From left to right – the swapsy bridge. – The Carchat

Posted By on July 14, 2010

Have you ever thought about how countries who drive on different sides of the road deal with the “switch” when cars and trucks cross the border? Interesting “swapsy” bridges are a solution.

An elegant solution to a problem I’ve often wondered about – what if two countries are next to each other and they drive on different sides of the road? We have avoided it in the UK by doing trains in the Channel Tunnel, but I don’t know if there are many landlocked countries that do actually have this problem.

I understand that most people used the left side of the road because it was the most practical if you carried a sword and were right-handed. Napoleon apparently changed the practice because he was left-handed, but another explanation is that the aristocracy used to thunder past the peasants, leaving them on the right side of the road. Come the revolution it was in your best interests to join the peasants on the right.

In any case, after that it was all a case of who could colonise the fastest from there. Interestingly – India, Bhutan, Nepal and Swaziland are all among the countries who still drive on the left.

And as bridges go, this one is quite handsome…


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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