Thursday, 3 September 2009

left or right?

if you try and find out which countries drive on the left by Googling you get a site called pubquizhelp, not very surprisingly. But as Samoa becomes the latest to change, I am indebted to Cllr Richard Willis for this post setting out the current situation. When I was young Sweden changed from left to right, and I was told in all seriousness by relatives that this left the UK alone in driving on the left (my family didn't get out that much). In fact a great many countries drive on the left, including Australia and New Zealand but also countries which have never been British, such as Mozambique and Japan. There are three others in the EU that do, apart from the UK - can readers name them without following the link to Cllr Willis' post?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHy is this blog adorned with a picture of Jane dressed as an Easter Bunny in September?

jane said...

what makes you think the picture is me? and for your information the headgear is traditional to Alsace

Anonymous said...

The standing joke at the time was that when Sweden made the transition, they brought it in gradually, cars on day 1, vans on day 2 and lorries on day 3.
L9

dreamingspire said...

Eire. Then maybe Malta. Then ?.

Exile said...

Malta and Ireland I suspect.

The big change in Europe came about as the result of a certain A. Hitler. Austria-Hungary drove on the left and so did the empire's successor states. Hitler took them over and forced them to switch. Post-1945 and none went back.

Anonymous said...

Malta, Ireland, Cyprus.

Notice that they're all islands. Just like NZ, Aus, Japan...

Anonymous said...

People originally rode horses on the left (with the spear on the right). Many monarchies stayed on the left (which included Sweden and Japan), but republics, such as the French, Americans, Soviets and Nazis spread the republican idea of driving on the right.

Pakistan tried to change to the right, but the camels refused to change sides.

The decline of the rule of (road and other) law in the UK is leading to driving on both sides.

French trains travel on the left, except (I believe)in Alsace-Lorraine (because of the German influence) and the Metro.

jane said...

Malta, Ireland, Cyprus, as you say. Because, probably, of the difficulty of changing sides at a land border. I didn't know about the Alsace trains, had not noticed, will pay more attention in future since I live here.

Anonymous said...

Better hope that it is confined to Alsace then.

Anonymous said...

And why do athletic tracks etc nearly all go anti-clockwise?
L9

Anonymous said...

Anon 0359 - as I understand it there isn't actually a law that says we must drive on the left.
Strange but apparently true.
L9

Anonymous said...

It is you unless you have a relative with floppy blue ears and a tail.

jane said...

but Anonymous, how do you know what I look like?

Jonny said...

When I was in Cyprus I kept nearly getting run over as I always looked the wrong way when crossing the road. My brain kept figuring "I can smell sunshine, oregano and olives, they must drive on the right"

Anonymous said...

Because you are not anaonymous.

dreamingspire said...

Anon, that's better than my attempt to out Jane by listing links to pics of her.

jane said...

out me as what?

Anonymous said...

As a wearer of blue rabbit ears.

dreamingspire said...

As the person whose pic is on the blog with the (alleged) Alsace headgear.