Thursday, 30 August 2007

Weekend fun

I took the opportunity to get away for the bank holiday weekend (25th – 27th), to visit friends and watch some motor racing. The weekend started with a trek up the M6, which invited a number of observations.

1. The M6 toll is a wonderful road, beautifully surfaced and it seems to attract well behaved drivers. Everyone keeps left, everyone seems content to travel at their own pace, no one crowds and no one seems aggressive.

2. The M6 toll should be extended north. The way the traffic stopped dead at the end of the toll section brings you back down to earth with a metaphorical bump. It seems that the M6 northbound cannot cope with the traffic from the toll road rejoining.

3. Congestion is self-limiting to a certain extent. The overhead signs warned of congestion for some distance surrounding the junction I needed. However, thanks to a little local knowledge I was able to come off a junction before the hold-up and follow an alternative route. When a road becomes known for slow or stationary traffic people will, wherever possible, modify their journey time or route to find a less congested alternative.

4. Our roads work very well. Even with the traffic as bad as it was my journey from Warwick to Urmston (not far from Old Trafford) took no more than two hours 15 minutes. That’s only 15 minutes more than I would expect the journey to take on a clear motorway.

My improvised route took me through the outskirts of Crewe. I know Bentley is based in Crewe so I was not surprised to see signs offering direction to the factory (although I always associate Rolls-Royce with Crewe even if BMW would rather I didn’t). What did astonish me was that the last of the signs I saw directed people to both the local recycling centre (rubbish dump) and Bentley. It seemed so incongruous that I was tempted to stop and photograph the sign, I suppose it illustrates the old saying, “where there’s muck, there’s brass”!

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