Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Wed, 14 Sep 2005

Burn baby, burn

Five years on we have another round of fuel protests in the UK. The current prices may be partly due to Hurricane Katrina, but they were creeping up anyway. So now we see people queing for petrol everywhere. I filled up the Zafira on Monday, but only when I found an Esso with no queue. I should be okay for a week or so now.

You would think with prices nearing 1/Litre people might slow down a bit to use less, but that does not seem to be the case. I'm trying to reduce my usage a bit by keeping my speed down a little and being more aware of how much pressure I use on the accelerator. We will see if I can improve on my usual figures of around 48mpg. I like the fact that I can easily get over 500 miles on a tank.

I'm still waiting for affordable cars that give much better economy. Maybe the latest hybrid cars like the Prius will get more popular if fuel prices keep rising. I know most of the UK price is tax, but that's unlikely to change much.

My theory about people speeding is that they do it because it is easy and they are unlikely to get caught. Modern cars can cruise at high speed and are so quiet that it doesn't feel that fast. You have to go really fast for it to feel exciting. Don't get me started on those noisy exhausts that seem to get fitted to every 'hot hatch'. I've even seem them on people carriers.

Speed cameras do not make much difference as most people know where they are or they buy gadgets to tell them. I wonder if there will ever be widespread use of technology to check your speed over long distances, e.g. sets of cameras on the motorway that log your registration number and make sure you don't get to the next one too quickly. It's all possible, but there are implications for privacy when everyone's number is logged.

I just find it ironic that a lot of the time speeding makes very little difference to journey time. On my commute I often catch up with drivers who zoomed past me earlier and have hit traffic. I'll keep driving for economy.

[08:35] | [] | Comments | G

Thu, 03 Mar 2005

It gets worse

Going home last night took nearly two hours. It started with a broken down car on the NCR, then the usual roadworks with added snow for interest.

This morning I heard on the radio that the M25 was shut and traffic was diverting via the A1, so decided to avoid the area and use the M1. That ended up taking 1.5 hours.

Why do all the roadworks have to be done at once?

[13:12] | [] | Comments | G

Wed, 02 Mar 2005

What's up with the roads?

I'm amazed I got the office at all today. Recently there seems to be more and more roadworks on my route. There are long-term works under the M25 to re-surface the road. This involves a long contraflow. Then there are some overnight works at Stevenage that still seemed to affect the morning traffic sometimes. There's another contraflow at the Brent Cross flyover due to a burst water main. All that is bad enough, but this morning there was an accident in the Hatfield tunnel and new roadworks at Fiveways.

Add to all that the general bad weather conditions, it's getting ridiculous. I suppose it's a price I pay for commuting into London for work, but this is beyond a joke. I could come by train, but it takes longer and costs more (to me, not the environment). I'll have to try and get some days working at home. Luckily I can do all I really need to from there, but need to come to the office some of the time.

BTW This post is being done via the Pico editor in an SSH session on the server. There's still some problems with secure FTP, so this was easier.

[08:34] | [] | Comments | G

Mon, 28 Jun 2004

Back off!

I have to drive nearky 40 miles to work each day. That's about 30 miles on the A1M and the rest on London's dual carriageways. Generally it's an easy enough drive with most people showing consideration, but there's always a few who can't go as quick as they would like. On the way home today I had two occaisions when I was overtaking and someone came right up close behind me. I'm talking less than 5m, at 60-70mph. SO I slow down. If they had stayed back I would have overtaken quicker and moved over, but these people really annoy me. They are going to kill someone one day.

I keep thinking of making up a sticker for the back window saying "I slow down for tailgaters", but I'm not sure my better half would approve. I think there should be a national campaign on this to change attitudes. People should not be trying to bully others out of the way on the road.

I just needed to get that off my chest

[20:15] | [] | Comments | G

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