Richard Kirk

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[5] M6 Toll Road Clear

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This post is about the M6 tell road. It isn't a bitch about it, in fact I quite like the thing. Ever since the toll road opened I haven't got stuck in one traffic jam going through Birmingham thanks to all the people, who are less cheap than me, paying to go on it. What my post here is really about is the sign that says "M6 Toll Road Clear".

Seeing this sign means that the M6 toll road is clear obviously. If you think a little harder though only seeing this sign will probably mean the normal M6 is clear too. If this was not the case they would have to point out the congestion on the sign. Seeing that the toll road clear message must mean their is no other information to give and hence both roads are clear. Surely this is the case...surely they can't lie about congestion...if you thought so, you would be thinking wrongly!

Last summer a friend and I were driving down the M6 and it said all along that there would be conjestion on the non-toll road part and that everyone should use the toll road. As we were going to a destination via the normal M6 we had no choice but to use it and prepared ourselves to sit in a traffic jam for quite some time. Having made the effort to select a few CDs to listen to in the traffic jam we soon found that the jam did not exist at all. We sailed straight through with no problems at all. Clearly this was a ploy to get everyone to pay to use the toll road.

On another occasion I was heading south again. This time I was going to the M5 via the M6 so could not use the toll road again. On this occasion the toll road signs did say "M6 Toll Road Clear". It got to the point where you have to decide which lane to go into, M6 or M6 Toll and sadly there was a huge traffic jam on the M6 lanes. It took ages to get through this jam and it was very frustrating having toll road users zooming past as sadly I couldn't use it this time. After waiting a long time in this queue thinking there was major congestion on the M6 it turned out that some idiot had crashed at the split in the road where the M6 and M6 toll road traffic go their separate ways. A Ford Ka driver, clearly being another cheap person, had at the last minute changed their mind about going on the toll and swerved accross to go onto the normal M6 lanes. To cut a long story short in doing so he managed to knock a lorry on top of himself. Here again the M6 toll road was clear, so was the regular M6 in fact. It was about 100m before the split that the jam occured but sadly everyone going on the M6 had to sit in the queue and the toll people did not. If the ever so useful signs had just been switched to say "Use all lanes" there would have been no queues at all and people like me wouldn't have sat there for an hour.

I guess my point is that I think the signs are useless. They do seem to be giving some good messages lately though like "Don't drink and drive" or "Don't phone and drive" perhaps "Don't sleep and drive" and more importantly "Don't hog the middle lane". I really hate people who hog the middle lane.

Anyway...I am tired now. Just got into London after driving down from the north visiting Vicki. I better off to bed as I have a lot of project work to do in the morning.

Posted by Richard Kirk on 07/06/2005 at 00:31:23 (2300 hits)

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