What rubbish couple of days I’ve had.
Yesterday morning I actually left home early and was on my way up the M6 when the traffic slowed and then stopped. I figured it was a shunt and we’d be on our way soon enough, however 20 minutes later we’d still not moved. After a number of minutes staring at brake-lights I tried to find some traffic news on a local radio station. After a huge amount of knob-twiddling (f’nar) I started getting annoyed with the dire crap being broadcast on local radio. Crappy local adverts for double glazing and phone-ins about dog poo. Nothing worth listening to. Why is local radio so crap ?
I gave in and called that 177 “Orange Voice Media” number on my phone. It’s quite good – it’ll determine your position and tell you what the traffic is like. The result ? 20 miles of stationary traffic and, worst of all, they’d completely closed the motorway at Juntion 15.
At this point you get rapidly bored, plus you suddenly seem to need to pee. Little things start winding you up, like the guy in the Mondeo in front standing on the brakes for 30 minutes, even though we hadn’t moved. Why do people do this? Why were people all around me standing on their brake pedals? We hadn’t moved FOR HALF AND HOUR!!!
Put your handbrake on!!!
Do it! Put your chuffing handbrake on now! You’re blinding me with your red lights.. Hey, maybe this is the “red mist” that people see? That’s it – I’ve got it! Road rage is purely due to people standing on their brakes when they don’t need to. Ha, easy.
Seriously though, do you sit at home with your foot pressed hard into the carpet? No, you don’t, so stop it.
Then there’s the ever helpful electronic signs above the motorway. They began winding me up. Sure, they’re becoming more accurate but, if you’ve crawled along the motorway at 5mph, then stopped, then crawled again for around 10 miles you certainly DON’T want to see signs saying “slow down”.
The next sign was a little more helpful, although at this stage I’d resorted to taking pictures of stuff to try and stop me from going insane.
To be honest I’d love to take control of these signs one day. I mean, there’s people in the motorway control centres looking at us through those cameras – they know we’re stuck. They’re sat there with coffee and toilets, they’ve got no problems. See, if that was me I’d put something on the electronic sign that says..
“You’re stuck in a 20 mile-long car-park. Face it, you’re screwed. Wouldn’t it be terrible if you really, really needed to go to the toilet right now ? We’ve got some lovely toilets here, plus there’s hot and cold drinks too. Sure, you could try getting out of your car and running into the field at the side of the motorway, but you might get flattened by those nutters that are driving illegally down the hard-shoulder. Either that, or you could spend 2 minutes having a pee and then find that the traffic has started moving and people are hurling abuse at you because you’re the only car that isn’t moving”
Hmm.. perhaps that’s too long to put on a sign. Sure, you may think that this blog post is yet again filled with pent-up anger, but remember that I did write most of it whilst parked in lane 2 of the M6 on Tuesday morning, so bear with me.
I hate those people that go down the hard-shoulder. Annoying. The one guy that tried it was quickly followed by a police car though, so that did raise a smile.
Bored.. bored… What do you do when you’re stuck on a motorway? I tried calling home. It was now 11AM and I’d been on the road since 8. Normally I get to work at 9, so this was getting a bit daft now. Emily answered, and she said something that pretty much every wife or girlfriend will say when you tell them you’re stuck on the motorway..
“Where are you ?”, she said
“In between Junction 14 and 15 – they’ve closed it at 15”, said I
“Can’t you get off?”, she said.
Ughh… Don’t you hate it when people say that ? Well yes, in theory at least I could get off the motorway. Sure, it would involve some “interesting” driving and I’d have to drive off the motorway, into the farmers field, across the field, through his farm and hopefully into some country lane. The end result would probably involve a smashed suspension, dented panels and squashed farmyard animals.
When I got to junction 15 there were cranes trying to lift a lorry which had rolled over and blocked all the lanes. We went up the slip-road and waited at the large round-about. The police had obviously blocked the slip-road down onto the motorway because it was shut, so we were all getting off and nobody else was getting on….
Except one guy… well, that’s what he thought was going to happen. I spotted a fat suited bloke in a Merc drive straight up to the police car and then indicate around it. He wasn’t at all put off by the cones, or the sign saying, “ROAD CLOSED”. He tried to get around the police car but then, when that failed, he parked his car in possibly the most dangerous part of the roundabout (i.e. in front of the cop car) and walked up to the police inside.
What happened next I don’t know, because – for the first time in 2 hours I managed to get into third gear and on my way. I’d like to think that the police sat in the car asked him how he’d managed to attain his job role, especially as he obviously had the mental capacity of Jade Goody, but I couldn’t stick around.
So I got to work, used the toilet (phew) and was only 2 and a half hours late. But wait… guess what happened when I set off for home later in the day?
Yup.. ..same again. This time a van, three cars and a coach were lined up with various dents on the hard shoulder and we spent 30 minutes crawling past. The same guy from this morning seemed to be in front yet again. Yes, Mr. Brake Lights.
I changed lanes to get away from him but no, there was another.. red mist.. red mist..
So I got home at 7.30pm. The day was done. Phew.
Uh-oh.. Can you guess what happened next ? Yes, Wednesday morning, I get on the motorway again .. and…