Sunday, 18 March 2018

Round the M25 on a Sunday afternoon.

Two years after having bought myself my 50th birthday present(s), I finally got round to doing the M25 (clockwise) this afternoon to see what it's like.

It was very pleasant all in, ignoring a few arsehole BMW drivers who were weaving through traffic in a thoroughly dangerous fashion, two of them clearly racing.

There was a 60/50/40 mph variable limit out west somewhere, so I hooked in behind a Rover driver who'd set their speed limiter and coasted along behind them for ten or fifteen minutes, with somebody in a white Japanese MPV doing the same behind me (thanks both!), after that, we went our separate ways again. The poor buggers going anti-clockwise were stuck in a jam.

Sub two-hour time no problem.

12 comments:

jack ketch said...

Some years back, at the dead of night, I came off the M11 intending to go round to the Dartmouth crossing only to find the stretch of the M25 was closed for the night. As I had intended to hit the South Circular (which isn't -for those who don't know) after the bridge I decided to simply go around anti-clockwise (we call that 'logical' thinking here in Norfolk). Don't recall how long it took , but the M25 seemed empty, I was driving a high end SAAB and I kept a steady *cough* 70 *cough* *cough* all the way round. I recall being so surprised at how little time it took that I almost missed the junction for the A2 (? I think).

Ben Jamin' said...


Suggestion for YPPUK policy. Playing dub reggae should be mandatory while driving.

I defy anyone to be able to break the speed limit/drive aggressively while listening to the Mad Professor.

Can be made part of a cars hardware, so turns on automatically when the key is put in the ignition.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JK, going the other way round is an acceptable strategy. We're in the north east corner and most of my M25 journeys involve picking up/dropping off somebody at Heathrow or Gatwick. Pretty much broad as long which way round I go.

BJ, that relationship is well documented - listening to particularly fast or loud music makes you more likely to be in an accident. I reckon the same holds for music that is in any way hypnotic or intellectually engaging.

So dub reggae is out as well - as is stuff with loud and fast and slow and quiet bits like Bohemian Rhapsody or Bat out of Hell.

My car playlist is medium pace, in-one-ear-out-the-other stuff from the 1980s or 1990s by people starting with B. Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bangles, Billy Idol etc. And ZZ Top, because B = two Zs. All at a volume just above background engine/wind noise.

Ben Jamin' said...

"I reckon the same holds for music that is in any way hypnotic"

"So dub reggae is out as well"

Ummm, so you haven't listened to dub? As I said, please try driving while listening.

pen seive said...

Some years ago, I had to regularly drive along the top part of the M25, negotiating the A30, M4, M40, and the A and M1, all of which caused traffic jams and we're a bloody nightmare. Discussing this with a colleague, he suggested that what the whole of the M25 needed, was a bypass! Said in jest, but I think he was closer to the truth than he realised.

Lola said...

Some years ago I collected some of Mrs L's relatives from Heathrow. They live in White Horse in the Yukon. Set off back to Ipswich clockwise. They could not get their heads round two things (1) the sheer volume and speed of traffic, and (2) that it took 1.5hrs from the Heathrow M25 junction to the A12 junction. The sheer size of London was beyond their imagining (Oh. it takes about 55 minutes from the M25/A12 junction to my home near Ipswich).

Steven_L said...

I find repetitive music like house and techno make me drive in a more relaxed manner. Whereas rock and metal make me drive like a lunatic. Bon Jovi's first 1984 album is one of the very worst, and 'Shot Through the Heart' is a major road traffic accident waiting to happen.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BJ, maybe you mean a different sort of dub reggae to what I'm thinking of, which is the 1970s stuff where they put endless echo loops on the snare drum etc.

PS, there were supposed to be four circular roads, they finished the northern half of the inner one and joined together bits of the outer two to form the M25, hence why parts are so near in and other parts so far out.

L, it's big, isn't it?

SL, I don't like house or techno. "You give love a bad name" is not a driving song, I meant more specifically "Have a nice day"and "Who says you can't go home".

Curtis said...

Mrs Lola's relatives must never have visited Toronto if they were mind-boggled by London, tell them to drive up the QEW/401 (especially the 18-lane section) and the DVP during rush hour.

Driving 12 hours in Canada (outside of Toronto and Vancouver) is actually enjoyable, whereas I find driving just 2 hours in the UK exhausting except on Sunday mornings, overnight (if you aren't sleepy) or perhaps on the A74(M) in good weather. If you are actually trying to get somewhere, that is.

If you don't care how long it takes then I suppose jollying round the M25 can be fun, except the shite quality of the road surface would annoy me. Especially the bit between M3 and A3. I don't know if it's because of the number of vehicles plus weather effects but European motorways are much better.

Back to Canada, I am always amazed at the quality of Canadian roads given the sheer size of that country and the tiny population outside of the main cities compared to the UK - though the numbers employed in construction may not be proportional to the overall population.

jack ketch said...

except the shite quality of the road surface would annoy me

LOL I recall,as teen in the mid 80s, having to hitch hike round a section of the M25- a then newly constructed bit of the M25. It was raining hard (ie a typical Brit summer evening, Noah says 'hi') and I remembering thinking that it must be the world's largest swimming pool. I mean, I grew up in Norfolk, a county where the lack of drainage on roads is a matter of local pride...makes the webbing between one's toes itch just thinking about such things, but the M25 was so bad cars were actually stalling due to water logging.

George Carty said...

pen seive, the plan back in the '60s was to give London no fewer than FOUR orbital motorways (known as "Ringways"), but due to spending cuts and NIMBY opposition only the northern half of Ringway 3 and the southern half of Ringway 4 ended up being built (they were then bodged together to make the M25).

Mark Wadsworth said...

C, dodging potholes is part of the challenge!

JK, I think that's largely cleared up now.

GC, ta for link.