4 comments

  • >I hope this isn’t too long – The problem of deciding which side to drive of is one which has troubled the automotive community worldwide to this day, and there still is no easy answer. Originally of course nearly everyone drove on the left-hand side of the road as a means to make hand-to-hand combat easier for the population, the majority of whom were right-handed. The advent of right-hand side travel originated in the US and France when horse-drawn carriage drivers (requiring to whip the horses with their right hands) insisted on driving on the right to ensure that they didn’t hit any oncoming traffic – I presume with either their carts or whips. Nowadays, 66% of countries worldwide officially drive on the right-hand side. In the EU the only countries who still use the left-hand side are island nations who were all once part of the British Empire (e.g. Malta, Eire, Cyprus). The highest concentration of left-hand side nations is found in South-East Asia and the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand). Left-hand drive nations are becoming a dying breed. However, I feel that for the miniscule inconvenience for that extra wee bit of concentration (and £5 to buy a pack of beam deflectors) the UK should remain a left-hand side country. It makes us practically unique in our area of the world and in a time where our independence is slowly being eaten up by the European Union we need a few of our eccentricities to remain. I drove from the UK to Luxembourg last Thursday and my most immediate concern was not how I was driving or ensuring I was on the right side of the road, but rather the continental idiots who I was sharing the road with. However, more important than this is the utter confusion as change like this would bring to the streets of Britain. Imagine if everybody one morning just had to switch the side of the road you drove on (imagine if you forgot! – there are plenty of idiots out there). That is what happened to the people of Sweden in 1967 when they switched from the left-side to the right-side. Many of the more elderly population chose not to drive following this switch. I will end my argument with this thought – as long as we ensure that when driving abroad we remain safe and careful then I don’t see any reason why Britain should change. Globally there are many more serious things to be concerned about when looking at road safety. Perhaps of most concern are the 1.5million Russian cars that are Right-Hand drive on Right-Hand side roads, or the overwhelming percentage of the Burmese population who chose not to change their cars to Left-Hand drive when the government switched the side from left to right in 1970. As long as we try to remain safe I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

  • >I hope this isn’t too long – The problem of deciding which side to drive of is one which has troubled the automotive community worldwide to this day, and there still is no easy answer. Originally of course nearly everyone drove on the left-hand side of the road as a means to make hand-to-hand combat easier for the population, the majority of whom were right-handed. The advent of right-hand side travel originated in the US and France when horse-drawn carriage drivers (requiring to whip the horses with their right hands) insisted on driving on the right to ensure that they didn’t hit any oncoming traffic – I presume with either their carts or whips. Nowadays, 66% of countries worldwide officially drive on the right-hand side. In the EU the only countries who still use the left-hand side are island nations who were all once part of the British Empire (e.g. Malta, Eire, Cyprus). The highest concentration of left-hand side nations is found in South-East Asia and the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand). Left-hand drive nations are becoming a dying breed. However, I feel that for the miniscule inconvenience for that extra wee bit of concentration (and £5 to buy a pack of beam deflectors) the UK should remain a left-hand side country. It makes us practically unique in our area of the world and in a time where our independence is slowly being eaten up by the European Union we need a few of our eccentricities to remain. I drove from the UK to Luxembourg last Thursday and my most immediate concern was not how I was driving or ensuring I was on the right side of the road, but rather the continental idiots who I was sharing the road with. However, more important than this is the utter confusion as change like this would bring to the streets of Britain. Imagine if everybody one morning just had to switch the side of the road you drove on (imagine if you forgot! – there are plenty of idiots out there). That is what happened to the people of Sweden in 1967 when they switched from the left-side to the right-side. Many of the more elderly population chose not to drive following this switch. I will end my argument with this thought – as long as we ensure that when driving abroad we remain safe and careful then I don’t see any reason why Britain should change. Globally there are many more serious things to be concerned about when looking at road safety. Perhaps of most concern are the 1.5million Russian cars that are Right-Hand drive on Right-Hand side roads, or the overwhelming percentage of the Burmese population who chose not to change their cars to Left-Hand drive when the government switched the side from left to right in 1970. As long as we try to remain safe I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

  • >I agree that we shouldnt change, not so much as it keeps our independance, but more due to cost. You can find a whole bunch of supporters of changing to right hand drive because it will mean a cheaper car, and because "the rest of the world do it" It is in my opinion false economy. The savings you would be able to make by buying a cheaper car would be far outweighed by the cost of switching the country over.Motorway junctions would have to be changed, i deal with 2 horrible junctions every day. M1 Lofthouse interchange and the M62, M621, A62 and A650 Roundabouts from hell. Its just been changed and set up with nice shiny new traffic lights. The Priorities would change. not to mention the traffic flow would be reversed so all the markings would have to be redone. And the 4 lane entrances would be 4 lane exits and the 2 lane exists would suddenly be the entrances. Nightmare!Busses… Overnight change for the entire country? Boris is still phasing out the bendy bus.Overnight our cars would become dangerous prompting everyone to have to buy a new car. You wouldnt be able to buy a decent old car as they would be all Right hand drive.Level Crossings would need changing, New signs everywhere, re-education, driving instrutors would most likely need re-training the list goes on and on. At the end of it all its got be paid for by someone….Some have suggested a gradual change, county at a time working from the channel tunnel outwards. But that means allot of confusion when switching between, and really wouldnt help matters as safety would be a huge concern. Not to mention the problems people would face in buying new cars, say you work in a county which is left hand drive and live in right hand drive. Which car do you buy? safety would prompt the one you drive most in, but which is it?Lets face it, it wont happen. The changes needed are far to great.

  • >Wow! Everyone agrees!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s