Driving in the UK – Variable Speed Limits

On a recent trip back to the UK we found, much to our surprise, driving far more stressful than in Portugal. Okay, you probably don’t get so many crazy drivers taking unnecessary risks, but that is probably due to the fact that most of the UK roads we traveled were nothing more than one long traffic jam with cameras monitoring your every move.

Driving on the M25 was most definitely, as dubbed by Chris Rea, ‘The Road to Hell’, and the M1 was as bad.

Why the variable speed limits?

One day we were driving along quite nicely when the overhead gantries flashed 60 mph, then 40 mph. As a result most drivers immediately hit the brakes (as Big Brother was watching), which then had a knock on effect as the traffic almost ground to a halt which caused yet another traffic jam and more chaos. Is this the intention?

Then there are the numerous road works.

The one thing that struck me about the UK was the number of cars. Is public transport so unreliable or expensive no one uses it any more? Or is the island sinking under the weight of an ever increasing car obsessed population?

After experiencing the excessive traffic in the UK I will never moan about Portuguese roads again. By comparison, the A22 Motorway which runs from Lagos in the West, along the Algarve to the East and into Spain is almost empty. The N125 can be problematic with traffic delays exacerbated by a continual round of roadworks and the influx of tourists in the high season. (That and the fact no one wants to pay the tolls on the A22).

 V is for ‘Variable speed limits‘. That’s my pet peeve for today.

Why not join me in the A-Z of Pet Peeves Challenge by sharing your  personal A-Z .  Simply post a peeve to your blog and don’t forget to share a links to your peeves to  Pet Peeves A-Z  page so we can all follow your progress!


Related Post: Driving in Portugal – 12 Survival Tips

3 thoughts on “Driving in the UK – Variable Speed Limits

Add yours

  1. I didn’t do too much driving in Portugal but what I did I enjoyed. The motorway from Vila do Conde to Guimaraes was practically empty and we had a clear run both ways. I guess Portuguese drivers just don’t like paying the tolls!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never encountered variable speed limit areas here in the US. But then I have not traveled a lot so my experiences are limited to just a couple areas. That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen though. Maybe just because it isn’t something I am familiar with. People drive like maniacs regardless of laws and speed limits – no need to make things more difficult than necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also find variable speeds just make traffic worse.
    Strange how we get used to driving a certain way and then when driving somewhere else we find it stressful.
    I find it stressful to drive in Portugal – drivers love to drive bumper to bumper, they speed too much…
    I got used to the slower pace of driving in Perth, people generally obey the rules as fines are very steep, plus you lose demerit points, drivers leave space between cars while driving, plus I got used to automatic gears 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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