it just shows where I am and the direction I am heading

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8 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

On the matter of driver distractions I have a small observation to make (and wonder if Cambridge Cabby found the same) I used to have a CB in my car, and at a later stage I have been a cabby with a radio. I had no problem speaking or listening to either of these two radios without loosing concentration on driving, but for reasons which I do not understand, I found using the phone while driving far more distracting, even on hands free. Anyone else found the same?

I do agree with MM , to an extent , and am still confused as to why using a taxi radio whilst driving is all ok legally but holding a phone is an endorsable offence, should add I use hands free 

I no longer have a taxi radio in my cab , as all work ,messages etc are via a dedicated smart phone and it is certainly more distracting having the screen flashing up a message than the old fashioned radio , but that’s progress ,on a busy day the company will process 20,000 jobs and you simply could not give that many jobs out verbally the advent of the smart phone made large companies possible we currently have over 750 cabs in the fleet and in excess of 1000 drivers , that’s a hell of a lot of screen beeping!!

 

What I have witnessed numerous times to be a major cause of concern as to a drivers concentration and leading to erratic driving is drivers using their ICE either by touch screen or scroll system , I’m often following a vehicle travelling at 70mph on the motorway when it starts to drift and you can see the driver looking at his / her heads up display .

Also I often see young ladies applying make-up whilst driving using their vanity mirror whilst in traffic and have been witness to a few minor bumps caused by this.

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I was once stopped in a small queue at traffic lights in Donny. (Cantley Lights)  The road is inclined uphill to the lights.  A lady in a car in front of me rolled back into my van.  I couldn't see what she was doing at the time but a driver next to her could - It was the lipstick thing.  She got out of her car, came to me and accused me of hitting her car from behind and it was therefore my fault even though I had the handbrake on. Fortunately the driver next to her bore witness that her car had rolled back.  The 'Grifftile' van has s/steel bars on the front of it so no damage but she had two tiny marks on the rear of her car.  She was furious the witness had intervened and tried to give him a rollocking for not minding his own business!  You could not have made it up.  Rather than giving her a rollocking I just laughed and told her bedrooms were the place for applying lipstick not busy junctions and away we went.  She would have had the issue of explaining to her partner (If she had one) as to how the car came to be damaged

Another time I was in a clients house alone (Client off to work), knock at the door, I found a very attractive lady looking distresses, she told me she had just reversed into my van and could I have a look at it please?  Now the van has many battle scars on it, yes she had indeed added another small bit of character but it was really minor.  I told her not to worry about it and it was just fine, she flung her arms round me and gave me a right smacker and told me I was a very nice man.   I told her would she like to reverse into my van again?

Months down the road I was on a tiling job, I asked the client where they found me from, the Lady of the house said that her sister recommended me as being a nice man when she had reversed into my van!  Strangest recommend I ever had

Griff

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On 10/01/2019 at 21:42, LondonRascal said:

 

Oh and one final point, has anyone else noticed generally on the road network how poorly Cats Eyes are being looked after?  Motorways, A Roads - even B Roads.  You ill have metal holders long devoid of the actual reflective insert - or more modern designs which you will have several metres of missing units.  On a wet dark night with no street lighting these simple things are to my mind one of the real unsung heroes of road safety and yet if they break or go missing they are left.  Even roads that used to have them having been re-surfaced are no longer there at all. Big shame.

 

A fair few years ago the A143, I think between Haddiscoe and St Olaves,there was a couple of mile stretch of actively lit cats eyes. They were bright enough that you could go down to sidelights and still follow the road! *  For some reason they didn't last very long.

* Not,of course,that I ever indulged in such foolhardiness.

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They only last about 2 to 3 years i guess they have gone the way potholes have cost saving, there is talk of replacing them with solar powered ones 4 hrs sunlight give 200 hour light. it's a shame as cats eyes were a very good road safty measure.John

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