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To think that if you live on a narrow country lane...

(22 Posts)
DontEatTheVolesKids Wed 25-Jul-12 14:41:59

that you have to expect drivers to sometimes use the top of your driveway as a passing place?

We live on a narrow country lane & people sometimes use top of our driveway as passing place, even though there is a large & obvious road passing place only 40' away; I don't mind as long as they aren't pulling into our drive fast (dangerous).

Once 7yo Ds was sick all over self in the car on a narrow country lane, my dad pulled over to get him cleaned up, his shirt changed. After 2 minutes a man appeared from house 80' away obviously agitated we were there at very edge of his drive; problem wasn't that we were blocking him in, he just didn't like anyone on even 6' of his property.

And today on a very narrow road another car reversed so I drove up to see where I could squeeze by, me getting past meant pulling up (just barely) onto someone's drive (otherwise we both would have had to reverse another 60-100', around bends, too). Before the other car had even driven off the home-owner rushed out to say "CAN I HELP YOU?". She could put a gate across, no, if she felt so strongly about it?

I suspect I'm U in letting it bother me wink. Can't figure out if there's something cultural I don't get about territorial English people, maybe; but then I often don't understand where other people are coming from. Isn't it part & parcel of country life & what it means to live on a narrow country road?

marge2 Wed 25-Jul-12 14:43:13


sixlostmonkeys Wed 25-Jul-12 14:47:50

Just carry on doing what you need to do. You are in the right. You are being sensible, considerate etc.

All I can suggest is you have some pre-prepared witty answers at the ready should it happen again. At least that would stop you feeling so 'arghh'. I would feel a little 'arghh'

Can i help you? reply "oh how kind. A cup of tea would be lovely"

DontEatTheVolesKids Wed 25-Jul-12 14:58:18

lol @ 6lostmonkeys.
It's only 2 replies but I feel a bit better.
do you think it's a city-to-country transplants thing, to not expect random passing cars or piles of mud after harvest on the driveway?

MarysBeard Wed 25-Jul-12 15:01:24

There is a house near us on a narrow lane where I regularly have to pull into the bottom of their drive, and I imagine they do get miffed with people doing so. But I'd rather have the householder a bit miffed than a white van hit me head on sad

Salmotrutta Wed 25-Jul-12 15:04:36

I'm actually thinking it may well be townies-moved-to-country who have this attitude.

I have done u-turns in many a driveway and never had any problems.

The people you have encountered sound very precious.

I hope a farmer accidentally drops a load of dung off his trailer into their gateways wink

bamboobutton Wed 25-Jul-12 15:07:03

i used to live on a narrowish country road and people used to use the entrance to my drive to turn around, as a passing place, to pull in tolook at their maps etc. never bothered me.
i don't know why people get so het up about it.

Debs75 Wed 25-Jul-12 15:08:21

My friends mum lives on a windy country lane and they do get miffed with people pulling on their drive, especially as said people have smashed into their house before and damaged the property or have almost hit their parked cars. Plus it is a hard drive to get onto with a very bumpy high part. Space is very tight on the road with only 2 proper turning spaces. Things have been better since they got the road reclassed and stopped it being a cut through for huge lorries.

Liketochat1 Wed 25-Jul-12 15:08:38

Yanbu- some people get cross about the strangest things.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 25-Jul-12 15:09:11

I think it's fair enough to use a drive as a passing place and I wouldn't think twice about it.

But if you pulled over into a driveway for long enough to clean up a child who'd been sick, I can understand someone coming out to see what was going on. You're only saying he was 'agitated' - he was probably worried! So long as he wasn't rude to you what's wrong with that?

If a car pulled into my parents' driveway in the country and stopped for a while, I would certainly go out and look - I would be worried they'd broken down and needed help, and I would also be worried they might be thieves, because every house that's been burgled in our village has been done by people stopping in the driveway.

If there's not much traffic past your house it's reasonable to be concerned when someone stops. Trust me, if you ever do break down near there you will be glad of this attitude!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 25-Jul-12 15:10:57

I think it's a retired persons thing where they don't have enough actuall stuff to deal with in life so they create some drama out of non events to liven things up a little.

The only encounters I have ever had with people like this have all been of an age to be retired.

sixlostmonkeys Wed 25-Jul-12 15:16:32

I don't think it is 'just' a country thing. I've had similar experiences elsewhere.
Eg. pull off a main road and park in a little street to look at the map etc, and a houseowner will come out and question you.

I find the people who behave this way, well, I'm looking at them for a few seconds and jumping to conclusions about their whole lifestyle (don't we all at some time or another?) are the ones who have their life just so, right down the the arrangement of their capo de montes and knowledge of the exact time the postman, milkman will arrive, and so when something "so out of place!" happens they get a bit giddy. Talk to them like you don't realise they are complaining. Keep smiling. It totally throws them. (and gives them something to talk about until the next ruffian pulls up near their house. smile

caramelwaffle Wed 25-Jul-12 15:21:34


Bartusmaeus Wed 25-Jul-12 15:26:29

I remember once when we were driving on tiny, windy moutain roads in France very slowly. A car going much faster than us was zooming up behind us, so we pulled over at the first opportunity so he could go past us. Cue much signalling from the driver as we'd pulled into his driveway blocking his way! blush


Blu Wed 25-Jul-12 15:31:36

Is this pulling actually into their driveway, or into the bit between their driveway and road, wihch might not be their property anyway?

YANBU, but people get very anxious about people's intentions, will they be parking there, picnicking, blocking them in, moving 3 residential caravans on to the plot....

I once pulled off the road on a v hot day in a farm gateway (not blocking it) to bf DS when he was tiny. My heart sank when a woman came out of the house and I thought she was about to shout at me - she said was I ok, she was concerned when she saw I had pulled up with a baby, and would I like a glass of iced water?

Doilooklikeatourist Wed 25-Jul-12 15:34:47

Pull into my driveway if you like .
You can even turn round if you're going the wrong way and you probably are if you in that road

CharminglyOdd Wed 25-Jul-12 15:48:36

YANBU. I was once twenty minutes early for a rural job interview so I pulled over into the entrance of an empty field to text my Mum and waste ten minutes. There were quad bikes in the field next door, which suddenly made a beeline for my car and sat there in the field about 5m from my car, revving. There was plenty of room for them to go around (you could have fit two cars and I'd parked at the very edge) but I suddenly realised they wanted me to move. I drove off and was very early for my interview.

Found out when I started work that these boys (2x 10YO and an 11YO) were the sons of the local landowner and were twatilly seriously entitled. They just didn't want anyone on 'their' land... even though it was their Dad's really. Was very glad when I left and no longer had to deal with them (their family owned the restaurant I worked in).

Pendeen Wed 25-Jul-12 15:54:33

I agree with the 'townie' theory which, oddly enough always seems to be retired people who have so little in their lives any 'drama' is welcome.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 25-Jul-12 16:15:55

Obviously, seeing it was a sick kid and a desperate grandpa he should have been more considerate but the countryside has a lot of dodgy stuff going on and homeowners are naturally wary. A friend who owns a stable complex had to block off one of her own access lanes last December after finding a very large illegal party going on in one of her outlying barns and drunken party-goers tearing around her fields in cars. The police weren't at all interested

TheFidgetySheep Wed 25-Jul-12 16:18:00

I am a little pissy about people turning in my drive since someone knocked the wall down and drove off. Otherwise I am a lovely person

throckenholt Wed 25-Jul-12 16:20:41

To get through our village the only way when you meet another car is to pull over into a driveway - everyone does it and no-one complains. Equally the only way to get past on many of the lanes is to pull on the verge or into a field entrance. You can always tell those who don't usually drive the lanes because they refuse to go any where near the verge (especially if they are in a shiny 4x4 !).

On the other hand, I get a bit narked with people turning round in our driveway - especially when there is a perfectly good (quiet) road just a tiny way down the road. I think it is the not understanding why they feel the need that gets me.

DontEatTheVolesKids Wed 25-Jul-12 16:21:25

That's a relief that no one has flamed, I was already with the Asbestos suit. wink

LRD DS being sick was like 5 yrs ago: what I remember is that Owner (whilst not rude or actively pushy) strongly wanted us to move on ASAP & felt indignant about us being there for any time at all, he didn't see child being sick as good reason to stop the car confused. Me & my dad were confused that he was so anxious (culture clash moment).

These are the sort of narrow lanes where there's no pavement; no transition space between driveways & public highway, iyswim. Property boundaries seem to go right up to the road, and if there's a verge, it's so steep that only a large tractor could mount.

Now I think there's something wrong with me that I even let all this get to me confused; just hate confrontations, I suppose! Organisers at the Activity Centre (I was on the narrow lane today to fetch DD from there, only the one access road to reach the Centre): they reckoned today's Plaintiff would ring to complain so it was good they heard my side & they had advance warning.

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