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?


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