Merging into one lane (roadworks/motorway)... Watch

IntriguedUser
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#1
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Why does everyone get angry when I drive past everyone and join right where the 'merge' happens, people que for miles and miles, and I just pull out into lane 3 and speed past often at the NSL past cars in a que...

Why can't drivers be more confident and not sheep? Really irritating, and especially with bus lanes that no-one likes using, what's wrong with people?
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cole-slaw
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(Original post by IntriguedUser)
Why does everyone get angry when I drive past everyone and join right where the 'merge' happens, people que for miles and miles, and I just pull out into lane 3 and speed past often at the NSL past cars in a que...

Why can't drivers be more confident and not sheep? Really irritating, and especially with bus lanes that no-one likes using, what's wrong with people?

There's a phenomenon called the "early merger effect", which basically says that when two lanes have to merge into one, its best that people continue to use both lanes as long as possible, and then merge in turn at the last minute because that maximises the road capacity.

But for some reason people always insist on getting all into one lane far earlier than is necessary and this creates a massive queue that is completely unnecessary.

The best thing you can do as a driver to try and help this situation is to use the other lane for as long as possible. However, beware that stupid ********s in the stationary queue that they have caused will become irrationally angry with you.
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Maccees
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This is Briton, everyone likes to queue and it looks like you're queue jumping.

With most people it wouldn't work anyway, it relies on a 'zipper' effect and I've noticed a lot of people go out of their way to not let people in.
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Advisor
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(Original post by IntriguedUser)
Why does everyone get angry when I drive past everyone and join right where the 'merge' happens,
It might be to do with the manner in which you cut in. There's a right way and a wrong way.
people que for miles and miles, and I just pull out into lane 3 and speed past often at the NSL past cars in a que...
The word "speed" past concerns me and could be the reason that you are soliciting an angry response from others. Remember also that those stuck in the queue who are equally frustrated / late for work etc. could take a risk by pulling out into your path without looking properly. By all means make progress, but don't drive at such a different speed to the queue that you can't react in time if some numpty does something silly. On a NSL dual carriageway, I certainly wouldn't be driving at 70mph within inches of queuing cars.

Why can't drivers be more confident and not sheep? Really irritating, and especially with bus lanes that no-one likes using, what's wrong with people?
I've often wondered this for years. At the end of the day, it's all down to education. Obviously driving instructors are not teaching this skill in a way that is consolidated into later life. Either this, or those on the roads were taught long before the existence of bus lanes, congestion and zip-merging.
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CurlyBen
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Because the traffic flows much better if you plan ahead and move into the lane that is staying open when you're moving at the same speed as that lane and there's an appropriate space. There's no need to go too early, but if you leave it right to the end and there isn't a space you have to stop and so someone more or less has to stop to let you in. That brings the whole lane to a standstill rather than letting it flow smoothly, if slowly - stop start is far worse than continuous, slow movement. It's not exactly unreasonable for people to get angry with you for disrupting the flow of traffic just so you can skip the queue, is it?
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Maccees
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
Because the traffic flows much better if you plan ahead and move into the lane that is staying open when you're moving at the same speed as that lane and there's an appropriate space. There's no need to go too early, but if you leave it right to the end and there isn't a space you have to stop and so someone more or less has to stop to let you in. That brings the whole lane to a standstill rather than letting it flow smoothly, if slowly - stop start is far worse than continuous, slow movement. It's not exactly unreasonable for people to get angry with you for disrupting the flow of traffic just so you can skip the queue, is it?
Drivers are encouraged to leave until they are forced to merge so that backups are not as long and a 'zipping' effect can take place. The throughput stays the same but it causes smaller holdups and is generally a lot safer because you don't have one lane completely backed up and the second lane clear except for the cars still doing 60/70 (the danger comes when a driver gets bored of waiting, pulls out without looking properly and gets smashed into by a car doing 60/70)
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CurlyBen
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(Original post by Maccees)
Drivers are encouraged to leave until they are forced to merge so that backups are not as long and a 'zipping' effect can take place. The throughput stays the same but it causes smaller holdups and is generally a lot safer because you don't have one lane completely backed up and the second lane clear except for the cars still doing 60/70 (the danger comes when a driver gets bored of waiting, pulls out without looking properly and gets smashed into by a car doing 60/70)
Only when all the traffic is moving at the same, slow pace. If you're doing 70 in lane 2 and it's closing half a mile ahead and lane 1 is doing 50, it's much better to start slowing, find an appropriate gap and merge early, without needing to brake, than to do 70 right up to the lane closure and slam on your brakes because there isn't a space. Merge in turn works fine with two queues moving at similar speeds, but if you get some tit doing 80 to the merge point past a queue doing 20 they will disrupt the flow of traffic and reduce the throughput. I understand the point that it would reduce the physical length of the queue if people were using both lanes and that's fine, but if that's not happening anyone in the relatively clear lane should limit their speed so they can merge smoothly. It's the sudden speed changes that slow things down most of all.
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Maccees
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
Only when all the traffic is moving at the same, slow pace. If you're doing 70 in lane 2 and it's closing half a mile ahead and lane 1 is doing 50, it's much better to start slowing, find an appropriate gap and merge early, without needing to brake, than to do 70 right up to the lane closure and slam on your brakes because there isn't a space. Merge in turn works fine with two queues moving at similar speeds, but if you get some tit doing 80 to the merge point past a queue doing 20 they will disrupt the flow of traffic and reduce the throughput. I understand the point that it would reduce the physical length of the queue if people were using both lanes and that's fine, but if that's not happening anyone in the relatively clear lane should limit their speed so they can merge smoothly. It's the sudden speed changes that slow things down most of all.
Well yes. If everyone was doing what they should be doing, then differing speeds wouldn't be a problem because the right lane would have traffic and so people wouldn't be able to speed...there would be cars in the way. Everyone would be doing similar speeds and merging at the intended merge point wouldn't be a problem.
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CurlyBen
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(Original post by Maccees)
Well yes. If everyone was doing what they should be doing, then differing speeds wouldn't be a problem because the right lane would have traffic and so people wouldn't be able to speed...there would be cars in the way. Everyone would be doing similar speeds and merging at the intended merge point wouldn't be a problem.
Aye. But merging late is not always the correct thing to do (despite what many people say), and when it is appropriate you can do it well or you can do it badly. Given the approach the OP describes in his post he does it badly and that's why other drivers get angry.
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blue n white army
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It's frustrating. On my drive to work there is a dual carriage way and at the end there is a roundabout. The exit at 12 o'clock is the last exit on the roundabout and the arrows on the road indicate that you can use either the right or left lane to use this exit. At the exit there is two lanes although the right hand one quickly merges into the left one (probably 20 metres ish).

The traffic sometimes gets really backed up and the dual carriage way is queuing in the left hand lane for quite a while. The right hand lane is largely empty so I just zip up there onto the roundabout (which is also stationery traffic) my lane is still empty and then I get to the bit where the merge happens, i approach slowly and don't force my self in but some people get really annoyed. I noticed a gap open up so i thought i'll just nip in there and as i went to move over the car behind sped up and closed the gap giving me dead eyes in the process. So many people get annoyed but i don't see anything wrong with it, im not the only one who does it but the vast majority seem to want to queue in the left hand lane.

My boss also finds it annoying but that's only cos I get the last parking spot.
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Opts
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Ha I always do this. Also when there's a roundabout and the left lane is jammed back - I take the right hand one and do a lap of the roundabout
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cole-slaw
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
Aye. But merging late is not always the correct thing to do (despite what many people say), and when it is appropriate you can do it well or you can do it badly. Given the approach the OP describes in his post he does it badly and that's why other drivers get angry.
Given the description in the OP, a zipper merge is appropriate in the scenario he describes, and it is all the other drivers that are driving badly and causing the problem.

OP is 100% doing the right thing by continuing in the empty lane, however obviously he shouldn't speed and should proceed with caution.

Your reference says: if people are having to slow down, do a zipper merge, if not, it is safer to merge early.
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