Friday, December 23, 2005

You Drive Me Crazy...

I do hope some locals read this. Just to make sure, I'll do this (bear with me please while I insert some gratuitous keywords into the text): Crewe, Cheshire, driving, A500, moron. If they do (indeed, if they can even read at all), I'd love to know the answer to one particular question.

Quite simply, why is it that every time I drive in this area does the car behind me deem it necessary to make a hell-for-leather dash for the 50 yard stretch of open road between my car and the vehicle in front? No discernible advantage is ever gained and I’m never impressed by fast cars doing what they’re meant to do. Is there some kind of kudos to be gained from overtaking a laden diesel Renault Scenic? Do you go back to your chav mates in your local theme pub and tell them over a bottle of overpriced and tasteless horse wee ice-lite that you burnt up some old goat in a MPV? Does it make you feel big? Like a man? Does it make your crotch swell like it does when you look at pictures of ladyboys or when your Mummy used to wash you in the morning? Twice now recently I’ve been overtaken on the offside while turning right, last week late at night on a country road with no waiting area by someone driving so unbelievably fast he had no chance whatsoever to see I’d put my indicator on. How do I know this? Because I saw him round the bend about 200 yards behind me as I commenced my manoeuvre. That’s a safe distance in my book. Obviously he needs the thrill of putting someone else’s life in danger other than his own. Mate, if you’re reading this, try parachuting for thrills. Just let me pack your ‘chute first.

Cheshire is criss-crossed by several of the most dangerous roads in the country. There are more bunches of flowers along the A530 and A534 than in Covent Garden but I’ve never worked out why. These roads are great: they are for the most part well maintained and well marked. There are no more bends in them than any other road in the country and there are no torque-challenging gradients. There’s only one reason there are so many fatalities on them; because they’re driven on by the brain dead. A few months ago there was a multiple fatality accident in Crewe at a supposedly notorious “accident blackspot”. The reasoning for this classification is way beyond me. It’s a visible and well-marked side road junction, on a wide sweeping bend on a slight slope. There’s a large roundabout less than 300 yards away so there’s no reason to speed. The accident site was visited by the local great and good, including Gwyneth Dunwoody, our MP, and there were questions asked. Why? The only reason people died was because somebody wasn’t looking where they were going and driving too fast. Sad to say it, this time a road hazard has been permanently removed.

For close on six years until 2002 I worked at the Dartford Crossing and thought I’d seen just about everything, enough for a separate entry on here anyway. I also learnt to drive in Lewisham, SE London over 20 years ago so city driving has never held any fear for me. Indeed, earlier this month I drove in France for the first time and I can honestly say I was happier driving around Caen on a thunderously wet and frozen December afternoon than I’ve ever been driving along the A530 between Crewe and Nantwich (12 minutes by bus, even quicker if you go through the hedges).

I’ve no objection to speed per se, but try Oulton Park and get a pro to take you round. Preferably until you vomit all over your best Burberry and crap your Calvins.

0 Vegetable peelings:

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