Opinons re merge in turn

Opinons re merge in turn

Author
Discussion

akamal

Original Poster:

141 posts

171 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
Hi all, have been lurking here for a short while, and would be interested in hearing your opinions on something I encountered yesterday.

There are currently roadworks at the east end of the dual carriage way Bedford bypass (A421), lane 2 is closed prior to a contra-flow into the west bound carriage way. As seems usual there is a 40mph limit in place from about 2 miles back from the closure of lane 2, signs indicating the impending lane closure every 200 yards, and a couple of signs directing traffic to "merge in turn" shortly before the closure of lane 2. My understanding of this set up is that traffic should continue to use both lanes for as long as they are available, and then merge zip-lock style just prior to the cones closing lane 2.

So I was was driving east at about half past six, in lane 2, slowed to 40mph just prior to entering the start of the roadworks, and slowed gradually to 25-30mph as lane 1 slowed to a stop. At this point we are still over a mile from where lane 2 closes. So I continue in lane 2 past the people needlessly (in my view) queing in lane 1. As I pass the 600 yards to closure marker, a guy in a z3M coupe pulls out from lane 1, a couple of hundred yards ahead, and stops in lane 2, moving only when traffic in lane 1 moves. His only intent clearly being to prevent me from passing. Nothing I can do about that, so I just follow behind him and we both eventually merge into lane 1 at the point I intended to all along - around 75-100 yards from the cones.

The incident has made me think though:
Have I mis-understood the meaning of "merge in turn", and was therefore in the wrong for staying in lane 2?
Did I correctly interpret "merge in turn", but should have switched to lane 1 earlier anyway, as no one else seemed to be following it?
Or was I in the right, and the driver of the z3 was being a numpty?

Any and all insights gratefully received,
ak

[edited for typos]

>> Edited by akamal on Friday 31st March 14:59

Flat in Fifth

37,339 posts

205 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
Your interpretation of merge-in-turn is 100% correct.

Guy in Z3M hadn't read the signs or didn't know what it meant.

Also he may have just been worrying that he has a small willy.

Next.

trevorh

1,359 posts

238 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
Just a thought - with cones it is possible to establish a 'centre' lane into which both lanes can be directed to merge in turn. No lane has the 'right of way' over the other.
The single centre lane can then be directed to the open side of the road.
Given the correct signage, would this work as a funnel-merge?

TonyHetherington

32,086 posts

204 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
This exact topic was discussed in the letters page of the IAM magazine (delivered a few days ago). A guy in there mentioned that in France they sometimes merge 2 lanes over the centre white line dividing them so neither has a sense of priority or correct placement, encouraging correct use of the merge-in-turn.

I thought that sounded like a really good idea. To the original poster above, your understanding of it is spot on and it really does frustrate me how many people get over half a mile...a mile...away from the closure!!

akamal

Original Poster:

141 posts

171 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all

How nice to be in the right - makes a change! : )

Funnel merge to the centre sounds like a good idea. I do wonder whether it might just cause even more confusion though...

Flat in Fifth

37,339 posts

205 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
Another thought about this.

Zip merging was supposed to be included in the last revision to the Highway Code but was excluded by some civil servant at the last minute.

Seeing as the HC revision is currentlyunder consultation, wouldn't this be a good idea to get it included properly this time?

The only reference I can find in the consultation document is a modification to rule 128.

Lane Discipline
128. You should follow the signs and get into lane as directed. In congested road conditions do not chang lanes unnecesssarily. Merging in turn is only safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at low speed, e.g. through road works. It is not recommended at high speed.

The italics shows the newly revised and added text.

there is nothing about this in the section on signs or road works.

It does say in rule 282 Do not switch lanes to overtake queuing traffic.

Also looking in Highays Agency leaflet HA113/04 Driving through roadworks nothing about zip merging either.

Left hand says "Wonder what right hand doing today then."
Right hand says "Who said that?"


gridgway

1,001 posts

199 months

Friday 31st March 2006
quotequote all
of course the difficulty in this mod is the cross-over point when high speed turns intyo low speed and then judging it.
Graham

LDoR

32 posts

200 months

Saturday 1st April 2006
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Personally, i have always been of the opinion that the best approach is to give plenty of warning and get into the lanes as soon as possible. The idea being that the sooner you get into the formation you will be going through the road works in, the less likley there is to be congestion at the point where the lanes merge as you can continue to travel at a constant speed (even if it is lower than you would like to be). When people drive right into the merge, the traffic is going slower, and therefore the gaps between cars smaller. When you pull into these gaps the people behind you will at the very least touch the brakes which as we all know starts a chain reaction of slowing down. This cumalitve effect gets worse as more and more people stuff in at the last minute and the traffic slows and slows. I think this is an avoidable situation, if only people would get in lane earlier and gently ease their speed down. Getting everyone to do this would of course be nigh on impossible with out draconian enforcment. I don't know if my theory is right but it seems to make sense to me at least.

This is what i always try to do when i come across road works, ease off and get in the lane as soon as i can with out cutting someone up. I hope that my contribution may help in some way although i doubt it.

leosayer

6,024 posts

198 months

Tuesday 4th April 2006
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LDoR said:
The idea being that the sooner you get into the formation you will be going through the road works in, the less likley there is to be congestion at the point where the lanes merge as you can continue to travel at a constant speed (even if it is lower than you would like to be).
Trouble is, there is always a few drivers who will drive up to the end of the lane that is closing, causing all traffic in the correct lane to stop and let them in - I see this every time I approach road works.

This is why zip-merging is preferable - no-one get pi$$ed off because no one is jumping any queue.

leosayer

6,024 posts

198 months

Tuesday 4th April 2006
quotequote all
akamal said:

Or was I in the right, and the driver of the z3 was being a numpty?
You were right and he was being an arse, and a dangerous one at that. You did the right things in the circumstances, I would have been a trifle annoyed with him/her.

iaint

10,040 posts

192 months

Tuesday 4th April 2006
quotequote all
gridgway said:
of course the difficulty in this mod is the cross-over point when high speed turns intyo low speed and then judging it.
Graham


Hence speed limits in place around the site

Maybe adding a sign to be displayed with the "Merge in Turn" saying "Use both lanes"?

Using cones to make both lanes merge into the middle lane makes so much sense it'll neve happen.

slowly slowly

2,474 posts

178 months

Tuesday 4th April 2006
quotequote all
I have only ever seen "Merge in turn" or "use both lanes" once and that was years ago.
Basically there are two sorts of drivers those that feel guilty about driving to the front of the queue and so get in the lane thats showing that it open.
Then there are those that try to justify driving right up to the front of the queue only to force their way in.
On this forum you will find that most people fall in to the latter category,and that includes me.

Big Rod

5,899 posts

170 months

Thursday 6th April 2006
quotequote all
Newbie here! (Uh-oh!!)

I find the French zippy thing a great idea!!

I guess tho' that it's all relative to being considerate to other road users. I don't see a lot of 'Merge in turn' signs, only 'Get in lane' ones, so I'm considerate to the point of leaving plenty of room in a queue for other cars to 'merge' right up to about 100 yds from the cones. I have to say tho' that the 'chancers' who leave it to the last minute and expect to be let in need shot, 'cos they're the ones causing the tailback in the first place!!! It ammounts to shooting left across 'X' number of lanes to get to your exit at the last minute when you've spent the last fifty miles in lane two, three or four!!

JMHO

>> Edited by Big Rod on Thursday 6th April 20:17

>> Edited by Big Rod on Thursday 6th April 20:19

lazy_b

362 posts

190 months

Thursday 6th April 2006
quotequote all
There's only one way to deal with merge in turn. Get into the unmerging lane early, and deliberately leave a large gap for other vehicles in the "wrong" lane to merge into. Stops all of the self-appointed lane cops closing up gaps and generally slowing progress.

hammerwerfer

3,234 posts

194 months

Sunday 9th April 2006
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In Germany, generally, whenever there is a lane merge ahead, most everyone merges in turn well before the cones. There is always some Richard Head who will try to take advantage, and head up the clear lane to the cones, but usually he will be thwarted by someone straddling the lanes. I feel that the proper thing, as it is perceived in Germany, is to merge more or less at the warning of say 400m or 200m to the lane closure, not to run right up to the cones and try to squeeze in.

Of course the good thing here is that after the obstruction, there just might be another stretch of unlimited Autoahn, where one is allowed to drive at real adult only speeds!

flemke

22,357 posts

191 months

Thursday 13th April 2006
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You only know whether it was right to go to the front of the emptier lane after it's too late to change your mind.

If you go towards the front, overtake plenty of cars in the slower lane, and then seamlessly slide into a natural gap, then you've done an efficient and perspicacious bit of driving.

If you go towards the front, overtake plenty of cars in the slower lane, and then have to crowbar your way or rely on the unselfishness of a driver in the slower lane in order to move into it, then you should have been more thoughtful and not overtaken the others in the first place.

The tell-tale is when the overtaking driver is near enough to the pinchpoint to see whether there is that natural gap. If there is none, but the overtaker carries on regardless and needs to intimidate other drivers into creating space for him, that's usually proof that the overtaker was a selfish ass.

gridgway

1,001 posts

199 months

Thursday 13th April 2006
quotequote all
I don't think those two things are necessarily connected ie a natural gap and going to the end. I think it is perfectly sensible to go to the end (at an appropriate speed) and plan your way in. If a gap arrives, yes take it, if not then go to the end and wait to merge.

I will go to the end more often than not, and wait/merge in. You rarely need to really wait if the traffic is moving as people do generally know how to merge.

I agree that people do go to the end and then slam into a half gap which is bad!

Graham

Flat in Fifth

37,339 posts

205 months

Thursday 13th April 2006
quotequote all
Surely (Shirley) the way to do this is use automotive body language, ie speed positioning and signals when appropriate.

So there you are in lane 2, trickling past the sheep in lane 1.

Speed such that you are going a bit quicker than they are but not a lot. Says hmmmm I'm overtaking but not really rubbing your noses in it.

You see a space even though you might be some way away from the merge but would be rude to refuse, and so "mirror behind, mirror to left, all clear, signal intention, match speed, gear?, check mirrors, slide to left, wave thanks to geezer behind" Win-win situation.

All more or less gives the impresion that you were hung out to dry in lane 2 and just fell into line earliest reasonable opportunity. ONLY YOU know that there were several opportunities half a mile back.

Alternative mode there you are blasting past right to the front into a space that isn't there says what? Whatever it says isn't complimentary and liable to get a reaction.

And if whoever as in Z3M in OP story wants to be an ass then let them get on with it.

Now! When two heavies do it so the drivers can have a chat and it turns out the signs are wrong and lane 2 isn't actually closed, best left there methinks.

just my 2p,
FiF

TripleS

4,294 posts

196 months

Thursday 13th April 2006
quotequote all
Flat in Fifth said:
Surely (Shirley) the way to do this is use automotive body language, ie speed positioning and signals when appropriate.

So there you are in lane 2, trickling past the sheep in lane 1.

Speed such that you are going a bit quicker than they are but not a lot. Says hmmmm I'm overtaking but not really rubbing your noses in it.

You see a space even though you might be some way away from the merge but would be rude to refuse, and so "mirror behind, mirror to left, all clear, signal intention, match speed, gear?, check mirrors, slide to left, wave thanks to geezer behind" Win-win situation.

All more or less gives the impresion that you were hung out to dry in lane 2 and just fell into line earliest reasonable opportunity. ONLY YOU know that there were several opportunities half a mile back.

Alternative mode there you are blasting past right to the front into a space that isn't there says what? Whatever it says isn't complimentary and liable to get a reaction.

And if whoever as in Z3M in OP story wants to be an ass then let them get on with it.

Now! When two heavies do it so the drivers can have a chat and it turns out the signs are wrong and lane 2 isn't actually closed, best left there methinks.

just my 2p,
FiF


At only 2p I would say that was very good value FiF.

Best wishes all,
Dave.

flemke

22,357 posts

191 months

Thursday 13th April 2006
quotequote all
Flat in Fifth said:
...So there you are in lane 2, trickling past the sheep in lane 1....

All more or less gives the impresion that you were hung out to dry in lane 2 and just fell into line earliest reasonable opportunity. ONLY YOU know that there were several opportunities half a mile back.

If I misunderstand your meaning, then apologies, but the excerpts above suggest a big part of the problem.


"...the sheep in lane 1..." Do you really think that nobody in lane one has figured out that there is a second lane and it's empty?
Sure, there will always be a few folks who are asleep at the wheel, but almost everyone else is aware of the open lane but has made the conscious decision that, well ahead of the pinchpoint, it's fair and decent to queue directly behind the car in front.
If there is no natural zipping near the pinchpoint, it's not at all obvious that it's slower - for the group - to zip together a long way off than it is for a self-chosen few to go streaming past everyone else and then jam their way in at the front. It's the stop-start jamming to accomodate the out-of-sequence car that brings everyone to a halt.

Then again, "ONLY YOU (would) know that there were several opportunities half a mile back", right?

As I said, if you really can tuck in seamlessly without causing anyone else to alter his course/speed, then fair enough - you've made a good judgment (or been lucky). But anytime you can only get into line owing to someone else's forbearance or their being intimidated, you've been a user and deserved to be hung out there for ages.