Why are these single-carriage roads near Uckfield built so wide, asks Observer

Our weekend columnist Observer asks if anyone can solve the mystery of those ultra-wide stretches of road near Uckfield.

 

There are two stretches of road that leave me mystified.

One is the Maresfield by-pass and the other the East Hoathly by-pass.

Why were these single carriage roads built so wide?

It looks as if they were prepared as dual carriageways and then, at the last minute, the idea was scrapped.

Or, were they once part of a much grander scheme to improve the whole road system in the area?

Does anyone know what happened?

The other question is where is the best place to position your car in the road when driving on these by-passes.

Do you scuttle along up against the edge, effectively making it an unofficial dual carriageway?

Do you take up the usual position away from the edge, leaving a middle lane to be contested by overtaking traffic in either direction?

Wherever the ‘right’ place, my advice is treat with caution.

Many years ago there were more three-lane roads, which were properly marked out.

The centre-lane was a free-for-all with cars often pulling out at the same time from both directions.

Most have disappeared from British roads.

However, when driving on the Maresfield and East Hoathly by-passes I always think of some advice given to me by an experienced traffic police officer.

“Never be the jam in the sandwich,” he said.

In other words, don’t use the middle lane if there is traffic in the opposite lane.

That’s why I am very wary when overtaking on those wide stretches of by-pass around Uckfield.

See also:

Where to go and what to do in Uckfield this weekend

Sixth form open evening at Uckfield College

New children’s day nursery to open in Uckfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

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