Day tripper sees red as train offers to take strain

Transport ministers Mike Penning and Norman Baker have recently revealed plans to overhaul motorway congestion signage by providing motorists with digital “smart” signs which will show them comparison journey times by rail and car.

Now, maybe I have got this wrong, but the last thing I want to see, as an occasional, special-trip-only type of motorway user, as I’m sitting in a three-mile tailback on a hot summer’s day is a gleeful message telling me that I should have gone by train. I have a partner who can do that and I don’t even have to take my eyes off the road to listen to his berating tones.

The signs will also, reportedly, give drivers alternative directions to get them off the motorways and onto lesser-used roads through the country.

Once again I’m puzzled. Wasn’t one of the major reasons for the building of these swathes of concrete through our green and pleasant land a bid to keep cars off the minor roads and out of small villages, the roads of which could not cope with hoards of day trippers all attempting to get to the sea.

So, I bet the occupants of tiny hamlets, and those who have a B road running by their property en-route to a tourist destination, are just thrilled to bits that the honourable members are about to tell people to drive past their houses so that the motorways can run a bit more quickly.

Anyway, as I plan to drive a (supposedly) three-hour journey up several motorways this weekend, I wonder what the trip has in store for me? And if my passenger should dare to whisper anything about alternative travel choices… why, I think I’ll stop at the nearest service station, quietly open the door and tell him he can make his own way to Bedford because I’m going home!

Image © jon smith ’una nos lucror’ via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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