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11:24am on Saturday, 19th July, 2014:

Argent's Lane


Argent's Lane is a narrow, sunken road connecting civilisation to West Bergholt. Cars take it if they want to reach the A12 or the southwest of Colchester. There is a much better road, but it crosses the main Norwich to London railway line at a level crossing: after waiting there a few times for 15 minutes for 5 or 6 trains to go past, people tend to want to avoid it.

This was it yesterday morning:

In case you can't see the detail, here's the important part:

That lorry is several feet wider than a car, and its length makes it worse because it can't hug corners. Its driver should not have even attempted to come down Argent's Lane. Come to that, the truck in front of me was taking a risk as well, because if it had met itself coming the other way further along, it wouldn't have been able to get past either.

I don't think this is a SatNav thing, I think it's a driver arrogance thing. They believe they can get down Argent's Lane past cars, but it doesn't occur to them that there would be problems if they met anything wider than a car. The lorry was always going to have problems, even if there were no vehicles coming the other way. Any lorry driver using a car SatNav instead of an avoid-unclassified-roads heavy goods vehicle SatNav needs to think again.

The car in front of the lorry had to reverse, once the cars behind it had also reversed to give it room. The lorry squeezed past, scraping the hedges and taking some of the lane embankment with it. The truck in front of me went forward to the widest part of the road, then once the lorry reached it it drove on slowly as the lorry did the same, in a choreographed movement that meant they avoided an impact by a good two inches. If one of them had stopped, it would undoubtedly have been hit, though.

I didn't see the name of the company that the lorry belonged to, but I did see that it included the word "logistics". Methinks, they need to practice what they preach.

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).