RECENTLY many of your contributors have suggested that HGVs be banned from lane two of the A14 on the Cambridge-Brampton stretch, and have cited that “it works on the continent: lorries are banned from overtaking there”.
I would like to point out that there is no blanket ban on overtaking: it is often at specific points where conditions dictate, and any restrictions are always on motorway-standard routes, not dual carriageways.
An overtaking ban on the suggested length of the A14 would be pretty disastrous.
The road is fed by a varying standard of slip roads and straight-on entrances from domestic properties and farms. Imagine attempting to join or leave the carriageway at busy periods when your way is barred by a continuous line of slow-moving trucks.
Then imagine a cyclist or a tractor hauling a trailer of hay at 20mph, and the subsequent queue.
Meanwhile, in lane two, where drivers feel they should be racing along at the legal limit, a caravan, a motorhome or a driver who prefers to travel at 50mph is holding up those who supported a no-overtaking rule and cannot now leave at their exit because their way is blocked.
Overtaking bans do exist in this country in the form of weight limits, such as the western end of the A14 and on the M11, but these are between junctions and not for very long – as it is on the continent, in fact.
I am beginning to convince myself that, far from banning trucks, cars should be restricted to certain times, and the road left for those it was designed for – freight traffic.