Mind the gap!

Andy Russell - Motoring Editor drive24

I’ve just had a nightmare journey across the Fens on the A17 because it was virtually impossible to pass anything and we plodded along mile after mile rarely getting above 35mph.

This is a main road, not a winding country lane, with decent straights so why doesn’t traffic travel faster?

Part of the problem is, of course, the number of slow-moving lorries but they are not the real issue.

The biggest problem, as far as I am concerned, is all the cars following them which have no desire to overtake but bunch up one behind the other, nose to tail, until you have a long stream of them which makes it very hard and extremely dangerous to pass.

That’s when it gets really dangerous as the patience of drivers looking to overtake wears thin and they start taking unnecessary risks, roaring up the outside and then forcing their way into the backed-up queue of traffic, sending brake lights flashing along the tailback.

Overtaking is one of the great skills of driving but, while I don’t have an issue with any driver who would rather stay behind a slow-moving lorry, all I ask is that they leave some space between them and the car in front so those drivers who do want to pass can get past  the queue of traffic, one or two vehicles at a time, when it is safe to do so knowing they can slip into a gap without causing everyone to slam on the anchors.

It’s a matter of courtesy, common sense and making overtaking safer and simpler.

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