The people that won't let others in 'close to the front' do you realise you're the ones holding up the traffic? Like Andrew mentions, it's called 'merge in turn' and the traffic flows a LOT better if people actually do this rather than closing up bumper to bumper with the car in front...
My general rule is to let one person in and no more. If everyone does that it is pretty fair. There is an A road near me leading to the Blackwall Tunnel with a slip road that joins just before the tunnel. Often I am queueing for ages before I get to the sliproad. Then dozens of cars come up and all try to barge in. One from the queue and then one fom the sliproad is more than fair to them. I could have been queuing for 20 mins or more just to get to that point when they haven't queued at all. But it doesnt stop the drivers getting arsey and trying to barge in! The ones that zoom right to the end of the sliproad to queue jump are particularly irksome and never get let in by me. Grrr. I am v Engllish about queueing and wish everyone behaved fairly about it in cars. They mostly do when not in them! I bet the people trying to barge in at the end of the sliproad would never walk past 10 people queueing at a supermarket till and try to barge in at the front.
If there are two lanes of slow-moving traffic merging, I use the zip rule. I am very polite about merging and changing lane in general, and it really annoys me when someone cuts in front of me when there isn't really enough room - if they'd have indicated, I would have slowed down and let them in!
I would have let you in rather than someone who zoomed up and tried to bully their way in. I was ranting about this last week. The woman in front of me let 15 (yes 15 in) I was ranting along the lines of 'you let one in move then I let one in and keep traffic moving.
I do the made up rule about letting one car in as well. However if the car behind me is right on my tail not letting people in then I let everyone in front and if it happens to be a long vehicle such as a lorry so much the better.
Oh I wish more people would take the attitude from here - merge in turn, I don't see why it has to be complicated.
I will add though, if someone is courtious enough to let you in, please acknowledge it by flashing your hazard lights once or twice, or raising your hand between the headrests where the driver of the other car can see it.
We have a road which merges from 2 lanes to one on my way to work and I always let one car in, but the number of people who don't thank me is infuriating . If I hold a door open for someone and they swan through without even a glance I shout after them "You're welcome" but I can't do it in the car and it's annoying!! Manners please people!!!
Quick trick for getting in if they won't let you - make eye contact, wave an acknowledgment, and then move across. There aren't many people who won't let you in once you've thanked them, even if they never had any intention of letting you in. Try it, it works!!
Eurochick, why do you think the cones are there?! If they wanted you to merge 800 yards back, they'd put the cones 800 yards further back! It's this kind of sloppy, selfish driving that really annoys me, both lanes should be equally full of traffic until the cones dictate the second lane has come to a close, then the person at the front of lane one allows in one driver from lane 2, then the person behind them allows another one in, and the person behind that... it stops lane 1 being backed up for miles of barely moving traffic!
"use both lanes" and "merge in turn" means just that actually. You might feel superior for queuing in one lane but it's not what you are supposed to do. As it is you have one lane stretching for miles and an empty lane. Then everyone gets cross because someone brave "pushes in" by wizzing down the empty lane like they are advised to. Bonkers
Merge in turn from the point where it says teh lane is closiing. People who zoom up to the cones then try annoy the fuck out of me and I don't let them in. Reason being, they warned you 800 yards back so you could do it safely and slowly.