View Full Version : Commuting... highway/motorway hell!

7th Oct 2011, 19:50
I believe that Saul of Tarsus had his epiphany on the highway nowhere!

Note with a wry smile the tale of a well known PPruNer who commutes two hours (one way) to butter his crust and having been down that bitter route swear I will never do it again.

Do you commute to work (I guess we all do, even if your commute is like an eagle above the congested highways) and as you do what is your tolerance limit? How many miles, how many minutes? What keeps you laughing, crying, shouting and just ticking out there? Is it worth it?

Are we wasting our lives on the road to... ?



west lakes
7th Oct 2011, 19:58
Maximum commuting time I ever did was 35 minutes!
At the moment 8 miles each way over quiet country roads, views over the Solway Firth of the Scottish hills on the way to work.
View across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man on the way home and then the vista of the Lakeland Fells.
(always assuming visibility is good in all cases).

If it takes a while longer, who's worried?

7th Oct 2011, 19:59
Half a mile - about 1 -2 minutes depending on how long it takes to get out of the drive. Could walk, but I'm an idle sod and anyway it's a busy road with no footpath.

Over to you commuters - don't envy you a bit!

flying lid
7th Oct 2011, 20:06
Just be glad your not incontinent and commute on Dutch Railways

BBC News - Dutch trains to get 'bag toilets' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15220297)

Dutch National Railways is introducing emergency plastic bags for passengers to urinate in as part of its first-aid provision on some commuter trains. Spokesman Jeroen von Geusau told the BBC "wee bags" would be installed on commuter trains without toilets.

(DON'T let Michael O'Leary know !!!!)


Standard Noise
7th Oct 2011, 20:07
17.5 miles and the quickest I've done it is 21 minutes but normally about 25 mins. Oh, and it's country roads, not motorway.

Mind you, it could be worse, it used to take me the guts of an hour to go the 17.5 miles from Cookham to LATCC, and that included a trip down the M4.

7th Oct 2011, 20:20
6 metres from kitchen to office, coffee cup in hand.
Never been held up on the way yet :)

7th Oct 2011, 20:42
For years mine was 5 miles each way, sometimes by pushbike. One Sunday morning I closed my front door and sat at my desk 12 minutes later! 180 miles a month.
Just over a year ago it all changed. My monthly commute became 1500 miles. A 4 hour drive six times a month staying in a hotel near to work. Generally the roads were quiet, but it was still hard. My employer wouldn't provide help with moving closer to work. I estimated I had another 120,000 miles to drive before I finished, so I packed it in.
It is time tax-incentives were brought in to encourage people to live much closer to work. So called 'employment agencies' seem to delight in finding people positions about 30 miles from where they live. Agencies recruit for opposite areas, so twice a day opposing tides of grim-faced workers change positions, causing gridlock and keeping Sally Boazmann busy. "Drive-time", - f*ck off.
As Chris Rea sang a few years ago, "It's all gone crazy"

7th Oct 2011, 20:44
When I worked in Sydney I used to listen to the radio. It was a 45 minute commute. It wasn't a stop-start grind but it was a reasonable city commute.

Radio stations included 2MMM (Doug Mulray), 2JJJ (yoof station) and there was a community station that played the most awesome dance/trance music. Sadly, they didn't get the funding to go "commercial". Such a shame.

I don't really get the UK radio stations so I generally don't listen to them. I use either a CD or the iPod. (iPod when in the taxi or airline)

7th Oct 2011, 20:51
I used to do about 30 miles each way from a north-Bedfordshire village to Luton via B557 (now A421) and then M1.
Rarely 'delayed' (except when it snowed) - but even then I usually made it before those who only had five miles or less through Luton Town (I swear that Luton would become gridlocked if you whitewashed the roads as nobody would give way on roundabouts).

I gave that up in 1982 when fuel costs became 'prohibitive' and emigrated to Scandinavia where I usually cycled the 2 kilometres each way to work.
Business trips all involved ferries to England, Sweden or flights to the Far East.

Later, on return to the UK I became a 'commercial traveller' (sales engineer) and regularly travelled to Guildford, Sunderland and Workington from Nottingham - 55,000 miles a year.

Spent hours on the M25, but I believe it's got even worse since then (1990).

Used to conduct most of my business with the factory in Germany by phone from the car whilst travelling to and from customers.

There were regular trips to the factory in Southern Germany - shorter ones were by air with longer ones for training courses by car (sometimes with family).

7th Oct 2011, 20:55
For two years I did the following:

- Five minute walk to the bus stop
- 20 minute ride to train station #1
- 15 minute train ride to station #2
- cross to a different platform
- 25 minute train ride
- 15 minute bus ride
- 5 minute walk

Total commute time ~1.5 hours.


A 7-minute walk :ok:

7th Oct 2011, 20:59
i've done a range from 5,400 miles commute on rotation, through to working from home to commuting through london by car and by tube.. i hate, loathe, despise, the rush hour commute and would rather sniff Qadaffi jockstrap that have to do it, but often one doesnt get the preference not to and it's not done done to send the house staff out instead these days.

7th Oct 2011, 21:12
I live two and a half miles from the office. I can:

Walk there directly in 35 mins.
Cycle directly about 8 mins, plus dwell time at traffic lights, arguments with idiot motorists,etc...
Go on the bus - depending on time waiting for bus, usually takes 10 - 20 mins.
Walk in/home the long way - 1hr 15 mins, 4.5 miles, largely off road and delightful.
Cycle home the long way two or three times a week during BST - 16 miles, largely countryside-ish, 56mins average, lots of uphill, good for me - I think...
Friday - get the bus home at 10pm or so , three sheets plus to windward...

8th Oct 2011, 01:15
Mine's the best!

Five seconds shuffle (half) into wonky shoes outside front door.

Ten seconds stroll to next flat.

Two seconds shuffle off wonky shoes while unlocking door of 'office' flat.


Oh - sometimes I water the plants. Then it takes nearly two minutes to get to work.

Happy days,


Solid Rust Twotter
8th Oct 2011, 08:06
8800 miles, 30 hours. Fortunately it only happens once every six to eight weeks.

8th Oct 2011, 08:22
Bed to kitchen to put kettle on. (30 seconds)
Shower while kettle boils (3 minutes)
Make tea and toast. (3 minutes)
Verandah or kitchen table to office (30 seconds)
Cost 0. Fuel used 0. Stress level 0.

Sometimes my commute is to a client site in another country. I allow plenty of time for each component of the journey, and find it all quite stress free.

8th Oct 2011, 08:49
85km, 50 minutes, each way.
2 lane divided highway, 110kph limit.
With some good music in the CD player and cruise control its no problem. Every day is different, fog, rain, or beautiful sunrises. I have to watch out for the roos and wombats though. Occasionally, there will be a magnificent pair of wedge-tailed eagles soaring over the hills.
On the way to work the only trouble I have with other traffic is the lazy drivers who don't bother to dip their high beam.
On the way home the traffic is heavier but the only real issues are the speed coppers. I know most of their hiding places now, and it's entertaining to see cars pulled over and being booked in the same place almost every day

8th Oct 2011, 09:12
15-20 mins in the car depending.

Entertainment is to wind the window down and...(with a very
pleasant face and polite voice) issue crude verbal suggestions
of a highly sexual nature to great looking chicks whom I pass
on the way. They can't speak English most of them, but I like
the smiles! :E

Never any takers though. Must be my lack of tongue flashing.

8th Oct 2011, 10:13
Used to have a commute where if I left the house at 0800 I could stroll into work at 0825 with no bother, but start time was 0900. If I left at 0825 I was late. And no flexitime. Very annoying.


8th Oct 2011, 10:22
It now seems that some "visionary" has seen fit to suggest that they build a high speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow.

Surely not! This will never catch on! :eek:

A high-speed rail link could take passengers between Gatwick and Heathrow within 15 minutes, according to a new proposal drawn up by civil servants.

High-speed rail could link Gatwick and Heathrow airports in 15 minutes - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/8814795/High-speed-rail-could-link-Gatwick-and-Heathrow-airports-in-15-minutes.html)


8th Oct 2011, 10:24
Used to tolerate my trundle down the M4 to Latcc and back again, most of the time. Doing shifts meant one almost always escaped the worst of it.

Can't say I miss it though.

Cornish Jack
8th Oct 2011, 10:53
For four and a half years used to do 70 miles each way each day, getting up at 0430 so as to miss the M25 gridlock. Even worse, it was easterly in the morning, westerly going home, so sun in the eyes both ways. Eventually saw sense after the SECOND run along the rumble strip going home having dozed off!!!:=:ugh:

Krystal n chips
8th Oct 2011, 11:55
A gentle meander of 11 miles through rural England.....erm, NO.

Join said A road at large roundabout...this is the personal road of the HGV's of a "large yoghourt and rice company"....so it would seem from me having to stop for them..me having the right of way here....a minor detail.

Then the by pass..long straight with a curve...good place to overtake..when you can't see what is coming.

Then some nice dips and bends...good for frost hollows

Then it undulates...another good place to overtake as again, you can't see what is coming.

Then, down a hill, onto a long straight...double white lines here so...a good place to overtake...HGV rigid...me doing 55...him ?

At the next roundabout, another good place to overtake..on the inside if you are going straight on

Then a long straight, and some curves...another good place to overtake

Traffic is a mixture of "terribly important Jazza and Jasmine " types in expensive cars ( see places to overtake ), HGV's ( see places to overtake ) tractors and farm vehicles, locals ( see the RTA doesn't apply ).

West Mercia's finest are as rare as hens teeth...but there is the odd speed camera van...which are not difficult to see from a distance.

As I say, a gentle meander through the shires of England...:rolleyes:

Ancient Observer
8th Oct 2011, 12:00
Driving from LGW to just north of LHR, on a friday between 4pm and 7pm was my idea of hell......until I went on holiday to LAX and discovered the I 405.

8th Oct 2011, 15:12
One way for 125Km across two immigration check points and one Customs inspection.

Return journey 6 hours later to miss the hordes and never on a Thursday because sitting in a giant traffic queue for 3 hours was never a pleasant experience.

Strangely enough on the return journey the urge to escape always resulted in an ever increasing velocity which at one point was a shy north of 220km/h until I was advised that going through a radar check at that speed would find me a compulsory guest of the government. That soon curbed the need for speed. :\

8th Oct 2011, 15:29
About fifty miles, part motorway part country road. About an hour and half. Fortunately not every day although it has been done five days a week. Until last year it was even longer, nearly seventy miles.

It's not too bad unless you've just spent the last three days on the commute and are spending between six and eight hours out of an twelve to fourteen hour day sitting in a noisy cockpit, single pilot.

I won't get killed flying but the drive home may just finish me off one day.

8th Oct 2011, 15:43
Having worked at sea like Mr Draper for several years, where the commute was a case of waking up and walking up stairs to the navigation bridge. Now I've just taken my first semi-shore based position and find myself commuting 10-12 minutes in the sunshine, it's all quiet alien but does at least give me a chance to wake up before I face people.

8th Oct 2011, 19:30
Knew a Pan Am FE (that dates this tale) who lived in the Lake District of UK and commuted to LAX. He was senior enough to hold his preferred line but he looked ten years older than he was. Mind you when you saw the lady he came home to, I can see why he made the effort.

I now do a 4.15 hr train or 1.15 flight, but with all the [email protected]&ring around at the airport the door to airport time is almost the same. I prefer the train, I don't get my parts felt by a scrote TSI look alike and can be on the platform 1 minute before departure.

8th Oct 2011, 20:52
Used to do a city commute, 20mins to 1hr20 each way for a 20km trip, depending on time of day. Gave that up yrs ago for a 6min drive in a coastal town. MUCH NICER.

9th Oct 2011, 06:15
3 hours each way every day. Live in Brighton, work in Uxbridge.

Leave apartment at 0440 and walk to station.
0509 train - arrive London Bridge 0615
Tube 0620 - arrive Uxbridge 0730.

Leave work 1600,
tube at 1610 -arrive Victoria 1620
Train 1730 - arrive Brighton 1840.
Walk home - arrive 1900.

9th Oct 2011, 06:54
As I say, a gentle meader through the shires of England...Krystal, You misspelt characteristically pointless whine.

Krystal n chips
9th Oct 2011, 07:36
"You misspelt characteristically pointless whine "

Thank you Para....alas, only one word was misspelt...not the last three.:sad:

Not a whine as you so eloquently phrase it, just an observation based on the salient facts....four killed last year alone on the short stretch of 8 miles, plus numerous non fatal accidents....on a road that you can travel comfortably on at between 50-55mph....IF....you drive safely ( see overtaking on blind spots / double white lines / HGV's not giving way at roundabouts for clarification )

9th Oct 2011, 07:42
Is the this little exchange an example of "post hoc road rage" (akin to post traumatic stress disorder) or another manifestation of the charming and entertaining banter that characterizes Papapunter and Krystal's dialogue here on JB? :)


9th Oct 2011, 07:43
One is never less than charming and obliging as you well know Caco.:)

Whining about frost hollows?

Even for the average misanthrope, adding mother nature to the long list of pet hates constitutes a new, unedifying low. Priceless!

9th Oct 2011, 08:21
Join said A road at large roundabout...this is the personal road of the HGV's of a "large yoghourt and rice company"....so it would seem from me having to stop for them..me having the right of way here....

You should be careful KnC, we wouldnt want you getiing Müllered.

Aww, heck, i for one would miss the comedy of our esteemed comrade's rantings. :ok:

Lance Murdoch
9th Oct 2011, 09:02
For the last four years Ive been based at home so my commute is from bed to the spare room. Its particularly pleasant on a cold January day watching the neighbours going off to work whilst Im sitting snug and warm at home.

Before that it was a 10 minute walk to my office in Manchester (not bad but with the obvious drawback of having to live in Manchester).

Before that a five minute drive to work.

Ive always hated commuting and Im lucky that I dont have to do much of it. Its worth several thousand pounds per year that is.

Krystal n chips
9th Oct 2011, 09:47
" Whining about frost hollows?

Even for the average misanthrope, adding mother nature to the long list of pet hates constitutes a new, unedifying low "

Sadly, but not entirely without precedent on topics various, the sharp as a marble mind has failed to grasp the difference between the emulation of HGV drivers and gearboxes...and ones offering of a general overview of the road.

The frost hollows are facts of life, as indeed are the variable weather conditions we encounter. The minor issue of those who elect to enter said hollows, well in excess of a safe speed may come as a revelation therefore... with regard to the first paragraph of ones response...:D

9th Oct 2011, 09:50
Don't knock it commisar. The tenners I give to those Muller drivers are some of the best I've spent. BEHIND YOU!

9th Oct 2011, 09:57
This commuting lark is far more dangerous than even I would have given it credit for! :eek:

Drive carefully out there fellahs!



9th Oct 2011, 21:21

What a depressing tune. :(

10th Oct 2011, 09:00
I like commuting. It gives me a feeling of being completely escaped from work and provides a clear distinction between work and the rest of my life. My blood pressure is almost back to normal by the time I come over the crest of the hill and see the lights of home in the distance. Even the run in the morning gives me a chance to gather my thoughts.

100 miles-ish per day round trip, planned out to miss the rush hour. But I'm lucky in that it is over a rural A road, it would probably drive me nuts to do it in a densely populated area.

The worst thing is the beating it gives your car. They are ready for pasture by three years. So that isn't cheap. Depreciation makes fuel cost seem incidental.

Lon More
10th Oct 2011, 10:04
some "visionary" has seen fit to suggest that they build a high speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow.

almost as quick as the helicopter link of 40 years ago.

10th Oct 2011, 10:13
Flew on that noisy bl**dy thing a few times.
They carried a Hosty on it. She had to wear ear defenders.
I used to take my own.

Don't need to get to LHR anymore. They can keep the dump!!