Does driving get crazier the further south you go?

(122 Posts)
Tailtwister Tue 30-Jul-13 23:08:36

For the first time in a good number of years I was driving on the M25/M4 today and was taken aback by some of the crazy driving I witnessed. Undertaking and cutting people up seemed the norm, along with tail gating and generally dangerous driving.

I was amazed at how aggressive the general driving style was. Granted, you see plenty of dodgy driving in Scotland too, but today almost everyone seemed to have a death wish! Is this normal or have I caught a particularly bad day? If this is the normal state of affairs I'm amazed there aren't huge numbers of accidents.

StrangerintheNight Tue 30-Jul-13 23:17:43

No, the closer you are to London, the more aggressive it gets in my experience. Don't think there's much manic driving on the Isle of Wight.

TheFallenNinja Tue 30-Jul-13 23:19:39

Yes, I think the magnetic strength gets less the further down you go affecting judgment and balance smile

Tailtwister Tue 30-Jul-13 23:19:42

Sorry Stranger, should have said close to London. In general terms, London is the 'south' for us!

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 30-Jul-13 23:23:01

Londoners are psychotic on the roads. There's no nice way to say it. A friend and I had to drive through central London to a conference a couple of m

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 23:23:07

I'm from Northern Ireland. The first time I drove on the M25 I remarked to DH how civilised and non aggressive the driving was compared to what its like at home...

Euphemia Tue 30-Jul-13 23:23:32

Definitely! Driving south on the M6 it's fine until you get to about Warrington then it's MAD!!!!

Warrington is "down south" for us. grin

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 30-Jul-13 23:23:47

Posted too soon!
...months ago and it was terrifying.

trixymalixy Tue 30-Jul-13 23:25:01

I agree that as proximity to London increases the craziness increases. We had people undertake us on the hard shoulder on the M25, and it wasn't one of those times when the hard shoulder becomes a proper lane. Totally bonkers.

Definitely closer to London is the key. I avoid central London at all costs.

The M4 is particularly nuts, especially over by Heathrow.

HomelessAngua Tue 30-Jul-13 23:26:15

OP - you are 100% correct.

RobotHamster Tue 30-Jul-13 23:26:53

You get random pockets all over the country. Driving near Heathrow is quite an experience... But so is driving through parts of west Yorks.

London isn't somewhere I'd choose to drive though

A week after I passed my driving test, and 24 hours after getting my car, I thought it'd be really clever to drive into central London on a Saturday evening. I got utterly lost, totally flustered by all the terrifying driving and then the car broke down outside Oxford Circus tube station. So then I got to sit next to my poor car watching other vehicles almost hitting it.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 30-Jul-13 23:30:57

i love driving around hyde park corner when you the reach the 40mph stretch everyone puts their foot down apart from annoying out of towners it is quite exciting to move that fast in central london

i would love to drive in paris

Shakirasma Tue 30-Jul-13 23:31:36

It's not just the east side of "down south"

We went on holiday to Devon earlier this year. We found the locals extremely helpful and friendly, and the shop and restaurant staff provided without exception, outstanding customer service.

But behind the wheel of a car, everybody turned into demons! Aggressive, impatient road hoggs.


ChippyMinton Tue 30-Jul-13 23:35:30

I drive the M4/M25 near Heathrow every day, and it's only bonkers in the school holidays when all the clueless holidaymakers get in the way wink

The rest of the time we all drive confidently because we all know what we're doing and where we are going at junctions etc.

Totally agree re Northern Ireland. It's barmy there. My dad is the worst. Tail gating is just normal driving.

AdoraBell Tue 30-Jul-13 23:36:15

Yes, we moved as far south as Chile, and it's much worse here.

StickyProblem Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:15

In Hastings we are dozy, sometimes everyone just drifts to a stop at the roundabout and we all stare at each other. London is INSANE though!

Redbindy Tue 30-Jul-13 23:48:33

The isle of wight has its moments. Mainly caused by locals who think that traveling over 35mph will kill them. I've found the M25 to be quite civilised when it's actually moving. North Devon is manic.

rubyflipper Tue 30-Jul-13 23:49:48

I used to drive to work in London and had to go via Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner. This was always fine UNTIL Sunday afternoons. That was the time that you'd be guaranteed to be cut up by Sunday drivers and nervous nellies. During the week the majority of drivers are professional drivers and know what they are doing most of the time.

SummerHoliDidi Tue 30-Jul-13 23:51:37

Yes! I had to drive South over the weekend, and in the end dp and I have decided that people south of Blackpool are a bit mental on the roads and we should stay further North. I'm not quite sure how we're going to visit relatives if we stick to that decision but Skype is fine surely?

itsonlyapapermoon Wed 31-Jul-13 00:00:53

Yes, come to Australia. It's like the bloody Wild West. Hoons!!! :D

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:02:21

I give you Leeds inner ring road.


No its no worse down south than anywhere else. Have you never seen Traffic Cops and the like on the telly? A lot of those are filmed on the M6 in the Midlands or in Yorkshire and are filled with total nutters. I can vouch for their madness too, having driven up and down the M6 rather a lot.

I don't mind driving in London. I don't do it often but I always find that the traffic goes so slowly it is easy to deal with. If you have no idea where you are going I suppose it is scary but be confident, know where you need to be and get on with and you are fine.

Shakirasma - how do you know the nutters behind the wheel were local? I wouldn't mind betting a fair few of them were holiday makers given the hordes of people that visit the area - probably a fair few of them were from the North too bringing their bad habits with them. wink

Longdistance Wed 31-Jul-13 00:20:15

Apparently so, according to my mil, who lived down south all her life, got married to a chap from up norf, County Durham way, and has lived there the past 5 years. She reckons the traffics manic down south, and doesn't miss it.

However, I agree with pp about Oz. They are nuts. My sil was driving me yesterday, and some old lady was not being polite. Speeding up as soon as she saw my sil indicate to change lanes. Then, she decided to change lanes herself confused and pulled up beside us to honk at us. I gave her the traditional middle finger salute. I have never seen such bad driving in my life, since being here. Loads of hoons in powerful cars that tailgate you, even though you're doing past the speed limit. This is in boring Perth, so nowhere built up.

MaryBateman Wed 31-Jul-13 00:26:02

Nope Kim the Leeds inner ring road is nothing compared to driving in inner London. The last time I drove from Euston to the start of the M1 and onwards I was as stressed as hell. The Leeds inner ring road is like a quiet country road by comparison. Am a Leeds girls, have been a Leeds driver since 1992 and London since 1995. These days I get the train when I travel down to London. Too many idiots!

Fanjango Wed 31-Jul-13 00:28:49

I am in NE Essex. Many of my friends would rather drive in London than here! I guess when they aim at you at least they are going slower in the capital grin.
Seriously, though, the standard of driving here is awful, me accepted naturally gringrin

HellonHeels Wed 31-Jul-13 00:35:45

Oh god outside London the driving gets progressively worse. No one knows what the hell to do on a roundabout.

I had a colleague who was married to a Nigerian so had experience of driving in Lagos. Her theory was that the closer you got to the equator the worse the driving became.

LazyMonkeyButler Wed 31-Jul-13 00:37:02

I find it gets worse the nearer you get to a major city (with the exception of Exeter).

I live in a fairly rural place but occasionally have to go to Birmingham. I bloody hate driving through there! It's the aggressiveness of the driving that gets me, rather than the increased volume of cars on the road.

I have never been to London though (driving or otherwise), so have no knowledge of the roads there.

HellonHeels Wed 31-Jul-13 00:38:42

But I must speak up for the drivers of Essex - I rode my bike out in Essex recently and was amazed and impressed by the really polite driving. Without exception the drivers only passed me when safe and gave me loads of room. No aggressive beeping or shouting either.

Monty27 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:39:51

I'm a Londoner and I'm certainly not psychotic on the roads grin

It. is. just. busier. near cities, probably particularly London orbits etc.

Oooh the M25. I know I'm nearly home when I reach the hallowed tarmac.

I once witnessed two cars on the M25 get really close side by side then the passenger of one car handed the ciggie lighter to the driver of the other.
Who lit up, and passed it back.

<tuts loudly>

hiddenhome Wed 31-Jul-13 00:49:12

The M62 going towards Manchester is the worst road I've ever driven along.

I have a particular dislike of the M42 around Birmingham and joining the M6 around Knutsford. Chaos.

I don't think the issue is Southern roads as much as busy roads. Unfortunately, there just happen to be more of them in the South.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 01:04:52

M62? No wzy! Try driving up Leeds Rd in Bradford. I've driven all over the world, that's up there with the best.

raisah Wed 31-Jul-13 02:13:15

Try Cairo, the Egyptian drivers are completely mental. No politer way to put it.

itsonlyapapermoon Wed 31-Jul-13 02:24:24

My cousin went to Egypt and thought she was going to die because of the driving lol. Thats coming from an Aussie so it must be bad haha! Around where I live people just have no common sense, common courtesy or regard for life in general on the roads. Hardly any cops to catch them being idiots either.

Twattybollocks Wed 31-Jul-13 06:57:46

Rome is madness driving wise. We went a couple of years ago, the taxi driver who took us from airport to hotel was insane. I arrived at the hotel a gibbering wreck and I'm a confident driver!

TidyDancer Wed 31-Jul-13 07:05:31

You get crazies on the roads wherever you go, it's ridiculous to make it a north/south divide.

TidyDancer Wed 31-Jul-13 07:07:34

Actually, two of the worst driving experiences I've had were in Manchester and Italy (Tuscany). Rural roads in Italy can be terrifying.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 31-Jul-13 07:12:04

There are two ways to drive in London: either you keep moving constantly edging out so others give way; or you constantly give way and stop at the junctions until it is clear both ways and get nowhere with a traffic jam building up behind you. I don't find London bad tbh - nothing compared to the perifique in Paris - roll on later!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 31-Jul-13 07:14:26

I was going to say Bradford, Leeds and parts of the m62 as well.

I think I held my breath for ten minutes coming through Bradford last week.

And the m62, narrow lanes, everyone nose to tail doing 80mph. Lane switching and undertaking like mad. Craaaazy.

Eve Wed 31-Jul-13 07:38:25

Try driving in southern Italy!!! Once you get close to Milan gets civilised!

Lazyjaney Wed 31-Jul-13 07:58:18

As roads get busier driving gets harder, people get more frustrated - and the South is much busier.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 31-Jul-13 08:14:59

I used to live in Israel. Even walking on a pavement alongside a road involves taking your life into your own hands. Really bloody terrifying! grin

I drive all over the country and have seen crazy driving everywhere. Away from towns and cities I've noticed a large number of uninsured and drunk drivers (I'm looking at YOU Gloucestershire and Cornwall!) - not enough police around to do anything about it. Within some cities, such as my home town of Birmingham, it's anybody's guess as to whether the driver has a licence, though given the extremely low standards of some foreign driving tests it doesn't make much difference. The M40 is a favourite for foot-to-the-floor dipsticks in their superfast sports cars, probably why there are always accidents on there. London is fine as long as you know where you're going.

I would also love to drive in Paris.

Damnautocorrect Wed 31-Jul-13 08:27:11

I find its how close to the m25 you are to the bad driving. It's like a pack of animals in a small space all trying to mark their territory / take the next persons.

Barmix Wed 31-Jul-13 08:31:53

you want crazy driving?



Leeds is awful I agree. Dh drove through London a few years ago. He is a very confident driver and even he found it an uncomfortable experience.

ChunkyPickle Wed 31-Jul-13 08:39:05

I like driving in London - yes, it could be seen as aggressive, but I prefer to call it decisive smile

When I've been driving in London for a while, then head out into the country I get all sorts of looks (and honks) until I tone my driving back down again (this was especially the case on a motorbike)

Having said that, I do mean decisive, not dangerous - no overtaking on blind bends, no tailgating, speeding, pootling at 65 in the fast lane or dodgy lane moves.

I have to agree though, if you think we're bad, the standards are much, much worse in other countries I've driven in.

zzzzz Wed 31-Jul-13 08:39:38

grin yup. Crazy driving actually makes me grin. Some people just can be tamed.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 08:40:21

YABVU. People in London, and points further south, know how to drive. People north of London? Not so much. That's the difference.

strawberry34 Wed 31-Jul-13 08:46:18

Yanbu, driving is crazy in London, but that's because it's busy and congested, a few bad drivers wind up the good drivers. For example, on the crazy M4 yesterday there was an idiot driving at 60 in the middle lane, overtaking an empty lane. It was dangerous as drivers were having to slow down behind them and try to get round iyswim, there was a lot of honking and undertaking, while the slow driver carried on obliviously.

melika Wed 31-Jul-13 08:53:01

You should try M6, junction 5 to 10,north and southbound, it frightens me and I use it regularly.

tiggytape Wed 31-Jul-13 09:08:23

London is bad - I think it is the congestion
It makes it hard to rectify simple mistakes like being in the wrong lane because there's nowhere to move to and everyone is stressed and aggressive and guarding their bit of road and the fact that they were in the correct lane first.
And the congested slow patches means that when you hit a clear spot nobody can tolerate anything less than going over way over the speed limit whilst tail gating and undertaking everyone else.

I learnt to drive in London. A lot of lessons involved how to ignore this without letting it intimidate you and 'creep and peep' techniques to get out of junctions before you died of old age.

grumpyoldbat Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:09

I find that the M6 gets busier on average the further South you go. I think that makes it seem like there are more nutty drivers. I suspect that percentage wise there are the same number of bad drivers everywhere.

PanicMode Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:19

I drove in London for ten years and would rather drive there than where we live (Tunbridge Wells). Bunch of crazy, selfish, idiotic drivers!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:18:20

I moved away from London to the south west last year and regularly moan to DH about the drivers here.

What you think of as mad, I find driving with a bit of purpose and knowledge of the road.

Here, quite often three cars pull up to a mini roundabout, haven't paid attention to who got there just first and all sit there staring at each other.

When a road has cars parked on it, they seem to think only one car can fit down at a time and create silly traffic jams taking turns, when I know full well that both me and a bus can get down at the same time. They all seem to believe that their cars are 30 feet wide.

When they park in car parks, they do so without looking for other cars, and your existence is treated (when finally noticed) as utterly mystifying.

They sit at junctions for days because they are waiting for a gap that could let out 7 cars.

I could go on grin.

Leeds - Manchester m62 is terrible. My car gets blown across it!

Compared to that London is easy.

I'm a northerner and northern driving is terrible. Everyone is too busy being friendly and waving and flashing (lights) to let each other go first. I just don't think they are focused on driving. None of that messing in London, if you make eye contact it's because you've crashed.

Northampton is the worst. Paris, Rome,Milan, New York, Delhi. I've driven in all with varying degrees of success. But the prospect of getting behind the wheel in Northampton has me trembling.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:27:39

Oh god, yes, the light flashing ThinkAboutIt They are buggers for that round here. I'm minding my own business pulling out of my junction and someone stops dead and flashes their lights at me to let me out. It's kind of them and everything, but if they looked in their rear view mirror they'd realise that there is a big space behind them that I was going to use to pull out and I've had done it quicker that way without all the smiling and flashing!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 09:28:09


I live on the south coast and drive like a myopic nun in a beige Mini.

The worst driving I have ever seen was on the Paris Orbital. I actually hid under a duvet on the back seat - it was like being Stuka dive-bombed by Renault 5s.

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 09:31:04

My least favourite and scariest driving was in Greater Manchester, the M62 and everywhere else. Hostile, poor skills, illegal moves, terrifying.
I lived there a decade, then moved south, and I use the M25 regularly.
Still not a patch on GM. smile

BionicEmu Wed 31-Jul-13 09:32:34

Barmix I am 100% in agreement, Naples really is terrifying! Lots of people driving those tiny old Fiats yet somehow managing to take up an entire dual carriageway, extreme tunnel vision, & completely random speeds.

I didn't get what the fuss was about Rome though!

In the UK, I think Cardiff is the worst. Traffic lights are just for guidance, "Give Way" seems to mean that other people will give way to you. Speed limits are optional unless there's a camera, in which case everyone slams their brakes on & crawls past at 20mph, whatever the speed limit.

ShowOfHands Wed 31-Jul-13 09:34:41

I think there are idiotic drivers everywhere. I also think that wherever there's a motorway, you'll see all sorts of madness. Largely because it's not a requirement that you're taught to drive on them so you pass a test having merely pootled around in some cases (on my test I drove mainly in 30mph areas, went onto one stretch which was 40mph and then bimbled around a quiet estate) and suddenly you're allowed to aim your car at a motorway. And it surprises me how many people don't understand them. Hence the undercutting and use of the hard shoulder. You can also see evidence of it on this thread. ChunkyPickle refers to a fast lane. There's no such thing. It's not a swimming pool. But I know lots and lots of people who think there's a fast lane on a motorway.

I passed my test in April and I see idiots every time I get in the car. There's this strange attitude that you're in a protected little bubble and your needs outstrip the law and comfort of others. Thankfully, I see kind and considerate drivers too but the idiots are all over the place.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Jul-13 09:39:32

Oh god, come to the West Country, the driving here is quite bizarre. No understanding of indication, use of lanes or speed limits. My in-laws live in mid Devon. So many people drink and drive. It's no uncommon to see cars in ditches on a Sunday morn

SprinkleLiberally Wed 31-Jul-13 09:47:36

The Leeds thing is the poor signage rather than driving imho. It ia dreadful on the ring road.
Worst area for me was around Corby/ Northampton/Peterborough. Really noticeable. Nowhere else has ever struck me as being bad.

ReindeerBollocks Wed 31-Jul-13 09:58:10

Down South isn't worse at all.

I drove to Lauceston and Bournemouth within the last two years. The drivers were polite and extremely well behaved! It made me realise how aggressive drivers in Manchester are.

However I recently drove around the West End on a weekend evening. Never again. Would probably drive around London again, just not that particular area at that time.

So no the South isn't bad for driving, certain areas aren't great though. However the same can be said of the North. However, I always find Leeds easy to drive to, which is different from stories here.

LessMissAbs Wed 31-Jul-13 10:51:18

I still find it better than in Scotland though. I often drive to Dover etc from Scotland to get the car ferry and the lane discipline, in terms of not continually driving in the overtaking lane when the inside lane is empty, is noticeably much better. the m25 may be the exception, but nowhere in the UK can surely compete with the driving on the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you have the temerity to move out to overtake and then correctly move back in, you will be blocked deliberately or flashed at or tailgated aggressively if you try to move out to overtake again. It only has two lanes so this effectively turns it into one lane if traffic doing 50-60mph even when its quiet.

As for Aberdeen, I believe it has the highest accident rate in Britain? Basic things like roundabouts, junctions, and speed limits confuse the hell out of people. They dont have any motorways, so consequently have no idea how to drive even on the few stretches of dual carriageway. And aggressive? I once broke down on a side street used as a rat run, hazard warning triangle out and everything while waiting for the AA, and had people actually slow down to shout abuse at me and make throat slitting gestures, etc.

LadyBryan Wed 31-Jul-13 11:22:51

Driving in West Yorkshire is NOTHING compared with London and its outskirts. Wouldn't do the latter in a month of Sundays!

Drive all throughout West Yorkshire with no issues whatsoever

I am assured by my friends that Saudi Arabia is the maddest of the mad places to drive. The stats bear this out. Horrifying.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 11:34:44

I think people are possibly confusing the term 'bad' with the phrase 'unfamiliar'.

For bad driving you need to go to Kiev. Where it can take 2 or 3 hours to drive just a mile, and where drivers routinely take to the pavements to try and get out of/around traffic jams. Once you've been in Kiev everywhere else looks like paradise (see also, the toilets).

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 31-Jul-13 11:35:22

Sorry - term 'unfamiliar'. Bit of crap editing on my part! Which bodes well for today's work.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 31-Jul-13 11:48:51

Interesting the comments re Manchester

I think I'm a confident and pretty good driver and I had a terrifying drive to Liverpool a few months ago ( from Manchester)

Undertaking/tail-gating. Thousands of lorries who clogged up the slow lane so very difficult to actually join the motorway. Then lorries diving into the middle lane randomly so you nearly had to do an emergency stop. No point indicating to get into the fast lane to move out the way - those fuckers would watch you crash and burn rather than give an inch or slow down slightly to let you move in.

I find it the same round where we live in Cheshire. When I was taught to drive, I was told that you had to keep an eye on the slip roads if you were in the slow lane. If you saw cars trying to join the motorway, you should safely move over to let then. Not round here you don't. You don't slow down or speed up to create a gap for then either. You make it as hard and as dangerous as possible for them to join the motorway

I posted about it here and was told to get driving lessons hmm. I honestly don't think that people realise how bad the driving is round Liverpool and Manchester

TheSmallPrint Wed 31-Jul-13 11:52:24

Agree with others that actually the problems are caused by nervous or unfamiliar drivers, there is a big volume of cars around London so you need to drive confidently or cause chaos!

My scariest driving experience by far was driving through Rome with my Italian uncle. I don't know how we made it out alive.

ouryve Wed 31-Jul-13 11:54:36

It's pretty crazy on any busy road. The A1 and A1M around Washington and Gateshead can be terrifying.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 31-Jul-13 12:03:19

Well, if we're going international, Lima is pretty exciting, they drive and overtake four and five abreast on a three lane highway.

Saigon is amazing for the loads that people pile on to bicycles and scooters; 10 foot long poles, 100s of footballs, 8x4 foot sheets of wood, crates of live pigs, ditto ducks. Sometimes the load blocks the driver's view! And they completely ignore traffic lights.

I've heard Bangkok is even worse.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 12:17:53

Lady West Yorkshire is a very large and varied place. The fact you lump it all together shows a lack of knowledge of at least some of the areas. Bimbling around Skipton is completely different to, as stated before, parts of, say, Bradford. London driving holds no fears for me, driving around the city I live on the outskirts of is horrendous at times. There's no comparison. I've driven for 30 years, lived in a few countries, driven in many more.

Owllady Wed 31-Jul-13 12:21:29

the M1 is the worst motorway ime

I found Kent driving fine. I live in the home counties now and I have never been overtaken or swore at so much tbh whilst in the car! That said people are more polite as well and will always thank you if you let them through etc. so I like to think the aggressive people don't live here which isn't true as I had some woman stick her fingers up at me before she realised she knew me and I did want to get out of my car and slap her but I am not a person of violence

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:21:48

I like the person who said Delhi.

You've got elephants on the road FFS grin

Driving in a bus up to Kathmandu was scary. But not as scary as driving on top of a bus to Pokhara in Nepal. Overtaking was interesting and seeing the buses and cars which had fallen into the ravine was a bit worrying.

Owllady Wed 31-Jul-13 12:22:22

I live the A1 too and find that okay tbh, but we use the cambs/beds/herts bit

sex shop central!

Owllady Wed 31-Jul-13 12:23:50

My husband had a car accident in India, his taxi drove into the side of a lorry. They all got out just before the lorry started driving off, taxi still lodged in side shock He said it was awful. But not quite as awful as his Air India flight

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 31-Jul-13 12:27:29

Oh God Kim my daughter did that top-of-the-bus trip!
Thank goodness I didn't know till it was over (shudder)

noblegiraffe Wed 31-Jul-13 12:35:08

I call the M4 'My First Motorway' because it is so easy to drive on! Wide lanes, hardly any traffic most of the time. Mind in neutral.

Driving up north was awful, one of the motorways (can't remember which) seems to have speed cameras every two minutes, my sat nav was going crazy with the beeping.

slug Wed 31-Jul-13 13:15:29

I refuse to drive anywhere in what a colleague once described as "The Kebab Belt" i.e. anything to the east of Italy.

LadyBryan Wed 31-Jul-13 13:59:10

Thanks awfully onesleeptowembley I do live here and travel throughout regularly grin I am regularly in Bradford, Leeds, Castleford, Wakefield, Skipton, Keighley, Addingham, Otley, Ilkley and all surrounding villages.

There is absolutely nothing to compare driving around Bradford with driving around London.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 14:16:19

I agree, there's nothing to compare driving round Bradford with around London. Parts of Bradford are infinitely worse.

Scrounger Wed 31-Jul-13 14:17:52

M62 / M60 is scary, I used to drive on it every day during rush hour and 'drove with confidence'. Now I live more rurally and only drive on it every so often and it leaves me a gibbering wreak. I think the northbound m60 junction where the M62 joins it is horrendous. It has one motorway joining another using two slips in and then 1/4 mile later there is a busy turning off to Worsley / Eccles, cars are crossing two / three lanes at a time whilst coming on / going off. It feels like the Wacky Races or Star Wars when the rebels are attacking the Death Star.

BTW - Skipton is in North Yorkshire - Gateway to the Dales.

SilverOldie Wed 31-Jul-13 14:54:59

I lived in London and drove every day to my office. People who have said you have to be a confident driver are correct. You have to be assertive without being aggressive.

LadyBryan Wed 31-Jul-13 15:49:25

Scrounger - almost, the outskirts are classed as West. That's my address grin

The post office had a bit of a fit when we mistakenly put "North" on our address.

Scrounger Wed 31-Jul-13 16:20:01

Ooh you don't want to upset the Post Office.

wintertimeisfun Wed 31-Jul-13 16:32:45

A406 (north circular) & M25 stink. tailgate city smile

Lovecat Wed 31-Jul-13 17:29:13

I love driving in London and regularly cross it/go into the centre. I live in the area that came top of the 'no insurance, no licence, no MOT' survey the police did a few years back and if you can survive that (a friend who visited from Delhi said it was on a par with that) everything else seems really slow and ponderous. YY to everything AmandaP said about drivers out of London waiting seven years til it's clear to go... my BIL came down from Nottingham to collect some furniture and I was giving him directions in his hire van - he actually slowed down approaching a clear green light 'in case it might change' [THE RAGE]

I regularly drive up to my mum's via the M6/M56/M53 and I'd agree with Gobbolino, no-one seems to signal or give way to anybody. That bit on the M6 between Congleton and Knutsford is a bastard.

patatasbravas Wed 31-Jul-13 17:51:12

Everyone said Rome was bad and it was just mildly chaotic, then we went to Sicily and I was genuinely gripping onto my seat squeaking in fear.

When I did manage to open my eyes, I saw people doing three point turns on the motorway, the give ways are in English so completely ignored by all the locals, the horns, the scooters, they either drive at 10 or 100 mph, they just fire onto the roundabouts...


WireCat Wed 31-Jul-13 17:53:30

I am in SE Essex. Many drivers are nutters.

I have family from elsewhere. They always notice how aggressive the driving is here.

burberryqueen Wed 31-Jul-13 17:55:37

i am in Wales and you notice the difference as soon as you are on the M4.

WireCat Wed 31-Jul-13 18:05:42

The m4 past Reading (towards London) changes to super aggressive.
Joining the m25 from the m4 is a joy (as is vice versa).

Lorries in the m25 panic me. They indicate & pull out. No waiting. I am going faster then them & can go faster.

The a13 is bonkers.

grovel Wed 31-Jul-13 18:06:31

The drivers of County Durham are kamikaze.

burberryqueen Wed 31-Jul-13 18:07:16

oooh the

TedMoseby Wed 31-Jul-13 18:26:42

I used to commute on the M25 every day so didn't notice it but now I live in Devon I notice how craaazy it is as soon as I hit it. People just pick a lane (say 3rd lane) and sit in it at 60mph.

That said, driving down here is just as insane. People here fly out of side junctions and stamp on the break when they're already in the road that I'm driving along. They park in ridiculous places-e.g. opposite a parked car on an empty road creating chaos and drive super fast on very narrow roads that they can't possibly see very far ahead on.

I'm confident and I drive a lot for my job, but I find it so stressful. In my ideal world, everyone would just follow the rules and then there'd be far less road rage and stress.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 31-Jul-13 18:44:28

Well, I grew up in Yorkshire then spent lots of time in London and every time I go 'home', I'm told I'm an aggressive driver! So - I think you're right! I absolutely agree with the comments made about drivers around Heathrow. Honestly, every summer it's the same - lost tourists dilly dallying on the M4 risking the lives of those who live and work locally who are driving at the speed limit for the motorway, rather than at 30mph. Seriously. Get off the motorway and onto the perimeter road. It's circular FGS so you'll get to the right place soon enough!

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:07:16

M25 around M4 to M3. Why do you bother? It seems to be one long jam. And is it 5 or 6 lanes wide now?

Then again, we have some interesting rural roads up here where you get bikers doing about 100mph.

maillotjaune Wed 31-Jul-13 19:19:35

I've seen far worse driving outside London. Paris peripherique is probably no worse than the North Circular but feels more stressful as it's less familiar and I find the signposts harder to follow.

Worst driving I've seen was a Belgian plated BMW towing a big caravan doing over 90mph in the fast lane of a French motorway.

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:29:23

Yes. There are more people in the south-east who are aggressive drivers with a superiority complex.

pussycatwillum Wed 31-Jul-13 20:32:57

Peterborough is the worst round here, but then where I live it is cheery wave country, so perhaps I just don't have a realistic driving experience.

PeanutButterMmm Wed 31-Jul-13 20:39:14

To me it is bizarre when people say "down south" when they only mean london. Kind of like saying "up north" and only meaning manchester.

To me london is not south - it is 100 miles north!

Hassled Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:58

If you go as far South as Naples the driving gets truly mad.

rubyflipper Wed 31-Jul-13 20:45:54

I'd like to nominate St Vincent as one of the scariest places on earth to drive.

It's a lush, volcanic paradise in the Caribbean but the roads and the drivers ... shock

Poorly maintained roads that go up and down the hills with big potholes, no pavements, blind bends, sheer drops down cliffs on one side, lunatic drivers who go too fast and drive with headlights on full beam at night ... I refused to drive over there.

I seriously think the worst driving in the UK is in Lincolnshire. I used to live just north of Market Rasen and at the weekend you could count the number of cars that had come of the road the night before. After we moved back down south we saw a TV programme dubbing the A46 the most dangerous road in the country. shock

internationally, India is something else! Never seen anything like it anywhere else.

stubbornstains Wed 31-Jul-13 20:59:44

I learnt to drive in London, and I like it. It's like some kind of computer game, and you have to be pretty snappy, but I often find it surprisingly courteous and almost comradely- "we're all in it together"-like.

The farking Home Counties are the worst, by far. I don't care if your job as Assistant Director of Personnel at fucking Carphone Warehouse or similar is frustrating you, stop tailgating me in your fucking shiny BMW , I'm already doing slightly over the speed limit, you're not some fucking stallion of the roads, you are in fact a cunt.

(Born and bred in the Home Counties. Fled aged 16. Issues. grin)

stubbornstains Wed 31-Jul-13 21:02:05

The Paris Peripherique is juussst fiiiinnne if you're the largest vehicle on the road. I spent many happy hours in the jumpseat of a 52-seater touring coach on the Peri, goggling at the smart cars carving us up with aplomb grin.

Caboodle Wed 31-Jul-13 21:17:12's all us Northerners who are just bloody knackered after 7 hours behind the wheel trying to get to our holiday in Cornwall....

honeyroastedcashews Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:52

Agree with Perdita re Lincolnshire. We lived there for a couple of years and I've never ever seen such consistently terrible driving anywhere else. And that's despite the fact that most of the roads are pretty empty most of the time...

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 31-Jul-13 23:27:26

S'funny, I actually find it's the people with an*in*feriority complex who are the most aggressive, inconsiderate drivers Wbdn28, and I couldn't isolate their origins, I've seen them everywhere.

rubyflipper that gave me a real jolt, I lived in St. Vincent for a year, 1977/78, but there weren't many cars then, or roads actually.
Was lovely.

BettyandDon Wed 31-Jul-13 23:37:09

Definitely, I have done the drive from Scotland to London many many times and the traffic gets way faster the further south you go.

nannynick Wed 31-Jul-13 23:44:58

Though living in the South and driving to Scotland quite a bit, I would say that on some roads the drivers in Scotland go far faster than I do - I presume they know the road well so know where the tight bends are.

Inconsiderate drivers everywhere alas, though you also come across nice people who let you join a queue of traffic, or who give way at a junction correctly.

I don't drive into London though, cities are a nightmare. Came through Bristol a couple of days ago, even that was hard!

itsonlyapapermoon Thu 01-Aug-13 00:57:39

When I was over there we were in Durham, and I have never felt safer on the road haha! People were really courteous and shock horror KNEW how to use a round-about properly!! You don't get that over here. It's basically give way to whoever is on the roundabout first. Noone gives an inch. Bloody maniacs!

I don't think I will be going to Eritrea for my holidays - road deaths by country.

The UK is right down the bottom of the list of road deaths. I think any presumed North/South divide (and I don't really agree for the record) is pretty minor really.

I think we are looking more at a congested v non-congested road issue although having said that, some of the worst driving I have experienced is being driven down French country lanes by a Frenchman - in a 2CV just to extend the cliché.

primallass Thu 01-Aug-13 09:11:46

I don't think it's the speed, it is the sheer volume of traffic. It freaks me out. We did Fife-Bristol-Fife a few weeks ago and I was so happy to get home to nice empty roads. I used to do a NWLondon-Luton commute and even 15 years ago it was bumper-bumper every day.

LessMissAbs Thu 01-Aug-13 09:45:22

There's also what I like to call the 'Aberdeen Special' (because it happens so often there).

Cars parked on the opposite side of the road, car coming towards you, also on the opposite side of the road. You have the right of way (what with us driving on the left in thus country), only to find your way blocked by a vehicle overtaking the parked car, right into you. Often accompanied by lots of indignant looks, aggressive honking, rude gestures and rolling down of windows to shout abuse at you.

Waiting til the road is clear and then moving out appears to be an advanced manouvere not covered in driving lessons.

BuntyPenfold Thu 01-Aug-13 09:51:31

I agree about the terrible drivers in Lincolnshire, it was probably my mother.

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