I had a pop last week at motorists who never signal, and Janefs had her say about joggers. Well, there's another menace out there that I hadn't given much thought to until yesterday. I had my 'Daddy's Taxi' hat on yesterday, driving one of my daughters to Hoxton and the other to Union Street where she was staying overnight at the Travel Lodge. I then drove her over to the West End for the charity 'Do' she was attending. I take my hat off to anyone who has to drive through London on a daily basis. When I got home I was stressed to bits. When I was taught to drive it was 'MSM.' Mirror - Signal - Manouvre.
However, bus drivers seem to think it stands for Manouvre-Signal-Mirror! I got cut up more times than I care to think about. Even when overtaking a stationary bus, two thirds of the way alongside it, I nearly got bashed in to on more than one occasion. But it was the cyclists who took the biscuit. It seems that none of the rules of the road apply to them. Traffic lights on 'Red', 'No entry' and 'No right turn' signs are simply ignored. The worse thing I saw, (and I saw a good few,) was when I stopped at a red light at a pedestrian crossing in the West End and a there were about thirty-odd people crossing, three and four deep. Two cyclists came along, all togged up in their safety gear, Crash hats, flourescent strips on their natty outfits, etc. They went straight through the red light
and literally weaved in and out of the pedestrians who were crossing the road and then carried straight on. I think it's the pedestrians who should be wearing safety equipment!
I have a general question related to this topic - The traffic lights on the Southwark Street/Southwark Bridge Road crossing, as well as Sumner Street/Southwark Street sometimes all switch to red simultaneously, while all pedestrian lights switch to green. This is similar to Oxford Circus, and I seem to remember this is to allow pedestrians to cross diagonally. Does anyone know if this correct? One of the most surreal moments of my life was when I once crossed Oxford Circus diagonally one morning. There was only one other person crossing the road, from the other side, coming towards me. When the person came closer it turned out to be Paul Weller, dressed in what looked like a long white chemistry-teacher's coat. He looked at me very grumpily as we passed each other wordlessly. He must have been shooting a video locally. Any way, does anyone know if I am right to assume I am allowed to cross diagonally? Reason I am asking is that a cyclist, who went through red anyway, had a go at me when I gave him a dirty look.
As a cyclist of many a year who is a wonderful paragon of stopping at red lights and not riding on the pavement, I can't believe how many pedestrians lunge out at you when they want to cross the road. When they see you coming, they step right in front of you as if you would happily stop for all every minute of your journey.
Or they walk out in front of you without even looking about to see how's speeding down the road!
Or they see you coming, then step out in front of you and then turn their head the other way as if say 'you're invisble and I will cross'.
I have had two or three hits and a near disaster like this on Walworth Rd after the pavements were widened. Now people think the road so short that they just leg it over in any available space.
Not to mention crowds of people crossing Pelican crossings en masse when it's still a green light for traffic. Waterloo Station is famous for this! No wonder my bell wears out!
So, to sum up, drivers, buses, taxi, cyclists and pedestrians can all be idiots but most aren't.