Dear editor,

I would like to address two subjects; Driving Standards in and around Basingstoke and Road Design in Basingstoke

Driving Standards:

Driving standards of the drivers I see in and around Basingstoke are, quite frankly, appalling. I am sure that the driving instructors did not teach prospective drivers to ignore road signs & lane markings, to have no regard for other road users or drive as if they are the only ones using the road to get anywhere.

Road signs and lane markings. One example but it happens all over the town, at the ring road junction with the M3, Black Dam junction. Heading along Ringway south to the junction, the left lane of the dual carriageway is for turning left. This lane then splits into two lanes, one; the left lane for Town Centre, the right lane, for Ring Road (N), Reading, Newbury and Hospital.

Frequently, drivers will use the left lane and when negotiated the corner will attempt to push into the Ring Road, causing drivers to either veer to the right, putting themselves in danger of the vehicles in the right hand lane or break causing a slow line of traffic and impatience for drivers behind.

Two solutions for this problem; traffic police stationed in busy times or barriers along the lane up until the Town Centre road goes left. These barriers would be similar to the ones at Popley Way to prevent a right turn.

A particular driving habit of concern is, when using a two lane entry and exit on roundabouts, drivers will use the left lane to negotiate a full right-hand turn.

Another situation is parking or dumping a car opposite a T junction. This causes problems for drivers in all directions and is the result of the driver not wanting to park too far from their walking destination

Selfish behaviour is described in the following example. Ringway South heading to Hackwood roundabout. Quite often there is a queue for traffic to turn left or continue straight on. Yesterday 3rd October a trade van, at considerable speed, bypassed, using the right-hand lane, all of the vehicles waiting to turn left, the driver then entered the roundabout and turned left, pushing into the traffic going down towards Grove Road, blocking the roundabout for vehicles going straight on and blocking vehicles coming around the roundabout. This is purely selfish behaviour, saying, I am more important than you.

Road design in Basingstoke

When we will get a proper ring road, where junctions have fly overs and the roundabouts below would only be used for vehicles going off left and right. Currently these junctions cause an inordinate amount of congestion creating queues, frustration and standing cars pumping exhaust into the air.

Lastly, why do we have so many roads that flood I am sure we have no more rain than in the past but we have more and more large areas of standing water? A good many of these are on busy roads which again cause danger and slow traffic.

Yours faithfully,

Geoff Horrigan, Horwood Gardens.