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4:31pm on Thursday, 18th February, 2016:

Four Ways


There are some roadworks at the main road junction in our village. I've no idea what their purpose is, but I'm sure I could find an uninformative one-sentence summary if I spent some time on the Internet looking.

So, the important thing about these roadworks is that they're covered by four-way traffic lights. Here's a map:

I come from the left and want to go to the right. One of the sets of traffic lights is on a side road leading to the school; the other is on the exit to the car park of our local shop, which can hold a total of four vehicles (plus one for disabled vehicles). I don't see why that car park gets its own traffic light, but I'm not in charge of traffic light placement. The other set of lights, opposite the shop, is for the road that leads to the school. Fortunately it's half term, because it it weren't then this would be even worse than it is already.

Those boxes are cars. The magenta ones and the pink one were active when I went to work this morning. The blue ones are the cars that were parked. Why yes, one on the left was indeed parked immediately before the lights, so that you had to stop behind it and your motion wouldn't set off the lights' motion-detector to tell them you're there.

When the lights finally changed (on a timer), I was in the car behind the pink car. There were a string of cars behind me, too. The pink car went to park in the shop car park, but oh no! It was full! So the driver went a bit further to use the pharmacy car park next door. There were cars blocking the way, though, because they were waiting at the lights. Never mind, the lights will change soon, then the driver of the pink car can park after the cars in the way have moved.

NO, driver of the pink car! They WON'T move. They CAN'T move. The traffc behind you is blocking their movement, and will be stationary until YOU move.

The pink car's driver didn't seem to be aware that there was a problem. The car just sat there, indicator winking, while the traffic lights cycled merrily behind it. Eventually, one of the cars in the queue on the right reversed a little, the car behind that did too, and the ones ahead of it edged forward, until the pink car could do a turn, reverse, then turn to go through the gap.

If you're interested the pink car was a Mercedes. If it had been a BMW, I expect the driver would have honked at the queue, rather than simply wait majestierially for it to part.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).