Last week saw me running over to Great Yarmouth on the east coast. I quite enjoyed this journey as it’s mainly on A roads rather than boring motorways. I find it more fun to drive when you have to think about it a little more.
The only downside to the route is that there’s quite a few speed cameras, especially on the A17. The problem is with speed cameras on A roads and LGVs is that you never quite know whether any given camera is an LGV sensitive one. Most non-drivers express surprise when I tell them that the speed limit for LGVs on single lane roads is 40 mph, and sometimes I forget myself, but when it comes to speed cameras you have to watch it:
The majority of cameras on A roads will be set to 60 mph so you can quite happily ignore them in a wagon….but there are some cameras that detect the weight of an LGV and will then set the limit to 40. As far as I know, there is no easy way to distinguish which cameras do this, so really you need to pass all of them at 40 to be on the safe side. Most transport firms have issues with anything over six licence points and considering I have three at the moment I need to be pretty careful.
Apart from the camera sites you can pretty much drive the route on the limiter, and pretty much everyone else was too; well for half the journey at least. At night I’m happy to run on the limiter but on the daytime return journey I would sit with 45 mph on the clock. Obviously this causes long tailbacks of irate car drivers but tough; i’m not getting more points because of them, and at least I’m not sitting at 40 like I should be. Again, the majority of non LGV drivers don’t seem to realise that the limit is 40 and just think you’re being awkward. Some firms put stickers on the back of their trailers to make this point, and I’d rather we had them on ours – it might calm down some of the fools attempting suicidal overtaking manoeuvres whilst under the influence of wagon driver hating red mist!
Anyway, the weather was great all week and it was nice to arrive at Great Yarmouth in the sunny dawn – I’d never really been to Norfolk before and I found the scenery very attractive, despite me not generally being a fan of flat landscapes.
Arriving at five am beat most of the traffic going into the town and finding the shop was easy enough. The tip is a bit of a pain as there is the notorious listed Roman wall to avoid clunking.
You can see the ancient wall to the right, and the security camera which would catch any clonks sitting up high on the left. The entrance to the bay is tighter than it looks and involves pulling across the road, reversing the trailer as close as you dare to the old wall, then blindly going back a few feet until turning back onto the bay. I kissed the other wall a couple of times but I didn’t upset any historians by doing any more damage to their beloved Roman artifact.
The tip itself is onto a loading bay and as such is about three times quicker to get turned around than when using the tail-lift. Unload, bung on the empties and run as far back up the A47 as you can before the mandatory break time kicks in. An hour’s kip in the wagon, and then find some breakfast. I succumbed to the healthy option (!) of Rasher’s snack bar where a nice lady served some quality brekky.
After that it’s a case of joining the commuters and heading back to the A1 at license friendly speeds. At least I had time to enjoy the views and I’m pretty sure I saw a wild boar scuttling over a field one morning.
Despite enjoying the week, it ended on a bit of a sad note. All week I’d passed a recent crash site on the A17 where a vehicle had gone off the A17 and into a tree with enough force to debark the fairly large tree and tilt it over. On the Friday morning a load of flowers appeared at the base of the tree – I guess somebody had lost the fight to live, poor soul(s).
Fifty seven and a half hour week – tiring but it’ll pay well.