Highway Star

Posted on 15th September 2013

A few years ago I posted about whether the M6 viaduct over the Gravelly Hill area of Birmingham, was the longest bridge in the UK. In February 2012, someone added a page to Wikipedia for the bridge, which appears to be called the Bromford Viaduct. The Wikipedia page references the same page I found from the Motorway Archive, but nowhere on that page did it reference the name. So now I had two questions:

  1. Is the Bromford Viaduct its official name?
  2. Is this still the longest bridge in the UK?

Regards the name, it would seem that the proposals for HS2 refer to it as the M6 Bromford Viaduct. After some further searching, it would seem that The Highways Agency calls it the Bromford Viaduct too, so I guess that is its official name, seeing as they are the government department in charge of UK roads. I still think the Spaghetti Viaduct sounds better :)

However, the second question still remained unanswered. On the Motorway Archive page it states the bridge "was then the longest continuous viaduct in Great Britain", which implies it no longer is. Having said that, in November 2010, a few months after my initial post, it seems someone else had thought the same thought, and added the bridge to the Wikipedia page for the longest bridges. Seeing as there is no other mention of a longer UK bridge and the Second Severn Crossing is measured as being 472m (1576ft) shorter, I think, until proven otherwise, Brummies can be proud to have the longest bridge in the UK.

File Under: birmingham / bridges / road

Working On The Highway

Posted on 8th June 2007

Wheelchair man gets highway ride!

The guy was wearing a bright red shirt in a wheelchair with bright yellow bars. How much more obvious could it be? If you're driving a vehicle, especially one weighing several tons, you are expected to be aware of other road users and pedestrians. It's called driving with due care and attention. The fact that the guy was physical unharmed is something the driver should be extremely thankful for. He might otherwise have lost his job, his license and quite possibly have been severing jail time by now.

File Under: accident / road

The Long & Winding Road

Posted on 3rd April 2007

It still amazes me how badly some people drive. I drove from Gloucester to Milton Keynes last night, which is a distance of about 80 miles. It took 2 hours. Seeing as much of the roads were either main roads or dual carriageway (the trek on the M40 was only 5 miles), it should have taken quite a bit less.

However, driving 40-50mph in a 60mph limit doesn't help. Having idiots slow down and even break, because a car several hundred yards in front of them slowed down is just ludicious. I used to think lorries were the most infuriating as they clog the motorways during rush hour, but it seems there are even worse drivers who thankfully steer clear of motorways.

It would also seem that road hogging crosses the age barriers as well as gender. I've noticed more and more that you cannot stereotype the kind of person that gives little care for other road users. I do wonder though, whether children see how their parents drive and pick up the bad habits.

In the UK you have to redo your driving test once you reach 70, which is a good thing, as many older drivers develop disabilities that may impair their driving, which unless tested, they may not even be aware of.

But I do think there should better testing done earlier too. The current driving tests give the new driver an open road. Even though they have not had any proper experience driving on a major road or motorway. It's not very often that your driving lessons give you in any sort of medium to long distance driving situation.

So I would like to see better take up of the Provisional Driver (Green P plate), so that new drivers can get further lessons for motorways and regular driving along major and country roads. Then for them to have an extended test where they are asked to take a journey of 1-2 hours, so the examiner can see whether they are being over cautious, too aggressive or just inconsiderate. It might help to curb some of the bad habits some drivers pick up.

File Under: driving / rant / road

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