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BillySmart

Towing At Night To Avoid Congestion.

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I used to drive overnight for our regular trips from Leicestershire to Cornwall - between 300 and 330 miles depending on which part of Cornwall we were heading for. As I got older, the drive was punctuated by stops at M-way services for an hour's rest and a mug of strong coffee.

These days I don't travel overnight any more - instead I book an overnight stop at Cadeside CC site in Somerset, getting a good night's sleep and arriving at our destination still fresh and ready to set up the awning, etc.

 

For travelling to France, we allow plenty of time to arrive early at the port, and relax in the caravan whilst waiting. We do take an overnight ferry and book an en suite cabin. Shower then breakfast, and again arriving fresh at our destination.

Age prevents the marathon drives of yesteryear - tiredness cannot be held at bay so easily these days, and staying alert and safe is of prime importance.

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As said the only problem can be motorways shut which I have only had once in all the years I have been towing at night but it is usually only a lane or lanes shut for repairs but a check on line for motorway repairs is a good move before.

 

 

We travelled down from Manchester to Sussex a couple of months ago and left at around 10:00pm. Very light traffic and we flew down the M6 and M40. There were signs on the M40 saying that there were roadworks on the M25 at Junction 15 (M4 junction at Heathrow) but we assumed there would be one lane open or appropriate diversion signs. No - the whole carriageway was closed and at 1:00am in the morning we suddenly found ourselves launched off down the M4 towards central London with no signage at all regarding alternative routes. Fortunately, we knew our way into, and around, the back of Heathrow and were able to navigate back to Junction 13 where it was open again. But if we had been foreigners or anyone unfamiliar with that area it would have been completely disorientating.

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Age prevents the marathon drives of yesteryear - tiredness cannot be held at bay so easily these days, and staying alert and safe is of prime importance.

 

I find tiredness much easier to manage now I'm older/retired and don't have the time pressures of working/family life - I've also learnt to stop at the FIRST sign of tiredness and shut my eyes for 5-10 minutes as it works wonders to keep the brain awake and alert.

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I travelled to Bournemouth overnight one very hot week 3 years ago and decided to overnight in a motorway service. Woke up next morn bright and early with all around very quiet . .so decided to stop for a motorway breakfast and a read of the paper

Big mistake. . I looked up and the motorway had stopped ARGHHHH.

The last 16 mile took 2 hours and worst of all the CC site had an overnight stop area which I didn't check out. Doh .

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?????

 

I lived near Kidder for about 4 years and don't remember it having a turn-off from the motorway.

John

The junction before the M42 going north, even signposted Kidderminster and its called the Kidderminster road. A448.

 

Big layby in quarter of a mile like Nick says.

 

John

Edited by JCloughie

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In the "old days", with a young family, I used to leave home at 3. 00 or 4. 00am. This let me have a few hours sleep before setting off. I then drove for 2 or 3 hours until sunrise, then as the sun rose, it was invigorating and I could drive for a good few more hours.

Now, I'm trying to remember I'm retired and we rarely travel more than 4 to 5 hours in one day.

If need be, I would still set off in the early hours but to leave at 8. 00pm after a days work and no sleep would be a non-starter.

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If you need to regularly stop for coffees and change of driver you quickly loose any benefit of driving at night, stopping kills your average speed and time.

 

The road situation is what it is now, it's easy to say but you just need to chill out and get on with it. Bit of forward planning like not hitting birmimgham at 5 o'clock and having supplies in the vehicle (or caravan) is all you can really do now.

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If you need to regularly stop for coffees and change of driver you quickly loose any benefit of driving at night, stopping kills your average speed and time.

 

If you don't you're risking being overtired - a 10 minute comfort break and change of driver every 2. 5-30 hours doesn't affect average speed that much.

 

HGV drivers hours limits don't apply to private cars - but IMO, they're a useful guideline.

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The junction before the M42 going north, even signposted Kidderminster and its called the Kidderminster road. A448.

 

Big layby in quarter of a mile like Nick says.

 

John

 

John,

 

If you're referring to Junction 6, I think that's the A449 (without a road name) . .. the junction is known as "Worcester North" (or colloquially as "Six Ways" or even "Motocross Junction"). I've had my dinner in that lay-by a few times :) .

 

You can't leave the M5 onto the A448 Kidderminster Road . .. it's a bridge.

 

John

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Just been back home to Waterford drivings a dream.

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Just been back home to Waterford drivings a dream.

But Waterford is in Ireland? A bit of a wet journey?

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Certainly last night there were major road closures on the M1 and at major junctions on the M6 (not possible to get onto the M62, for example). Plenty of trucks on the road but reasonably quiet. I only saw one caravan.

 

Of course, the roads may quieten down if we get a recession

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Certainly last night there were major road closures on the M1 and at major junctions on the M6 (not possible to get onto the M62, for example). Plenty of trucks on the road but reasonably quiet. I only saw one caravan.

 

Of course, the roads may quieten down if we get a recession

Or get busier if "staycations" increase!

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Or get busier if "staycations" increase!

 

Due to lack of cash and Visa requirements?

 

I did get trapped on an M6 diversion loop this year, late at night. Couldn't exit on to the M62 so off I went to Preston (to M65). That exit closed too - diversion was back down the M6 to the next junction south. Signs there directing me back onto the m6 north! I ignored them and drove through a sleepy Chorley.

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Night or day, it does check to look at the Traffic England/Scotland websites for closures - often giving the predicted level of delay and details of junction closures.

 

An increasing number of satnavs use traffic information to continuously replan routes and advise if leaving the "normal" route early would be faster.

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Night or day, it does check to look at the Traffic England/Scotland websites for closures - often giving the predicted level of delay and details of junction closures.

 

An increasing number of satnavs use traffic information to continuously replan routes and advise if leaving the "normal" route early would be faster.

 

Yep, but when the signs have been put out wrongly you are still going to struggle!

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Yep, but when the signs have been put out wrongly you are still going to struggle!

If you've pre-planned properly you know when to ignore the diversion signs - except "road closed" of course

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When we go to Newquay we leave around 3am, transfer sleeping kids into car it's normally the last services on the m5 before they wake up when we stop for coffee and a bite to eat very little traffic all the way there. we get to the site around 1030 and set up etc once all set up the Mrs and kids go to the park area, shops etc whilst I have an hour or so on the couch, driving through the night/early hours is so much easier for us due to kids being asleep and hardly any traffic. Given the choice I'd travel over night every time, most sites have been great when we've asked about either letting us on pitch a little bit early if it's free and or letting us leave later 7pmish for the drive home I've always offered to pay the extra night if needed.

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The junction before the M42 going north, even signposted Kidderminster and its called the Kidderminster road. A448.

 

Big layby in quarter of a mile like Nick says.

 

John

Thank you John very concise instructions.

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- except "road closed" of course

 

Which is exactly what I was faced with.

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If you don't you're risking being overtired - a 10 minute comfort break and change of driver every 2. 5-30 hours doesn't affect average speed that much.

 

HGV drivers hours limits don't apply to private cars - but IMO, they're a useful guideline.

SWIMBO not being a driver, I don't have the luxury of a changeover. I also set out in more than good time, and my average speed is of no consequence. The major plan is to arrive safely at our destination. In the event of making better time than expected, it isn't difficult to find somewhere for a rest period near to the end of the journey.

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Thank you John very concise instructions.

John,

 

If you're referring to Junction 6, I think that's the A449 (without a road name) . .. the junction is known as "Worcester North" (or colloquially as "Six Ways" or even "Motocross Junction"). I've had my dinner in that lay-by a few times :) .

 

You can't leave the M5 onto the A448 Kidderminster Road . .. it's a bridge.

 

John

Nick, looking at the map closer it is John who is correct. In fact it is the A449 Jnk 6 that I have used to Kidderminster in the past. However. It does take you to Kidderminster, and there is still a layby.

 

John

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SWIMBO not being a driver, I don't have the luxury of a changeover. I also set out in more than good time, and my average speed is of no consequence. The major plan is to arrive safely at our destination. In the event of making better time than expected, it isn't difficult to find somewhere for a rest period near to the end of the journey.

My wife no longer drives either, not that I'd ever give up my seat when she could - so using HGV rules I drive in 2hrs 15mins blocks with 15, 30 and 15 min breaks in between - 9 hours towing gets us north of Inverness where we use a Forestry Scotland car park for an overnight - and then another couple of hours next morning to our regular site.

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We've always towed at night when going to south West not just for the congestion but if we're lucky to be in a heatwave it's cooler,we tend to avoid coffee and tea they make you want to wee more,also we want to start our holiday asap so I'd rather go through night I've always managed to time just right and get to campsite at the allotted time,my girl guide training

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Having had several bad experiences in recent years on our increasingly congested motorways where (solo) journeys were either abandoned or took extraordinary times, I am beginning to consider towing at night to avoid sitting for hours in crawling or standing traffic. I've noticed many more caravans than I'd have expected on a recent night drive - a second attempt at a 250 mile trip to the Midlands.

It's clear that our population and its consequent road usage has grown far beyond what our infrastructure can handle (so much for the putative "economic benefits" of mass migration).

For those who do their towing at night, what tips and warnings can you offer?

So much for the inability of subsequent UK governments to invest in infrastructure. Don't see what immigration has to do with it.

Percentage of immigrants as part of UK population?

Percentage of economic benefit to UK economy of immigrant labour (minus the,very small, who claim benefits) ?

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