I don't know how Handy Cross got its name, but any distant time in the past when it was in anyway handy is now lost in the mists of time.

But, my goodness, it certainly has retained the potential to make people cross, however much the road wizards continue to tinker with it and the surrounding roads.

I was driving back from London on the recent evening when the first snows caused their usual havoc. Somewhere between junctions 3 and 4 (Handy Cross) the conditions were sufficiently challenging to induce drivers intending to enter the slip road several miles ahead to get into the very slow moving inside lane good and early.

Very quickly the second lane became similarly stationary as drivers realising what was happening were trying to pass all the immobile cars on their left with a view to cutting in at the last moment in some cases or simply failing to realise the distant cause of the jam in others.

By the time I was aware of the cause I decided to stay in the still moving outside lane and go to Junction 5 at Stokenchurch to exit and double back towards Wycombe.

As soon as I had passed Handy Cross, the road was clear again. I saved around 20 minutes or more by doing that.

I discovered later it wasn’t just the white blind panic induced by a snow flurry that had caused the log jam but the ill-timed road works at the Cressex Road/Cressex Link junction nearby had also contributed.

The layout is to be changed apparently in order to improve traffic flow. A crossroads with no left or right turns allowed is be adapted to allow left turns in addition to traffic continuing straight. These improvements (their word) will take 19 weeks it seems.

Nineteen weeks of chaos as an entire trading estate within screaming distance of three secondary schools, a megastore, Leisure Centre and of course the already clogged Handy Cross brings new meaning to the word gridlocked.

And now I discover that plans are going ahead for a 150 bed hotel at the Handy Cross Hub with all the additional traffic that will bring with it.

I already hear the name of Handy Cross on the radio traffic reports only on slightly fewer occasions than the infamous Simister Island which is somewhere up north and clearly to be avoided at all costs. If only we could.