How petrolheads tackle the morning commute


The news this week that commuting times are, on average, five minutes longer than they were 10 years ago probably won’t surprise many of us.

For me, I have a 20 mile commute, and there are two obvious routes. I can either go the slightly shorter way down the A5, or add a few miles and use the (hopefully quicker but often not) M1. Either route often results in me sitting in stop/start traffic wondering if I should have bought a sensible automatic rather than a leaky MX-5.

On Friday, I decided it was time for a change. I’ve only just moved to the area and haven’t had chance to explore the local maze of B-roads, but if I turn left out of my street and keep heading kind of south, I should get to work. Avoiding congestion.

The plan was a good one. The first stretch I had to myself – until I came face-to-face with a deer. Not a problem, I wasn’t pushing on so stopped without any locked wheels (ABS? Pah…) but it scarpered off before I managed to grab a quick picture.

The route was hillier than I imagined – but that meant stunning scenery across Bedfordshire as the sun came up. As an alternative to Dunstable’s endless traffic lights, this was brilliant.

It all went a little wrong when I realised I’d missed a turn somewhere and was nearly in Hemel Hempstead – as a congestion-beating plan, this was bad. My sat nav packed up a few days ago and Google Maps was telling me I was in the middle of a forest, miles away from any roads.

So, I had to use a device that my parents once told me about but I’ve never really used. It’s called a map – remember those? A cross-country flit and I was back on track, and nearly at work.

All in all, the commute took around the same time as it would normally – and should be even shorter if I avoid getting lost next time. So, I’m guess what I’m saying is, if your commute drives you nuts, buy a cheap MX-5 and make your commute fun.

How’s that for consumer advice?


Motoring Research will use the information you provide on this form to contact you with regular newsletter updates only. Please confirm that you are happy to receive newsletter information from us by the below methods:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.