Motorway Madness

I’m in one of those phases when normal service (if there is any such thing) is not really happening. Thinking about it, it hasn’t happened for a while. I can’t remember the last time I had the luxury of sitting at my laptop to write a post, complete with easy linking, tagging and categorising options. For the last five weeks I have been functioning off a mobile device, and I long for a day now with nothing in the diary where I can sit and do a relaxed review of some great art I have seen over the holiday period.

I’m not there yet, though. Today was all about delivery, hanging, and hurtling back up north. And a school run collection. I hate induction days. No school bus service, so I’m thrown back in time to the 3pm block time I complained about the other day.

Anyway, the motorway run was marginally better than the run down yesterday. Except for the 20 mile go-slo bit between Luton and Watford Gap, and ending up for an even longer stretch behind two police vans crowding the overtaking lane at a determinedly fixed speed of EXACTLY 70mph.

It was funny, though, to witness the effect these two vans had on every other vehicle approaching from behind.

There must have been a dogged trail of three or four cars trailing me behind the vans. The vans must have been invisible to cars farther back. So inevitably a lot of drivers became very irritated indeed at finding themselves travelling in the ‘fast’ lane at a fixed 70mph. Because let’s be honest; who drives at exactly 70mph? Even seriously committed law-abiding citizens might allow themselves to creep up to 75mph.

And so every few minutes, a frustrated driver would illegally undertake and zoom up in the middle lane, only to slam on the brakes when they saw the real cause of the hold-up. And there was no way of getting past. No one dared undertake a police vehicle at even 71mph. So a parallel line of 70mph’ers formed in the middle lane.

I was fascinated and amused to see how the carnival would resolve itself. The usual place for a police car is the ‘slow’ lane. This at least gives a fighting chance to the risk-takers to ease past at 74mph. But the police vehicles here were playing a different game for our -and their- entertainment. I wondered if we would all travel in convoy all the way to Leeds.

As it happens, another set of road maintenance works took them out of play in the end, and the motorway crowd resumed its normal patterns of energy-reckless driving.

And I hope to resume normal patterns of service in the not-too-distant future.


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