1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Journey: Comparisons

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Monday, 15 September 2008

The Journey: Comparisons

One of the joys of motoring long distances in France is the Autoroute system. Where there is a national road supplying the same route then the Autoroute is toll otherwise it is free. What it means in practice for me is that when I leave John and Sue's near Charroux I can join the Autoroute after 40 minutes travelling North and thereafter travel in supreme comfort with the cruise control set for the next 655 k when I arrive at Boulogne-Sur-Mer where I invariably stay before resuming my journey home the following morning. The speed limit on most Autoroutes is 130 kph (82 mph) in the dry and 110 kph in the rain. For the greater part of the journey, except where the Autoroute skirts or goes through cities like Tours, there is little traffic at the time I travel. There are plentiful rest and coffee stops.

Despite the misgivings of friends like Fiona I favour travelling through the Channel Tunnel on a Eurotunnnel train. I can arrive at the Tunnel in Calais at 0720 French time and be driving off the train at 0725 UK time. This give me a good start on the UK sector of my journey North.

Initially the Motorways through Kent were not too busy but as I got nearer the M25 the traffic slowed as the volume rose and by the time I was on the M25 it was dire.

The Thames crossing at the Blackwall Tunnel and the Queen Elizabeth Bridge was not as bad as I feared:

The M1 and M6 were horrendous so I opted for the toll M6 which gave a respite from the constant traffic.

Later the journey skirting the Lake District was almost the joy it was in France:

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