It wasn’t other drivers who sent me mad on the way to Liverpool Airport.
It was the M62 and its endless traffic jam in one direction and endless 50 mile per hour limit for no apparent reason in the other.
I went to pick up my daughter Siobhan and three grandchildren who are over from Donegal for a few days. Unfortunately, their flight landed at 9am which meant I had to negotiate the M62 and Manchester’s spaghetti junction at peak time.
The traffic was horrendous and there was nothing to be gained by blowing a fuse. I sat back, listened to Talk Sport and thought of England.
My intention was to have a leisurely Starbuck’s and read the paper, when I arrived, while I waited for the flight to land.
No chance. I parked in the multi-storey, stepped outside and the sun stopped shining and I was soaked in a deluge of such magnitude that Noah might have started pricing an ark.
As it was, I briefly wondered whether the Yellow Submarine that sits outside the airport might be a safer bet than the terminal building.
My family arrived the same time I did so it was back in the car and back on the road. Smooth going until Manchester and then the 50 mph limit kicks in for 17 miles.
Flow was smooth and yet the traffic shuffled along in a lazy tango, one slipping forward a fraction, then easing up again as if embarrassed, to stay within the limit.
An average speed check tends to focus minds. Occasionally, some driver still pushed it in an almost empty outside lane, sneaking past at 55. Was it worth a ticket?
The limit was imposed last year and will last until 2017. It’s all because of a £208 million project to create a Smart Motorway to reduce congestion.
A Smart Motorway, apparently, means more monitoring of traffic flow and more signs to impose speed restrictions. Oh happy days to be a motorist.
It seems not that long ago that I drove along the then new Preston Bypass, an eight mile stretch of dual carriageway that was Britain’s first motorway, on my way to Blackpool with a girlfriend.
Eight miles was a novelty and not long enough to form an opinion. I remember driving down part of the M1 in the early 1960s on my way to London and was not impressed.
The blandness of the motorway was boring; I much preferred the A1 where you drove through towns and saw people.
If chaos is going to rule on the M62 for two more years, I shall change my route and go over Holme Moss to Tintwistle. It doesn’t matter if it takes a little longer; it will be more interesting.