Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Driving home for Easter

Noticing how much my fuel economy increased when I was forced to drive at sixty mph the other evening (torrential rain and spray on the M11), I decided not to exceed the national speed limit on the journey to my parents' house at the weekend. Despite the fact that I stuck to my resolution (mostly, except on a couple of overtaking moves on the A605), it didn't take any longer than normal. This journey is always three and a half hours, whether I go across country, or via the M25. And now it seems that I don't need to speed either - result! Which is good, because I must be the only person in the world who is concerned about the fuel economy and drives a sports car (well, it's an MG F). I do in fact get reasonable mileage out of a tank of petrol.

It's a while since I last drove home by that route, and I almost missed my turn-off in Northampton. One is lulled into a false sense of security by the signs proclaiming "A43 Oxford" that suddenly disappear. If I hadn't made the trip to Salisbury the weekend before I would have missed it again, because the turn-off is not signposted at all. Instead one has to make one's way towards Sixfields and keep going straight on for a few miles before the signs to Oxford reappear. It must be a cunning plan by the Northampton planners to siphon all the cars out of the town and send them onto the M1 instead. Ha! That'll teach them to try driving in our town, they cackle, evilly.

On my way back to Peterborough, I stopped off at a convenient point on my route home, Cherwell Valley services, just off the M40. I hate service stations and never stop on a journey if I can help it. Of course there are never signs by the road indicating how much the petrol costs, and it's nearly always ludicrously expensive. And you've wasted ten minutes getting off the main road and trailing round the services to the fuel pumps and only then do you see that the unleaded costs 97.9p per litre! I have never seen so many people at a service station before - it was packed! The lovely Marks and Spencer Simply Food outlet was a nice surprise, though it failed to completely redeem the awfulness of the services. Why can't they all be like Tebay services on the M6, which is completely unlike the normal motorway service station?

It does seem odd to me that for such a small island it takes such ages to get anywhere.


At Wed Apr 19, 06:58:00 pm, Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

Small world. I am currently at my Mum's, in Northampton, having travelled via Peterborough to get here.


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