Brief London driving moans

Why is it that the BBC London traffic news people cannot find any better ways of identifying the location of delays on the roads than a reference to a junction nobody who does not pass that way all the time will remember? Yesterday I heard a report about something happening at the “Movers Lane interchange”, and I don’t remember them mentioning where that is (as it turns out, it’s on the A13 in east London). They commonly give references to side roads, when if you’re going along a main road and you are not from the area, you won’t know the names. For example, I don’t know the names of every stretch of the A24 as it runs from Ewell to Clapham Common. I know there’s a London Road, a Stonecot Hill, a Merantun Way (that’s new), and a Balham High Road - oh, and a bit of Clapham Common - is it east or south side? - but I don’t know each bit, let alone every side road. So, if they want to tell us there’s a delay, they should tell us relative to landmarks on that road, not to side streets whose names you can’t see from a driving seat.

The same station, yesterday, gave us “breaking news”, apprently shoving other stories further down the list, which turned out to be that a guy who was found guilty of murder a couple of weeks ago (for hiring two hitmen to kill his wife so he could claim her life insurance and move in with a prostitute) had been given a life sentence. This is not “breaking news” because you know someone will get life when they are found guilty of murder (unless they are juveniles, in which case they get indeterminate sentences); the only thing to decide is the tariff (the actual minimum time inside; whole-life sentences are rare in the UK). I don’t want to hang around to hear “breaking news” which I knew two weeks ago.

Finally, whose idea is it to set the speed limits to 30mph on bits of dual carriageway in London where roadworks are being done? On Monday I came off the M3 at Sunbury onto the road it leads into - the A316 - at which point the speed limit came down to 50 (fair enough), and then well before passing over the bridge they were working on, the limit came down to 30. This is really disconcerting for a driver who has just driven straight off a motorway where he had been doing 60 to 70 all the way from Southampton; has nobody ever pointed this out to those who set these speed limits. On motorways it’s rare to have speed limits lower than 50 in roadworks; it seems that since 50 was the normal speed limit, someone decided that it had to come down further because there were roadworks. It doesn’t make sense, and it makes even less to have the limits come down a long way before you hit the narrowed lanes or other signs of roadworks. My impression coming through those roadworks was that the limit did not need to be lower than 40.

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