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to think horse boxes should keep off major commuter routes during rush hour

51 replies

LisasCat · 15/04/2011 09:46

To clarify, the commuter route in question is a single carriage A road that connects two large UK cities. And this was at 8.30am!

I manage to bite my tongue when it's tractors (and there are enough of those that use the road in question). I remind myself that the farmer is doing an invaluable and often thankless job that keeps us all in food, and I don't know enough about agriculture to comment on whether or not it's absoutely essential that he drives his machinery at 20mph 5 miles along this road at 8.15am. I may silently swear a lot, but I try to give him the benfit of the doubt.

But horse boxes? Come on people. It's a hobby. I don't care if your darling daughter does need to be at a gymkhana with her pony, Princess, in order to win some lovely multi-coloured ribbons. Time your journey so that you are not on major roads at 8.30am, or don't be surprised if the 5 mile tailback of slowmoving traffic who are all trying to get to work starts to show a bit of aggression.

OP posts:
JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar · 15/04/2011 10:43


Going slightly off on a tangent, I held back the other day at a traffic calming pinch point thingy to let a girl on a horse come through. Oncoming traffic had priority but I'd have held back anyway. The horse was moving too slowly for the woman in the car behind her so she overtook the horse, with only a few inches between her car and me and one side, horse on the other. I was completely Shock

Thankfully the horse was calm. It's a shame though that it didn't give twatwoman's car a hefty kick (obv. without scaring/endangering its rider) Grin

This was at rush hour btw. OP - are you that woman?

allgonebellyup · 15/04/2011 10:50

i think i shall take my horse on Monday, put her in her horsebox and travel along the road youre talking about at around 8.15, and drive as slowly as i possibly can.... Grin
and then just drive her all the way back home again.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar · 15/04/2011 11:02

ime horse boxes don't go that slowly anyway - maybe you're driving too fast, OP? And they pull over if there's a queue forming behind them and they're on that stretch of road for a longish time - at least around here they do.

LisasCat · 15/04/2011 11:05

OK, I concede that I didn't consider they might be taking it to a vet. I had assumed (probably from watching too much James Herriot as a child) that for animals the size of a horse or cow, the vet paid a visit to the sick animal, rather than the owner needing to transport the animal to the vet at short notice.

But if it wasn't a sick horse (and it definitely was a horse, not a victim of DV fleeing her husband with all her belongings in the back of the horse box), and was merely the horse being transported at least 10 miles (which was the distance it remained on this particular stretch of road), I still can't see any justification for the owners of this horse choosing to slow a 50mph stretch of road down to 20mph at 8.30am on a weekday morning.

And no it's not a rural area - as I mentioned this is a road connecting two major cities.

And no, nor am I someone who gets angry at horses on the road (during quiet times of the day) - I will very happily slow right down and give the horse and its rider every courtesy owed to other road users.

But for a couple of hours, 5 days a week, I think if you're driving an incredibly slow vehicle (and yes, this includes caravans) along a lengthy stretch of road where you will be driving at less than half the speed of the rest of the traffic, with no possibility of passing places or being overtaken, it would be slightly less selfish if people had a bit of a think about whether they actually need to make their journey at that time or could perhaps leave it an hour until both they and the other road users can be a little more relaxed.

OP posts:
ChippingInMistressSteamMop · 15/04/2011 11:10

LisasCat - so the horse owner shouldn't be on that stretch of road between 7.30 & 9.30 then, or is it only you they shouldn't inconvenience Hmm

Other people have lives too and they don't revolve around yours. They don't have to have a justification for using the road they too pay tax to use.

You can be more relaxed by leaving time to spare when planning your journey :)

iamabadger · 15/04/2011 11:11

OP YANBU and i'm not sure why you've got such a flaming....DV victims fleeing indeed! A lot to read into a fairly innocent post which I guess was more of a stress releiving rant than anything else?

Vallhala · 15/04/2011 11:11

allgonebellyup, it's posts like yours that make me wish MN had a "Like" button!

See you there, Monday, 8.15am, okay? :o

desperatelyseekingsnoozes · 15/04/2011 11:15

It sounds as of you live somewhere rural, if it annoys you move somewhere different. I agree that most people with horse boxes do not go that slow. I think the only time we only really stand out is on a motorway or similar. We always pull in if a queue is forming , although that can be difficult on some single track roads.

I used to drive on a single track route to work (also an A roa3d) and was often stuck behind tractors. I just used to set off earlier. Although then I just used to get stuck behind the early bird tractors. At the time it can be frustrating and it was one of the reasons we moved closer to work.

nijinsky · 15/04/2011 11:20

YABU. Although I can see why you would make that mistake. At that time in the morning, on a weekday, its almost certainly not a hobby. Most BS (professional level showjumping) classes start 8.30am to 9.30am for the first classes to fit all the classes in before 8 or 9pm at night. In Scotland, so many people jump full time for a living (i.e. for the prize money, for the profits from buying, selling and improving horses, for riding other people's horses, etc) that there are loads of people in each class. I have to say most of them also seem to make more money out of it and buy nicer hourses out of it than many people in "normal" jobs so it does seem to be a worthwhile way of earning a living.

Pony club people generally tow trailers. At weekends.

My personal bugbear is cars breaking down or crashing on the bypass. How do you manage to crash on a dual carriageway bypass? Nevertheless there is one nearly every day. Very few horsebox crashes in comparison - so few that my fully comp insurance is only £254 per year.

Can I also point out that theres an awful lot of damned slow drivers around on motorways. My horsebox is quite small, new and fast and I constantly have to overtake people driving at about 45-50mph on clear stretches of motorway.

If its a road between two major cities, why don't they build a motorway or at least a dual carriageway?

SarahStrattonHasNiceBears · 15/04/2011 11:21

Count me in for the protest.
nijinsky · 15/04/2011 11:25

To be fair to the OP, 20mph is incredibly slow. I usually drive at 50mph on a safe, clear main road in a straight line, and 60mph on motorways. Either there was something wrong with the horsebox, it was an old wreck, the road goes up an incredibly steep hill or the road is very winding. Or it was just getting up to speed? It would take too long to get somewhere driving at 20mph!

LisasCat · 15/04/2011 11:30

desperately seeking if I saw a horse box pull over to let the line of traffic that was forming pass it, I might just get out of my car to go and kiss that horse owner. Sadly, I have never seen that happen. On motorways it's not a problem, there are 3 lanes. But on this road there is no safe way to overtake, although the width of the lane and the grass verge would provide plenty of room for a slow moving vehicle to pull to the side and let the cars pass.

I was once told that, in the highlands of Scotland, there are lots of remote roads with signs reminding people that frustration causes accidents, and if they are not in a hurry, perhaps they should pull over to let those that are pass them. That way, they get to appreciate the scenery while the locals/commuters get to arrive at their destination, and everyone's a bit calmer. I don't know how much truth there is in the existence of those signs, but if they are there, then I think they're a very good idea, and appropriate to this topic.

If that horse was sick, I really do hope the owner got it to a vet and it's OK. I would hate for any animal to be suffering. Like I said, I assumed vets paid house calls to large animals, but if I'm wrong, I stand corrected and would happily add twenty minutes to my journey for an animal to receive medical attention.

OP posts:
SusanneLinder · 15/04/2011 11:37

I work in a rural area, and regularly meet horseboxes,tractors and goodness knows what else in my drive to work. I sigh lots, slow down and try, where possible, to find a safe place to overtake.

The worst is the blimmin pensioners on a nice day that drive their Nissan Micras at 20mph in a national speed limit road, to the seaside. :)Can be spotted miles off due to tartan picnic blankets in back window and the wearing of trilby hats.

I would rather see a nice horse

cheesesarnie · 15/04/2011 11:40

yabu.its annoying but theyve as much right to be there as you.
we leave the house early for the school run as were guarenteed to get stuck behind horse boxes,tractors,milk tankers,caravans(this time of year) and the occasional herd of sheep.

5Foot5 · 15/04/2011 13:29

This reminds me of my Dad's frequent rants about caravans. He wanted them restricted so that they could only drive for one hour in every four! Possibly a bit DraconianSmile

Actually OP I sympathise. Of course everyone has a right to use the road but I think if you are travelling at so much below the normal speed of the road, as in this case, then it is common courtesy to pull over every so often to let people past.

I have often seen tractors do this

NinkyNonker · 15/04/2011 13:33

Do you pay more road tax do you reckon? Or are you just more important because you are a 'commuter'?

SarahStrattonHasNiceBears · 15/04/2011 17:29

If they were really only going 20mph then it was either someone who had never towed before, the road conditions were bad enough to warrant that speed or there was a problem transporting the horse. If the road has bends in it then you need to understand that you can't go round a bend fast towing a trailer - it will unbalance the horse and a panicking horse in a trailer is not something you want to be driving behind.

Butkin · 20/04/2011 10:31

Just seen this thread and YABU !

Why do you have more rights than any other driver who pays road tax?

Was it a horsebox or a car pulling a horse trailer?

Even an HGV box can drive up to 56mph (they have speed limiters) and most drivers will be getting on as fast as they can.

Highly unlikely to be a pony club mum unless at weekends of in school holidays. If it was the school holidays then they could be conceivably going to a pony club rally which would normally start around 9.30am.

Not all horse drivers can be commended but neither can all "commuters".

AlpinePony · 20/04/2011 10:52

YABU. If you don't like "country life", move to London and use the tube. IHTH.

shmoz · 20/04/2011 10:58

lol at this

btw, towing caravans should only be allowed out between 2am and 4am Grin

QuintEggSentialPaints · 20/04/2011 11:06

This is exactly why I wonder when to move the snow shoveling tractor my father has kindly given me, the 12 kilometers through the city center, across a very long bridge, and to my home. Heck, it does not have a cabin, so I need to dress like the Michelin man, so it could be a blessing that it only moves at 5 mph..... I wont freeze to death. It has nothing to do with the fact that I have nowhere to park it, once I bring it home.

Thanks to drivers like the op, it keeps the tractor safe in my fathers garage.

ivykaty44 · 20/04/2011 11:09

I really think Op there should be a special news channel for you - then you can let the rest of the UK know where and when you decide to travel and we can all keep off the roads espically for you, possibly this would also be handy for J Clarkson so would you mind sharing the channel with him?

Vicky2011 · 20/04/2011 11:11

Really not sure why OP is getting such a flaming.

20mph is incredibly slow, I would say dangerously slow.
Trust me I am a slow driver, people are forever driving up my bum as I hate the assumption that 60mph is the correct speed on a de-restricted road, most of the time it is far too fast, but 20mph for 10 miles? TBH at any time of day I'd be furious.

Oh and why do pensioners shop on weekends?? I don't mean those that are so frail they need their working middle aged kids to shop with them but those that just shop on a Friday evening or Sat am because they've always done?. Grrr.

JaneS · 20/04/2011 11:15

I'm sure they'd rather not be on the road too! What do you suggest they do, fly?

ivykaty44 · 20/04/2011 11:15

On the other hand - you could always go on a course to over take a slow moving vehicle in front of yours. It is noticable how much clear space there is to overtake and a motorist will sit behind bonnet pushed right up to slow moving vehicle and not overtake with 5, 6 minutes of clear, straight road the other way.

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