Thursday, 4 February 2016

White lines.

The farmer says that there is one good thing to come out of all the rain we have been having, and that is that it has really highlighted the wet spots on our land.  Today after several days of gales and little or no rain, the land has dried up a tiny bit so he has been out with his machinery tackling the worst spot.   This morning dug the hole and this afternoon laid the drainage pipe.   By tea time it was all done and dusted, digger away and hopefully the spot a little drier.

The new gas main creeps down our lane - now only a matter of yards from our entrance.   This afternoon, when I drove slowly up and past the workmen and equipment I noticed that on one side of the road there is a trench about six feet deep, where the new main is being laid.   It was not fenced off.   When I returned an hour later it was still open to the world (and with a good foot of water in the bottom) and the digger on the other side of the lane pulled over to let me through.   I found it quite scary as the width was only just enough and I kept expecting to end up with one side of wheels in the trench!

Reading the Times on my return I was interested to read yet another letter about the proposed trials to remove the white lines from the roads.   I find the whole idea a bit scary really and a letter writer today did make a good point in that the white line is a useful thing to follow on a foggy night.   But I am old enough to remember when winkers were first introduced and those fancy little markers which used to pop out the side of the car to indicate one was turning (or alternatively use a hand signal - hand straight out for turning right and hand and arm circled anti-clockwise to indicate turning left) were superseded by winkers.   There was a public outcry and people said there would be countless accidents and no good would come of it.   We do hate change, don't we?   Is the same true to white lines?

23 comments:

donna baker said...

I wonder why they no longer want a white line? That seems strange. To save on the cost of paint or the truck that puts the paint down? Your farmer is a wonder. I am surprised he wasn't stuck in the field. I have had to pull my husband's tractor out of the field many a time when he mires in the mud.

jinxxxygirl said...

I hadn't heard they were thinking of not using white lines on the roads anymore... Is that the line down the middle or on the sides? Hugs! deb

Wilma said...

It's funny here in Belize - blinkers (winkers) are used for all sorts of things. By the truck ahead of you to let you know it is safe to pass. Also by the truck ahead of you to let you know they are going to stop right in the middle of the road. Or by the truck in front of you to let you know that something is coming. Each driver uses them for different purposes; it's a wonder there aren't more accidents in all the confusion! They are used least often to signal an actual turn. I am a fan of the white lines along the edge of the road, but they are rare here. Glad you managed to stay on the lane.

SandyExpat said...

I hope they keep the white lines. I have a difficult time believing that if there is no white line people will slow down and be more careful which I understand is the argument for doing away with them.

Glad you made it safely past the open 6' trench.

Bovey Belle said...

It's the white lines at the side of the road which I need at night. We try now to drive much at night, but going up to Malvern is always a very early (and pitch black) start. I do wish they WOULDN'T put marked lanes around roundabouts in these parts though - the one at Pensarn in town must be a driving test nightmare as so many people get funnelled off into the wrong lane.

A Heron's View said...

To even think about removing white lines from roads is absolute madness!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Crazy idea, with no white line people will naturally start drifting to the middle of the road, which will be fun on blind bends

Heather said...

As long as there is something equally effective to take the place of white lines on our roads it should be OK, but they are a godsend in poor visibility. We are all so used to lane markings on all main roads and motorways - I can't imagine what chaos might occur without them.
Glad the farmer got his drainage channels dug without any problems and also that you managed to avoid ending up in the trench.

Midmarsh John said...

Not forgetting some of the other hand signals we had to learn like those given to a policeman on point duty to indicate which we wanted to go and knowing what signals could be given by the driver of a horse drawn vehicle. I remember the embarrassment on my driving test when it came time to use hand signals and in the heat of the moment forgot the window was still closed.

I haven't seen the details about which white lines they intend to remove. Double white lines where it is dangerous to overtake, and the single line on the left hand side to indicate no stopping seem to me to be of paramount importance.

Mac n' Janet said...

I can see no reason to remove the white lines, they're the only thing keeping some folks in their lane.

Joanne Noragon said...

What is the rational for removing white lines? They are far easier to follow in bad weather than the center line. Not just fog, but in heavy rain or snow.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

If it weren't for white lines many people would end up in the ditch - they make such a difference when driving. I'd think removing them would be a foolish step backwards. Arm signals in the US used to be arm straight out for left turn (remember we drive on the other side of the road), arm bent up at the elbow for right turn and arm straight down, palm facing the back of the car for stop. We had older friends that continued to use the arm signals even when their car was equipped with blinkers (winkers) because they didn't trust them to always work. Now we only see the hand signals used by bicyclers.

Cro Magnon said...

We had some heavy rain about two weeks ago, and, as a result, I discovered an underground river.

Derek Faulkner said...

I remember on my driving test, that I was expected to do hand signals as I approached a turn off to the left. It gave me a dilemma because with one hand out of the window doing the circling motion, I also need to change down a gear as I slowed and that other hand was holding the steering wheel, so for a brief couple of seconds I had no hand on the steering wheel. I still passed my test though, so perhaps the examiner didn't realise what I'd done.

Librarian said...

I have never taken driving lessons (and therefore don't drive), so I don't really know how helpful the white lines are for a driver. But I imagine they do help when it is dark and/or foggy.
As for indicating, this seems to have completely gone out of fashion. So often I stand on the pavement, waiting for cars to go by so that I can cross the road. And so often, someone turns off without indicating. Had they indicated, I'd been able to cross already, not uselessly waiting some more (and risking to miss the train to work). I imagine it is also helpful for everyone else on the road, knowing whether someone is going to turn left or right or not at all, but apparently, it's too much to be bothered with for the majority of drivers.

Rachel said...

I note that it is Norfolk County Council who are proposing removing some white lines in the middle of the road. We already have many roads like this. This is a ploy by the Council to avoid repairing the edges of the roads which are caving in and avoided by everybody. Driving in the middle of the road in already the norm here. We dodge each other at the last minute on approach.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Removing white lines is a crazy idea. What councils should be talking about is painting white lines on the edges of country roads and also on awkward kerbstones and other potential hazards. Of course in The Peak District and rural parts of South Yorkshire there are many narrow country roads that have never had white lines down the middle and given their narrowness that is just plain common sense. However, white edging lines really help drivers on dark, foul winter nights.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel. Regarding the edges of the roads - ours are just the same in North Yorkshire. The state of the roads is disgraceful - full of huge potholes. Last year our Council said they were going to redo our lane - but instead of doing it all they did bits here and there and now it is all in a state of disrepair again.
If you have been watching The Real Marigold Hotel - which we have enjoyed hugely - I fear we shall all end up driving like that. But I do think the man who wrote in the Times about following the white lines in the fog had a good point.
Thanks everyone for your comments.

Frances said...

Weaver, my compliments to the Farmer on finding a bright side to your recent rainy season. Good to get the drainage situation improvement accomplished before the next deluge.

I'd heard about the roadway white line removal over BBC radio, and found it puzzling. It never occurred me that a reason for the change was to obscure the rough edges on the sides of the paved roads. That surely does seem a poor decision. Do you think that public uproar might change the plan to road repair and continued/or resumed line painting?

xo

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I don't know. I think the white lines offer a good guidelines. Keeps those I don't want to encounter on my side of the road in their place. Winkers. I like that. I know them as blinkers, but I smile more when I hear winkers.

potty said...

We often have the traffic lights 'turned off' here in France. They all just flash yellow and it's up to us who goes first. In the UK, white lines and dashes along the sides of the road, white lines down the centre with dashes of different lenghts are very informative. I'd hate to lose them.

Hildred said...

I would be most unhappy driving without white centre lines. It doesn't matter which way you go, the roads are winding and mountainous and most have white lines along the edges as well. A few years ago they added something (???) to the centre line to warn you audibly when you strayed off your own side of the road which I thought would be great for people who doze off on long trips...

Stephanie Gaunt said...

I do think white lines are necessary in rural areas at night, in fog. As one gets older it becomes harder to drive at night - the white lines are an important visual aid.