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Problems emerge as Grafton Bridge markings change

RIGHT WAY: Barbara Paul of All Areas Driver Training merges into the lane near the bridge. She says drivers abuse her even though she changes lanes correctly. Photo Adam Hourigan
RIGHT WAY: Barbara Paul of All Areas Driver Training merges into the lane near the bridge. She says drivers abuse her even though she changes lanes correctly. Photo Adam Hourigan

IF YOU see one of driving instructor Barbara Paul's little green cars negotiating the merging traffic on the approach to Grafton Bridge, take note - she knows what she's doing.

But she is one of few drivers who do, if her tales of bad driving behaviour are anything to go by.

"I've had middle-aged men abusing me while I'm trying to teach a young driver the right way to merge from the outside (closest to the kerb) to the inside lane," Ms Paul said.

The etiquette of lane merging has always been problematic, but the bridge traffic merge rules have changed since the RMS changed the lane conditions.

Ms Paul, who owns All Areas Driver Training, said the lanes used to be marked all the way, which meant the rule of merging traffic giving way to cars in the lane they were joining applied.

Now the lane marking ends where the road begins to narrow into a single lane. In this case the rule is the car in front has the right of way.

Ms Paul said in many cases young drivers were more aware of the rule than their parents.

"I think generally most P-platers know the road rules better than fully licensed drivers," she said.

She said the changes should help traffic flow, but because drivers did not use them properly, the traffic flow had probably worsened.

AN RMS spokesman said line marking changes were made earlier this month to improve merge arrangements and traffic flow onto the bridge.

A sign informing motorists of changed traffic arrangements has been in place since the changes were made on June 12.

Topics:  grafton bridge, road rules, traffic

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