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Empty Motorways

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Butts

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I had to travel from Edinburgh to the West Midlands on Friday and back up to St Andrews the following Day - Saturday. This was a journey of some 700 odd miles.

Normally I would dread a journey like this on a Friday but it was a sheer joy with empty roads and for the most part beautiful sunny weather - not a Police Car in sight either.

Having hired a Volkswagen Passat Estate from Avis at Edinburgh Airport which was also deserted. The Passat is a great mile muncher and I was able to cruise unhindered for the greater part of the trip ensuring for me record trip times both ways.

The services were deserted as well with minimum facilities but enough to get by on.

HGV's must be loving this I would suspect.
 
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Mike99

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700 miles that's a fair old trip, It made me think, Our train drivers with not so many trains in front of them due to reduced services and hopefully will be driving unhindered. Although with their very high professional standards I'm certain they will keep to the line speed limit and not exceed it.
 

Butts

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The temptation to max it up to 100mph was there but I kept to a more reasonable speed despite the wonderful driving conditions.
 
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Butts

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I agree, Motorways are quiet, I use a combination of the M6, M1, M42 and M69 Monday to Saturdays

If you have to travel on Motorways it's a great time to be doing it , albeit in sad circumstances.
 

hexagon789

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I was surprised yesterday by how busy the M8 actually was with traffic despite several pictures in the news showing it being totally dead.
 

superjohn

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Not a motorway but I made a round trip from Suffolk to London via the A12 on Friday/Saturday. It was quiet but by no means empty. If anything I slowed down compared to normal, 60mph most of the way. There was plenty of space for others to pass so no need to keep up with the flow which makes a noticeable difference to fuel consumption.

I should add that this was an essential journey to attend an appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital which they had advised should go ahead, even in the current circumstances.
 

Butts

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I was surprised yesterday by how busy the M8 actually was with traffic despite several pictures in the news showing it being totally dead.

I was on it briefly Friday and Saturday and the traffic levels were light. Are you talking about either end ie close to Glasgow or Edinburgh?
 

Butts

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Not a motorway but I made a round trip from Suffolk to London via the A12 on Friday/Saturday. It was quiet but by no means empty. If anything I slowed down compared to normal, 60mph most of the way. There was plenty of space for others to pass so no need to keep up with the flow which makes a noticeable difference to fuel consumption.

I should add that this was an essential journey to attend an appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital which they had advised should go ahead, even in the current circumstances.

One good thing to come out of this mess is that fuel prices have crashed through the floor. However some non-supermarket outlets are still over 120 a Litre for U/L - possibly they paid more for their stock (at the time) than some Supermarkets are selling it for now.

One garage in Birmingham was selling unleaded for under a pound a litre !!!
 

Butts

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It's a pity you needed to use a car for whatever reason, as I gather the trains are less full these days.

And also a little less frequent !!

Try going from Edinburgh to Cradley Heath and back up to St Andrews and then back to Edinburgh in less than 24 hours.

I did use the tram to and from the Airport and the Train back from Edinburgh Park to Falkirk - both empty !!

Also saver fares have dissappeared and the cost of hiring the car along with the diesel was considerably cheaper and a lot more convenient.
 

Ianno87

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700 miles that's a fair old trip, It made me think, Our train drivers with not so many trains in front of them due to reduced services and hopefully will be driving unhindered. Although with their very high professional standards I'm certain they will keep to the line speed limit and not exceed it.

OTMR and TPWS / TASS will make sure of that. Though a driver risking limitimg his career would be foolish at the best of times...

One good thing to come out of this mess is that fuel prices have crashed through the floor. However some non-supermarket outlets are still over 120 a Litre for U/L - possibly they paid more for their stock (at the time) than some Supermarkets are selling it for now.

One garage in Birmingham was selling unleaded for under a pound a litre !!!

Sainsburys near us has crashed from 132.9 to 117.9 over the past week or so.

It's a pity you needed to use a car for whatever reason, as I gather the trains are less full these days.

Took a sample of trains leaving Cambridge on Friday during my daily exercise.

1610 CrossCountry to Stansted left with 2 passengers. 1614 Kings Cross fast left with 3 passengers.
 

squizzler

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One good thing to come out of this mess is that fuel prices have crashed through the floor. However some non-supermarket outlets are still over 120 a Litre for U/L - possibly they paid more for their stock (at the time) than some Supermarkets are selling it for now.

One garage in Birmingham was selling unleaded for under a pound a litre !!!
Maybe off topic, but perhaps the taxation on fuel should be put up so that there is no more incentive to use a car than there would be normally, given the stated desire by government to keep us put. Having just written that, maybe a national 50mph speed limit (as introduced in the USA during energy crisis) would reduce unnecessary travel?
 

ComUtoR

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My morning commute (M25) has been wonderful. Its still busy but no queues and its halved the time.
 

superjohn

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102.9 at Sainsbury’s in Ipswich yesterday, the Shell immediately across the road was 113.9. They are normally within a couple of pence of each other. Something strange is going on with the discrepancies.
Maybe off topic, but perhaps the taxation on fuel should be put up so that there is no more incentive to use a car than there would be normally
That would penalise the key workers that have to travel. For them, travelling alone in a car is much better than the infection risk of using public transport.
 

GB

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Maybe off topic, but perhaps the taxation on fuel should be put up so that there is no more incentive to use a car than there would be normally, given the stated desire by government to keep us put. Having just written that, maybe a national 50mph speed limit (as introduced in the USA during energy crisis) would reduce unnecessary travel?

Raising fuel duty would negatively affect key workers
 

83A

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I cycled along a bridalway yesterday which runs parallel to the A11 in Cambs and I was surprised how busy it was!
 

superjohn

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Raising fuel duty would negatively affect key workers
In normal circumstances it would ideal for a cynical government to raise the taxation while the price is low. That way they can blame the oil companies when the price inevitably goes up again in a few weeks or months time.

As the crisis response becomes increasingly politicised, I fully expect such things to start happening.
 

Butts

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Maybe off topic, but perhaps the taxation on fuel should be put up so that there is no more incentive to use a car than there would be normally, given the stated desire by government to keep us put. Having just written that, maybe a national 50mph speed limit (as introduced in the USA during energy crisis) would reduce unnecessary travel?

Agreed - it would be an opportune moment to whack 5p a litre on or so, as it has fallen in price so rapidly no one would noice the difference in their pocket. Forget the 50mph speed limit !!
 

Butts

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Raising fuel duty would negatively affect key workers

How when it has already fallen by 20p litre ? - 5p Back on it's still 15p litre cheaper than a couple of weeks ago.
 

richa2002

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Or how about we just pass the benefit entirely onto the individual and let them spend their money how they wish.
 

GB

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How when it has already fallen by 20p litre ? - 5p Back on it's still 15p litre cheaper than a couple of weeks ago.

I misread the post. I read it as raising duty to completely disincentivise car use, not just bring it up to normal levels...my mistake.

However, how do we know brining the cost of fuel up to normal levels will have any affect on people not using their cars for non essential travel, and can we be sure the government will bring fuel duty back down again when the normal wholesale price inevitably goes back up.

That said, with the vast amount of extra spending the government has committed to during this crisis money has to be found somewhere I guess.
 

MotCO

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I've often wondered why petrol prices vary so much on the same trip. Even the same petrol brand can vary by at least 5p a litre. Is it down to different franchisees buying petrol at different rates? Is it down to different rateable values? Or do petrol stations 'take it in turns' to reduce their prices, tempting motorists to make it their usual petrol station, then gradually increase their prices without the new motorists noticing?
 

squizzler

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Agreed - it would be an opportune moment to whack 5p a litre on or so, as it has fallen in price so rapidly no one would noice the difference in their pocket. Forget the 50mph speed limit !!

Indeed, perhaps a 'minimum pricing', like the Scottish do on alcohol, is the best way to prevent pleasure driving looking attractive now. Whilst prices are so low and little congestion from other motorists, that long journey to have a walk in a national park is - at a personal level - more logical than it would usually be.

I still think an emergency speed limit is perhaps a better way of stopping people roaming further than they normally would. I think it is better that that our speed of travel is restricted so that we decide on our own accord not to go too far from home than it being easier than ever to cover distance as a motorist only to have Nanny State tell us what trips are appropriate.
 

Mike99

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I've often wondered why petrol prices vary so much on the same trip. Even the same petrol brand can vary by at least 5p a litre. Is it down to different franchisees buying petrol at different rates? Is it down to different rateable values? Or do petrol stations 'take it in turns' to reduce their prices, tempting motorists to make it their usual petrol station, then gradually increase their prices without the new motorists noticing?

Also depends on location, the classic, 'last fuel before the motorway' is often dearer, on my delivery route, Esso, just off the M1 in Leicestershire is 133.9 for diesel, off the M42 near Birmingham is 134.9 but at other sites it's normally 123/124.9
 

telstarbox

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Had the quickest ever run (as in reached the speed limit of 30mph) through the Blackwall Tunnel earlier. Only time I've come close was over one Christmas week.
 

GB

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I still think an emergency speed limit is perhaps a better way of stopping people roaming further than they normally would. I think it is better that that our speed of travel is restricted so that we decide on our own accord not to go too far from home than it being easier than ever to cover distance as a motorist only to have Nanny State tell us what trips are appropriate.

What speed would you suggest that is enough to deter non essential journeys? I have to use my car to get to work, I don't really relish the thought of doubling or tripling my commute.
 

Tetchytyke

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What speed would you suggest that is enough to deter non essential journeys?

My government have just whacked in a blanket 40mph speed limit, and normally we don't have speed limits at all here. I'd say 40 or 50 would do it.
 
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I think it is better that that our speed of travel is restricted so that we decide on our own accord not to go too far from home than it being easier than ever to cover distance as a motorist only to have Nanny State tell us what trips are appropriate.
In other words you don't want the nanny state telling you where you can go, but you do want the nanny state telling you you must drive perhaps 20mph slower than it is safe to do so? Or have I misunderstood? Would the same logic apply to trains? Slow them to discourage uneccesary rail travel?
 
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