Ivo's Top Gear (-esque) Challenge

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Ivo

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Relating to my returning to Southend in late July, my cousin and brother have challenged me to a Top Gear -style race between Bath and Southend. Needless to say, I will be travelling by public transport, whereas they will be bombing it (not literally I hope; that would be cheating!) down the M4, M25 and A127.

According to the AA, they will require 3h21, albeit before considering traffic in Bath, holiday traffic to and in Southend and - worst of all - motorway issues. Unfortunately however, this still looks like a good time - and the best I have come up with is only 3h42 (SPA1 bus at 1441; FGW HST at 1513; c2c 357 at 1715; mother's front door at ~1823).

I need a few other ideas for maximising my chances. For one thing, I have allowed only 31 minutes to cross London, which is optimistic at best. Similarly, for all we know I could be delayed too!

Would anyone have any suggestions for how to cut this time, or how to effectively hinder the other two due to traffic etc? Would you agree that forcing them on to the M25 at roughly 1600 and then the A127 at 1715 would be a good move? How much of an delay is this likely to cause them? I should add that my cousin isn't exactly the most gentle driver on the planet - he will quite happily navigate roundabouts at 40 if the speed limit permits it (and sometimes even if it doesn't!).

Thank you :)
 
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VTPreston_Tez

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Just wondering, are you a fast runner? That might help crossing London even faster.
I'd force the relatives onto slow lines but if you're up for a challenge, just do the best you can and they'll do the best they can.
 

Ivo

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Just wondering, are you a fast runner? That might help crossing London even faster.

Not exactly...

I'd force the relatives onto slow lines but if you're up for a challenge, just do the best you can and they'll do the best they can.

It wouldn't be fair if I could access the fastest route possible but they couldn't. If they had to avoid the M4 for instance I would have to travel via Salisbury to compensate.
 

Ivo

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I should add that I could go via Southend Victoria if absolutely essential. It is not at all likely to help though...

Hmmmm, you could almost coin this as Third Rail, which you co-coined......oh wait.......

Aye :|

maybe use Boris Bikes to cross London?

Now that's not a bad idea. I'm not fit enough for it to work though :(
 
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richw

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Time it to leave bath around 330-4 pm. M25 rush hour traffic will win it for you. That's assuming bath is about 90 mins from m25?

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Ivo

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Time it to leave bath around 330-4 pm. M25 rush hour traffic will win it for you. That's assuming bath is about 90 mins from m25?

Roughly, yes. But I've got to think about my connections as well. I tried this option and struggled to get much lower than 4 hours (I think 3h56 was the best I managed); on the other hand, something tells me they won't be willing to do that time on account of the inevitable delays.
 

beermaddavep

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You could always suggest having a sit down meal and drink during the journey as part of the challenge- that way they would have to stop for 30 mins or so at a services or pub somewhere :)
 

LE Greys

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Just out of curiosity, I've calculated directions from my home in Hertfordshire to my halls in Aberdeen. By road, it gives me 8hrs 57, which might be possible with someone like Clarkson driving non-stop. By rail and bus, I'd say about the same. By air, bus and coach from Luton should win in theory, but EasyJet's punctuality on that route is highly questionable, they tend to miss slots very often, so assume a delay of at least two hours. Sounds like a race to me.
 

Laryk

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For one thing, I have allowed only 31 minutes to cross London, which is optimistic at best.

I had to make this same trip (PAD - LST) last week, also with only 30 minutes to cross London. I went for the Hammersmith & City platforms adjacent to the mainline at PAD and arrived into LST with 10 minutes to spare. So, if everything runs to time you should be alright.
 

EM2

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I'd think it'd be quicker and easier to get to Liverpool St than Fenchurch St. Even Bakerloo to Oxford Circus and then the Central to Liverpool St or Stratford would surely be quicker than to Fenchurch St?
 

Ivo

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LST is definitely easier, but the race is to my mother's front door, not the centre of Southend. From TPB it's a 1,100m walk; from SOV it's over three miles...

Having said that, even at 1830 there are 6bph to various locations within 600m of said door - but can I really rely on Arriva Southend to help me? I think not :|
 

David

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The M4/M25 interchange can be heavily congested at the best of times due to Heathrow being there. If their plan involves getting to that junction anytime between 1530 and 1900, tell them to take several good books ....

That junction will win it for you.
 

Ivo

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I hadn't even thought of that...

A fair point indeed. And that is assuming my cousin doesn't get lost on the intersection whilst attempting to get from 4B to 15 <D
 
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