Take care to process all relevant information

Features : Hopgrove – A1237 to A1036 (Malton Road)

Many years ago, when I was a new instructor, I noticed some of my clients were failing tests for doing the same things wrong, in the same places. I decided I should make sure my clients understood these tricky “features” before going for their test and hence my “Features List” was born.

Rather than teaching the features themselves though, I endeavour to teach a methodology for dealing with them that can then be transferred to other, similar situations. Here’s the next feature in my list;

Location

One of two large, traffic light controlled roundabouts at Hopgrove, North East of York, this time heading from A1237 (York Outer Ring Road) to A1036 (Malton Road)

Common Faults

  • Miss-Reading Sat-Nav
  • Failing to process information from direction signs correctly (or at all) 
  • No right signal approaching roundabout 
  • Failing to recognise the first exit (no through road) 
  • Incorrect positioning approaching second set of traffic lights
  • Omission of left signal to leave roundabout 
  • Potential conflict with other road users heading in same direction 

How To Do It Right

As I said in my last features blog (Hopgrove (Leeds to Harrogate)), the key here – and on other, complex traffic lighted roundabouts – is information; see it early, process it early and act on it as soon as is appropriate. We need to actively search for information, rather than “just notice” it, but even when doing so actually finding the information can prove difficult as many of the signs become hidden by foliage as we get into spring and through summer, and curiously, some signs are hidden behind other signs! 

Whether following Sat nav or road signs during the independent driving part of the test, or just following the examiner’s directions as normal, we need to acknowledge before arrival at the roundabout that we are taking the third exit, heading towards York, essentially turning right.

Many of my clients have misunderstood the significance of the red bar across the end of the first exit as shown on the roundabout sign. This does not disqualify it as a exit, just identifies this exit as a “No Through Road” or dead end. Be aware, this is still the first exit. 

  • So, having identified the correct exit on approach let’s check mirrors and signal right before taking a right position, next to the centreline. 
  • This right signal should be maintained until you turn into the gap approaching the second set of traffic lights, to warn following traffic that you are likely to be slowing to turn right and not continuing to the second roundabout. 
  • Obviously if the traffic lights are on red then we must stop but even if green we need to reduce speed significantly to negotiate the right turn to the second traffic lights. 
  • If the first lights are on green, a quick glance to the right is sufficient as we shouldn’t need to give way to traffic already on the roundabout – we need to be careful not to be over cautious with regards to traffic from the right as their lights will be red
  • As we pass the second exit and turn right towards the next lights, positioning left is crucial though this is likely to feel unnatural. This is especially important if the second lights are red and we need to stop. At this point we are taking the next exit and need to be positioned left to eliminate the possibility of other vehicles being to our left and blocking the exit. 
  • During this section, the right signal should be cancelled and a left signal applied. 
  • When the lights are green, we cross into the left lane in order to leave the roundabout onto Malton Road, towards the Toby Carvery 

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