Wednesday, July 01, 2009


A couple of years ago, the A21 between Bromley Common and Bromley itself was rearranged slightly to make it easier to turn right into Magpie Hall Lane. The road was widened so that there were two lanes (one for through traffic and the other for the right-hand turn) and a traffic island put in place between the on-going lane and the turn-off. It is sort-of L-shaped to prevent cars from the other direction getting in the wrong lane.

You can see what it looks like here: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GFRC_enGB212GB212&q=map+%22bromley+common%22&um=1&ie=UTF-8&split=0&gl=uk&ei=lyxLSryMOJO8jAfHh6xm&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1

Last night, when I was driving to Bromley to see David, there was a stream of traffic ahead of me which included a Police van so everyone was keeping to the speed limit. A white van somewhere ahead of the Police van was trying to turn right into Magpie Hall Lane and was waiting for a suitable gap in the oncoming traffic.

Nothing out of the ordinary there. I’ve seen all sorts of vehicles turn right there in the past.

Shortly after the Police van passed the junction, the scene became very unusual, because it was then that I noticed a car heading towards me on the wrong side of the van turning right.

The car was between the van and the railings on the island. It should have been on the other side of the van with the regular stream of traffic.

It took me a little while to realise something wasn’t right with this scene and by that time the car ran out of room between the van and the railings and hit both before coming to a stop.

Luckily, the driver of the Police van noticed, turned on the blue flashing lights and immediately turned around.

How did the driver of the car get there? The “L” shape of the island should have prevented the traffic coming away from Bromley getting into that lane. He could have come from Magpie Hall Lane but he did seem to be driving a bit too quickly for someone turning right.

Was he from abroad and forget which side of the road we drive on in the UK? Was he drunk? Was he trying to put some distance between himself and the Police?

Unfortunately, I don’t think I shall ever find out.

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