Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Everybody's out on the road today
Driving from Derbyshire to London in our hired Ford Fiesta (a car of truly hideous external appearance - the result of design me-tooism, not a shred of originality) made me appreciate that transport infrastructure is not a given and should not be taken for granted.
I had read just before Christmas that 17 million Britons were expected to travel to spend the holidays elsewhere than where they live. And having travelled there, they will have to travel back. And so, onto the Road. The M1 was thick with traffic, jamming up totally around Junctions 24(multi-car pile-up) and 18 (roadworks). Even a minor rear-end shunt at Junction 25 brought traffic to a crawl (above, photo by Eddie). The junction with the M6 was similarly treacle-like.
Once we'd reached the South, I took a decision to swing west along the A43 towards Oxford and the M40, in the hope that this approach to London would be easier - it was not. Once again, long queues, especially around High Wycombe at Junction 4, where three lanes become two under the junction bridge, to widen back to three after the junction.
And so a journey that normally takes around two hours took three hours today. Bah humbug.
This time last year: