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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tone,


Heading to your part of the world this weekend (St Kew Highway).
Just need some advice on what route I should take.





I'll be leaving Grays, Essex at around 1.30pm on Friday (I know, bad
time).





AA route planner recommends M25/M4/M5 etc.





TomTom online using IQ routes (I put in the day and time) says
M25/M3/A303 etc.





I've yet to see what the Sat Nav in the 2008 recommends but will be
bringing my TomTom anyway as I had my first experience of French electrics eccentrics
last weekend.





Any advice? Done M4/M5 last year and it was ok. No traffic
but a bit boring. My only passenger will be my 16yr niece so no doubt she
will either be plugged in listening to music or asleep so not much company.




Never tried the A303 before but would there be traffic near Stonehenge?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated
 

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try the 303, used it a lot when I was trucking, much better than boring motorways, just keep an eye out for the speed merchants and you should be OK
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Cowboy. Might give it go
 

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Hi Marie

If its speed you are after then M4 - M5 is your route. The problem will be as I know from experience that the M4 can be busy on a Friday, not as bad as these last few weeks as the "shed draggers" have nearly all gone home.

Worst spots Swindon M4 Junctions 15/16 and you will hit them just at the right time, which means you will be following the traffic all the way to the M5.
It can be a little busy and you may find yourself limited to around 50mph.Once you hit the M5 and clear the Avon Bridge then things can only get better and Sedgemoor Services between Junctions 21/22 is worth a stop for a call of nature.

The A303 Route, is a toss of the dice, it will take you longer usually around 45 mins / 1 hour longer depending on traffic from the M25. I did this journey a couple of weeks ago and we still had "Johnny Foreigners" using it. Because its down to a single lane 5 miles either side of the concrete blocks (Stonehenge) it can be a little slow so expect 20-30mph speeds.

Its not as boring but can be frustrating. Personally, and I say this because invariably I travel on my own I use the M4/M5 but if you have to stop for a comfort break (ie visit the loo) the journey will take longer on the 303. By using the motorway you can pick your stopping points.

Fridays at your time of travelling, your trouble spots will be the M25 and check your Tom Tom IQ and if you can get a good start on the M$ you could possibly have a good run without too many hold ups. The A303 is a bit of a lottery at times, but a better run

Hope that helps and welcome to the sunshine state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tone. My sister is going down to Plymouth earlier on M4/M5 so hopefully she'll let me know of any problems. Hope the weather is better than it is here.
 

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Marie,

I've just come back from Reading this afternoon. I left around 3.30pm, about the time you would be arriving from the smoke.

As I got to theChieveleyServices at Junction 13 and theA34, after a Comfort Break, I decided to take the A34 South to the A303 and I had a really good run home.



There are no major roadworks, traffic was on average pretty good but the downside there are no proper services if you need to stop. Travel time, I was probably home around the same time. The car ran well consumed humongous amounts of fuel but hey what a drive.



I would suggest you keep an eye on the traffic with Tom Tom etc and make a decision on the day. Fridays are notoriously bad on the M4 so its a toss of the coin.



Just how many of your family are coming to the sunshine state. I feel like I'm being caught in a pincer movement, you to the East, and your sister to the West of me. You don't have anymore nasty surprises in store do you?



By the way the local weather guru in the pub tells me that we are in for a glorious weekend so welcome to the "sunshine state" and which ever way you come have a safe and enjoyable trip. Oh and John (Cowboy) mentioned if you come down the A303 watch out for the speed merchants, well you'll be glad to know I won't be on it, the car is being valeted and having some minor repairs to the passenger door after somebody used it as a stop for a trolley or something at the local DIY Depot.







Edited by: uncletone
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well set off from Grays, Essex around 12.30pm. Decided to place my faith in the 2008 sat nav as it had live traffic updates. Got on the M25 and just before Clackett Lane services the sat nav informed me that there was a 6 mile tailback due to accident. Well that held us up for about 1 hour. Two broken down vehicles and an accident. Two lanes was closed. On to the M3 and the majority of that was a 50 mph due to road works. On the A303. Well what can I say? The parts with no traffic due to incidents was lovely but as parts of the M4/M5 were closed everyone was looking for other routes. By the time we got to Exeter it was getting dark and I was not looking forward to the country lanes of Cornwall in the dark looking for this cottage. After going down the A30 doing on average 90 mph I had to slow down on the A39 as by now it was pitch dark (fog lights came in handy!). Got to the cottage nearly 8 hours later
The car was great though but now needs a wash as it's covered by bugs outside and full of sand inside! Had a great weekend plus the weather was great. Beaches was packed
. Lovely part of the world you live in Tone. The return journey was much better. M5/M4 with the usual hold ups but done it in around 4 hours from Plymouth.
 

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Hi Marie,

Glad you made it back in one piece.

Coming from the "smoke" to "the sunshine state" on a Friday is always a gamble as to which way to travel, especially at the time you were leaving.

Glad you got managed to get some quality rest time and no doubt the natives down here will have emptied your debit/credit card by hiking up the prices once they realised you were a tourist.

Yes we are fortunate to live down here it has its drawbacks, you have to travel 60 miles before you get to Exeter and then you can decide to go North or East.

Next time you are in the vicinity let us know we'll be glad to offer some Yorkshire hospitality.
 
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