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October 18, 2019, 04:37:58 pm


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Newbury - A34 accidents

Started by Number 6, August 12, 2016, 05:20:02 pm

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Number 6

I see that there are debates going on as to the cause of so many accidents recently on the A34. Just an observation on my part and definitely not saying that this is what happened recently but I have witnessed many times cars,vans and even trucks accelerate rapidly on the uphill stretches whenever they notice a slow moving vehicle about to pull out and overtake an even slower moving vehicle up ahead. When conditions allow I travel at or near the speed limit but these vehicles speed past me - especially on downhill approaches to the upslopes - and leave themselves little space or time to react to anything untoward that may happen ahead of them. It is this racetrack mentality that seems to be the main issue rather than the speed limit per-se and it seems to be becoming more widespread even in towns and cities. Solutions I will leave to the experts but my sympathies to all in the emergency services who have to deal with the traumatic consequences.
Be seeing you ;-)


There are several reasons for the accidents on the A34

  • Traffic is going far too fast. In fact I think that the traffic on the A34 is going faster than it is on the M4 (which is 3 lanes). The main reason for this is that there is no camera monitoring anywhere on the A34 between Newbury and Oxford apart from its junction with the M4. There are cameras on every gantry on the M4 which I am sure is keeping the speed down.

  • The A34 on the East Ilsley section was constructed in the early sixties when the criteria for road construction was not so strict. If it was being constructed today, I am sure that more thought would have been given to the gradients.

  • The number of lorries on this road seems to be increasing exponentially. This road is the spine which carries traffic to and from the port of Southampton. This traffic then fans out as it reaches Oxford on a much improved motorway network.

  • The standard of driving is appalling. Some drivers should not be on the road. It is amazing that some of them ever passed a driving test.

  • The slip roads for the A343 and the A4 are not adequate for traffic joining. I have seen vehicles that have simply driven into the path of a 40 ton lorry doing 60 mph.

One answer is to make the A34 into 3 lanes or construct the M34. Both of these options are extremely expensive and will never happen in my lifetime, if at all.

Number 6

Brian, I think point 4 covers it really. I gained most of my driving experience when cars were a lot less powerful, had no power steering and drum brakes which were indefferent to say the least. Survival demanded a cautious driving style based on driving to the road conditions, leaving a suitable distance to cover all eventualities and planning way ahead if executing manouveres. Modern vehicles are a bit like pocket rockets that start and stop very rapidly and seem to demand a driving style to suit. In the end technology will have to catch up with the idiots and prevent their dangerous habits. Personally I do not find the road itself dangerous although the slip roads are very poorly designed - something that seems to be getting worse as I drive across the country and find junctions that are totally baffling when first encountered. In the end its the loose nuts behind the wheels that are the accidents waiting to happen. Sadly the innocent are mostly their victims.
Be seeing you ;-)

Number 6

After a lengthy journey today involving several motorways (the M25 is truly a mobile car park) with my daughter as a passenger I was amazed at the constant reference she kept making about people on mobile phones as they whizzed past us. She also spotted someone on a tablet computer as we shuffled along in slow moving traffic. With my concentration mainly ahead - although I do check my mirrrors regularly as well :-) - I obviously miss these indiscretions in normal driving but nothing seemed to escape my daughters eagle eyes sitting behind me. Given the stop start nature of the bottlenecks with constant standstills, sudden bursts up to 50+ mph and  rapid braking as drivers misjudged things in heavy rain I was amazed that people felt it OK to use such devices. At one point I was forced into the left hand lane as a driver swerved at the last moment. Frightening behaviours.
Be seeing you ;-)

Old Goat

It looks as if driverless cars are now in a very advanced state of development.  As far as I can discover, there are (naturally) low publicity, but fairly extensive trials going on along public roads. Driverless cars are really the only viable option to our roads problem; personally, I can't wait.