The first time I… drove on the M1
I took to the M1 like a duck2tarmac.
I don't do a lot of motorway driving and what little I do do, I usually quite enjoy – the lanes are wide, the carriageways are straight, exits are clearly signposted and there's usually the opportunity to stop for a coffee and a toilet break every twenty minutes or so.
So, when I discovered I needed to drive to Sheffield, I wasn't too bothered about the 235 mile trip.
It looked straightforward enough – up the A3 from the south coast, onto the M25, and then straight up the backbone of England, AKA the M1, to The North – but oh no, it was never going to be that easy.
Firstly the Sat-Nav chose an alternative route for us – taking us West across the bottom of England and then up on the A34 to join the M1 at Leicester – this involved four other Motorways namely the M27, M3, M40 and the M69, before depositing us on the M1 just in time to join the stationary traffic that was tailing back about forty miles after a car crash just outside Chesterfield.
We were stuck in it for two and a half – count them – two and a half hours. Then to top it all off the alternator on our beloved Astra failed and I had to drive the last twenty minutes with no power steering.
We had departed from our house at 10.30am and, with a 40 minute break for lunch and fuel, we arrived at our hotel at 6.20pm – the Sat-Nav had told us we'd be there at 2.30pm. Hmmm – motorways – don't you just love them?
Image © Eleventh Earl of Mar via Flickr, under Creative Commons licence
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