Claggy weather meant I elected to climb into IMC rather than be down with the vfr traffic in poor conditions. Thought it best to get a ras. Big mistake. In imc the atc got me to turn right 90 deg and ended up norwest of Oxford. Then he let me go, too busy, continue own nav, fis service !! i had to turn 180 deg to get back on track. Later he instructed me to remain clear of Benson MATZ
Sorry you had a bad experience, this is NOT the norm. However, it is fact that LARS is a lower priority than the Approach Service, and is provided from within a Unit's spare capacity (and what units have that nowadays?)... so an overworked controller may have to terminate service... BUT should provide warning where possible
of the need to do this.
The 90 degree turn was probably for identifiction, much easier if a serviceable SSR is available in the air on the ground... but you do need to be identified on radar before the controller can give you a radar service.
You're totally right about the MATZ too... you do not have to avoid, nor accept any restrictions the controllers may try to impose. If you are unable to accept a restriction request PLEASE do NOT go off frequency... tell the Controller you are "unable to comply, and intend routing through the MATZ at ..... (altitude)" Some units might not like this but you are within your rights, and as long as you stay on frequency are known traffic... which means we have to take less separation on you than if you become unknown traffic.
The terminology "MATZ Crossing Clearance" should be read as meaning "Do you intend to route through my MATZ?"... please don't take it as anything more?
I am disappointed by RNG's self-confessed rant (I know him personally, and IMHO it is out of order!!!)... Please don't take his comments as standard. LARS is poorly funded, units are overstretched... but still manage to help out dozens of pilots everyday; one or two getting buggered about is unfortunately bound to happen. But, if you have a problem with your local LARS unit a request for a personal visit, or a trip along with your flying club, might help clarity on both sides?
I hope this helps?
PS RNGrommits... The MOD receives on average £8 for every LARS track my unit works (not too bad a rate... I wish it went into my pay packet?) This comes from a portion of the on-route fees paid by heavy GAT... because LARS is meant to simplify the separation problem of inbound and outbound traffic from transit traffic passing close to an airfield without CAS... i.e. the party line, whatever you may think, is that we do it to help ourselves as Controllers!!! Think it over?