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Pulling Halfway Out

Blog Date - 17 January 2018

Is it me? Perhaps not as Sharon commented on this too.

Take a moment to look at The Highway Code rules 170 - 183 Road Junctions 

I was trained that when I approach a main road from a side road and I am turning right that I give way to the traffic on the main road. I do not emerge from my side road until the main road is sufficiently clear in both directions. It seems however things are done differently.

I see some drivers will wait until there is a brief space in the traffic from the right, but not from the left. They will then pull half way across the carriageway blocking traffic from the right. They will sit there until there is a space from the left or some poor sap from the left lets them barge in. While not everyone does this it is quite a common practice particularly at rush hour.

A simple diagram showing a red car pulled out across half the main road and blocking traffic from the right
The red vehicle has pulled halfway across the main road blocking traffic from the right.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand if you are turning right from a side road onto a busy main road and you did not "half and half" the turn you could be waiting for quite a long time. On the other hand what right has some jumped up plonker have to block the progress of one half of the traffic because they're more important than everyone else?

I have to pull out onto my busy main road all too often. To some it might seem a palava but I will make a left turn onto the main road - then make a right turn into another side road  - then turn around in the side road - then make a left turn back onto the main road. This negates the difficult right turn from the side road. I can do this because I know the area well.

A diagram showing how Ren turns left - right - left using a wobbly red line to trace the route
Left - right - left. Yes the red line is an accurate trace of my wobbly riding stlye.

Yet when I'm in a strange area I sometimes have to make the difficult right turn onto the main road. Quite often I have Sharon in tow making this doubly difficult. Still I would not "half and half" the junction because sitting sideways across the flow of traffic on a motorcycle is rather terrifying. Sometimes we just have to blooming well wait.

I guess opinion on this tactic will be split. "You've gotta do it especially in the city otherwise you'd be there all week" versus "Pushy tosspots in a rush while endangering themselves and other road users".

If you'd like to write an article regarding riding motorcycles on the roads then we'd love to share it here on Bikes And Travels. Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Bob said :-
In a car I have done the pulling 1/2 way out thing, usually in frustration after sitting there for several minutes.
I also regularly used to do the turn left to turn right thing on the way to a previous job, the junction was impossible to get out of and nobody would flash me out because I was on a little bike.
Incidentally this is one of the reasons why I think Google cars will never catch on, I'm presuming the computer wouldn't do the pulling out to block the road thing and nobody will flash it out because it wouldn't (or at least it shouldn't) respond.
18/1//2018 9:37:46 AM UTC
David Barwick said :-
Generalisations can be provocative and entertaining, but also meaningless. The best approach is for each individual to think for themselves and apply a bit of common-sense appropriate to each unique situation. Sometimes you just have to be aggressive, most often patience pays off.Pressure of expectation from surrounding people is hard to resist, and we all (being human) make mistakes.All we can do is be aware and try to do our best at any given time,try to learn from our mistakes and call it experience!
18/1//2018 10:07:09 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah David Barwick the best we can do is try and make the right decision for each and every individual circumstance. Being just slightly autistic I do like strict solid rules that everyone follows but the real world is not like that at all. I guess this is what make the world a complex place for my Aspergers autistic son.

In a world of human driven cars mixed with self-driving cars Bob then yes the Google car might struggle with the above scenario. The scary thing is there is a solution - make every car a self driving car and write code protocols whereby the autonomous cars agree to let vehicles out of side roads on some kind of ratio. Of course this means our motorcycles will no longer be allowed on the roads. We will be allowed to transport them on autonomous transports to events on closed roads.
18/1//2018 3:53:49 PM UTC
Tom McQ said :-
This situation soooooo annoys me! It's like saying "My time is much more important than yours, so instead of me having to stop and wait, YOU can stop and wait instead." Grrr!
22/1//2018 8:58:10 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I must admit to doing this occasionally (in the car - I wouldn't try it on a bike) but ONLY when I can see there's a gap coming from the left so know I won't be holding up the traffic from the right for more than a few seconds.

Fortunately I rarely have to get tangled up in "rush" hour traffic these days......
22/1//2018 12:19:13 PM UTC
Doug said :-
Guilty as charged, and happy to defend it - it's part of modern traffic, poor town planning and lack of infrastructure development. There's one particular junction on my commute that really should be a mini roundabout, as the northern part of the Northampton ring road doesn't exist, leaving traffic to go through a housing estate. There's a new housing development going up in the same area of about 1400 houses, yet the roads aren't being upgraded as part of that. If you're lucky, someone further up the road will use the pedestrian crossing and create a gap, but usually there isn't one.

Once you're halfway across it's rare you need to wait more than 10 seconds for someone to let you complete the turn, so it's not like you're delaying someone for any significant length of time, but the poor sods who are queued behind you have one less car in front of them.

22/1//2018 12:28:21 PM UTC
Chris Bell said :-
Ren/Bob re google cars, I wonder what will happen in a narrow single car width lane when two cars meet, they could be there for days,if it has some clever device for give and take, I know I'll be in the red light equivalent car (never green lol).
I hate to admit I've passed my turning and then turned round and turned left because sitting in the middle of a narrow road to turn right on a 125 with artics passing either side makes the crossover the Red Arrows do look like nothing in comparison.
24/1//2018 11:13:39 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Now there's a good question. It's all very well and good on everyday roads but down a narrow Cornwall or Wales road? If BOTH cars are self-drivers there would be a protocol but if one is driven by a human then what. Another reason to ban humans from driving.
25/1//2018 10:34:40 AM UTC
Chris Bell said :-
True,say nothing.Oh and the artics thing was on a 60mph road.
25/1//2018 11:19:44 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah, the highway code states that when turning right from a main road into a side road you should position yourself to the right of your lane and allow traffic to pass on your left if possible. That's fine - until it's a 38 tonner or a high speed chav in his GTI. Then it's blooming terrifying.
25/1//2018 2:00:31 PM UTC
Chris Bel said :-
I have to park the car out side my house 30 mph(good 2'5 cars width) main rd yet its had the mirror smashed off 3 times,cost to replace on a 17yr old car, £150 in the garage, any colour mirror casing used off ebay it's a tenner lol. A delivery lady saw the last one happen,photo'd it (obviously she stopped got her phone out and luckily the culprit was still in front of her officer)I did report it this time,had to go to the station though, it turned out to be a lady coming back from the hairdressers at the age of'''' 85, maybe she should have a trip to the opticians as she didn't see it or hear it apparently,she said she didn't know she'd hit it, at least the chav gti,er would see us ,sheesh.
27/1//2018 7:49:41 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
That's a bummer Chris. Maybe you should sell up and move house? You can buy my shed - I mean luxurious mansion - for a very reasonable price.
28/1//2018 9:19:31 AM UTC
Chris Bell said :-
It's funny,only this dinner time I said to my wife "this (the front room)is like the dead zone compared to my shed", she replied "that's because that's where you do things", music, paint, drum (10am regime everyday, silent heads fitted), people only need a bigger house to put the crap in and make room in the shed for fun lol,It is a bit like a shed in our front room anyway,luckily I get away with it.
29/1//2018 1:32:26 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'd keep that wife Chris. Most men barely get away with the shed let alone having a front room to put crap in.
30/1//2018 10:31:45 AM UTC

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