I like to think that we all have a little of the child within us and I certainly do.
I remember as a boy having my face pressed against the car window whenever we passed by any site which had earth moving equipment in action. Nothing has changed much, just a little less eager to press my face to the window.
An obvious question you may think but my answer will hopefully offer food for thought.
Pupils instinctively worry to some extent about their driving test once the date is booked. To mitigate this pressure, which they do not need to deal with, I offer the following thought:
One day you and I shall be walking side by side towards the driving test centre. We will have made certain that you know within yourself that you are above the standard required for the complete syllabus, and further to that you will have a complete understanding of the test that you are about to take!
To gain a full driving licence in the UK it is a legal formality that you have to pass a practical driving test. Fair enough; but you have already been tested on every aspect of driving and gained the experience and confidence required to drive consistently above the required standard. It is fair to say then that for a properly trained candidate the test can be viewed as more of a legal formality. I would be lying if I said that this approach takes away the nerves for every pupil.
It certainly helps to offer them a different way of looking at that date on their calendar.
To be fair to the contractors they have done a good job and finished in good time. As a regular road user it does seem that major schemes take for ever.
The traffic lights have been turned on for a few days and the complete system is now available to use. I have heard many opinions, many of which confirm that people do not seem to accept change readily.
I am in the minority that is very pleased with the new traffic scheme having approached it from every conceivable direction. With some minor advice in relation to the more logical scheme of the layout my pupils have shown no problems adapting.
There is more to transport in the community than motor vehicles and I have been very pleased to see the facilities incorporated for pedestrians and cyclists as well.
As usual I would urge caution whilst drivers become accustomed to the changes. There are too many on the roads who seem to think that a sudden burst of acceleration is all that is required when they notice that they are in the wrong lane. While this causes much consternation to other road users it is not the fault of the contractors.
All in all a big thumbs up from me.
Whereas I fully understand that we all have to be somewhere I will never understand why the tolerance and courtesy towards others that we would display automatically in any other public space eludes so many while they are driving.
There are countless good advice posts online suggesting leave more time for your journey, advice regarding weather conditions etcetera, I shall almost certainly write more of those myself.
This post on the other hand is simply a plea from the heart of a cynical driving instructor to his fellow humanity:
Please show a little more patience on the road!
Temperatures in the Nuneaton area were below freezing point last night and remain in low single figures as I write this.
Having been out on lessons this morning I have seen pedestrians who have chosen to walk along the road instead of the footpath. Please understand that this is something that you undertake entirely at your own risk and not a choice that I can endorse or encourage. Walking slower on the footpath has to be safer. However, should you find yourself in a position where you have no alternative to walking along the carriageway; or should you continue to choose to, then please follow the advice in the Highway Code and walk on the side of the road that allows you to face the oncoming traffic.
I am not trying to preach here. I saw a lady on Vernons Lane this morning scared by a near miss from a driver who was in control of their car but drove very close anyway, literally as if the pedestrian had not been there.
This behaviour should not happen but we have to face the fact that we know that it does and act appropriately.
Alongside a great number of Nuneaton residents I am delighted to see that the improvements to the roundabout on the A444 on Coton Road in Nuneaton are nearing completion.
Until the traffic light system is switched on sometime later this month I would advise extra caution when approaching this roundabout from any direction. Many drivers are entering the junction in a haphazard manner which increases the danger for every other road user. I would certainly advise cyclists to avoid this junction completely until the traffic control system is fully operational, or if that is not a possibility at least exercise extreme caution before changing direction.
While the scheme is being completed I would urge all road users to pay considerable attention to the signage and road markings on approach to the roundabout. They are now quite considerably different and it is clear that drivers at the moment are all over the place.
Take your time on the new junction and drive accurately please – this is in your own best interests!
There is some debate locally as to whether the improvements will actually deliver benefits to safety or the flow of traffic in the area. It is my belief that they will deliver both. I am looking forward to the latest improvement to our traffic system becoming fully functional to experience it for myself.
A few days later than most quite possibly but I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019. If you can manage healthy and prosperous then happiness will be a lot easier to achieve.
Have a great 2019!