I used to commite daily form J11 of the M1 to J4 of the M4.
Used to average 1 hour 10mins each way for this journey, though Monday mornings and Friday evenings are much worse. Get used to being on the motorway before 6am and the journey won't be too bad. There's no way of avoiding the mess on the journey home.
Its only as stressful as you make it. Get used to being stck in traffic. Get used to not being able make plans to go out in the evenings. Fortunately my boss used to do a similar commute and he'd usually start his journey 15mins after me. So if my journey in took me 3 hours as it sometimes did then I'd still be in before the boss.
Learn every alternative route so that you can come of the motorway at any junction and still know where you're going. If you can find a lift share then use it, being a passanger every other week is a blessing in these circumstances.
I read often, only post occasionally
A minimum of an hour and a half each way I'd say. 3-4 hours a day compared to your 25 mins. You'll be away from home an additional 17.5 hours a week. Add your extra motoring costs and the stress, I'd say it wasn't worth £10k a year.
One of my colleagues has driven from Bishops Stortford, down the M11, round the M25, and down the M40 to High Wycombe as his daily commute for the past eight years. For the three years before that he used to drive even further to our Wokingham office. His choice, but it wouldn't be for me.
My daily drive from Aylesbury to Wokingham was bad enough and I really noticed the quality of life (and extra 10 hours per week) benefit when we moved to High Wycombe. That I now work from home for three quarters of the month and take an early morning drive to an airport to fly away for the remaining quarter is even better.
Thanks for all the responses. Just as I had figured. I'll go for the interview and see what kind of flexible work options they offer. Maybe I can work from home a few days a week, and drive in for two.
I have a friend in the US and he has a family with a small child. Anyway, because his job pays about 20% over average, he puts up with the 2.5 hour daily commute (each way). He generally sees his wife and daughter on weekends. The question is, do I want that kind of lifestyle (I'm single at the moment)?
I'm a daily M25 user too (east side though) and have been for the last two years. It was bearable for a bit, but after a while the monotony of being stuck in endless jams started to wear me down. I really don't think that I can take much more so I'm currently considering taking a 10k pay cut in order to work closer to home...
Good luck. Actually, if you do take the job you'll
wish you'd kept the tranquil serenity of the S80! ;-)
Actually, I took the money from the S80 refund, and managed to get hold of a 1999 Lexus GS300 Sport, which is super stable, and feels planted to the road. Also, has some street cred around inner city regions!!!
Perhaps due to the 245 wide tyres it has, tyre roar may be an issue on the motorway, but it's perfect on my B road commute.
I used to commute from Reading to Thames Ditton which involved a nasty spell on the M25 between the M4 and the M3. Got to the point where you'd pull off at any place you could just to try and find a better route, especially in the evenings. If I wasn't picking up/dropping off my colleague at Maidenhead I'd go Bracknell/M3 to avoid the M25.
Funnily enough, when I worked at Stockley Park I used to get the train. It was a nice brisk walk into the office from Hayes station. Couldn't work there now though - I'd miss having shops and pubs nearby.
Life is complex; it has real and imaginary parts.
I turned down a director-level job with a company in Hatfield because I'd be commuting a similar distance around the M25 (but the opposite direction). I decided the money wasn't worth it.
The government claim they want to cut congestion, which implies people moving to where the work is. But the 4% stamp duty they wanted to charge for me selling here and buying a near-identical house there made moving a non-starter.
And if you do move, how long will you be in that job? Jobs for life are history. Plus more households need two incomes so both have to find new jobs. And it's disruptive to children's schooling. The Government has lost the plot.
Fascinating to read the replies on this thread, and to see what people choose (or are compelled) to do every working day. When I came back to UK in 1967 I vowed not to live within 50 miles of London for just this reason - and if I did it again I would probably say 100 miles! As Xileno says, jobs for life are history, and I was fortunate in having one that kept me for 26 years, if not to retirement age. But I managed to live where I could walk to my office in 6 mins. and get away at weekends if I wanted. Many people seemed to do the reverse.
reality of commuting on M25 -
I travel regularly from Kent (J29) to Hemel Hempstead) J21 M1) around the M25 and all I can say is there is no guessing travel times with this motorway. On average it takes me about an hour. That a good smooth run if I'm lucky, otherwise it can take between 1-2 hours (4 being the worse I had).
Anytime before 7am and anytime after 8pm and you should be ok. This is just my own experience.
If you go for the job and get it may I suggest getting some nice relaxing music for the journey, and go with the flow. Try and not let it get to you when you are stop-starting for miles and miles for what seems to be no reason.
Why don't you do a test run, and make it as real as possible as far as timing is concerned in the rush-hour. Would give you a realistic insight as to whether you could hack it long-term. I know I couldn't, but many do.
I'd say you need a hell of a good reason to subject yourself to a commute like this. Of course you may be a lot younger than me and at an earlier stage in your career. But the fact is that most of the comments on quality of life are valid here, as are the comments on the government not helping people to relocate by easing/abolishing stamp-duty. When the governemtn say they want to ease congestion I can see no evidence they actually either mean it or are doing anything worthwhile about it.
I do 30 miles of the M1 each way, it's insane to do it in the car! Even when I join the motorway at 6:45am, it's often into stationary traffic.
Train or motorbike is the only way I can do it, even the worst traffic in the world doesn't slow me down by more than 10 minutes each way on the bike, and the train is ok for when the weather makes it too risky on the bike.
Well, I made it to my interview extremely early. It took me 50 minutes, having left at 6.10am today. Security guard told me that many people arrive early having heard of horror stories about the M25. Is the 50 minutes time realistic or is it a quiet day?
Thinking of doing the job for a year to gain some good experience.
So, 6 months on, what happened? Did you get the job and if so, how did the commute work out?
I am in the same boat that you were back in December. Should I take a better job even though I will have a daily commute from M1 J12 to M40 J1? Autoroute says the commute will be 38 minutes and www.transportdirect.info says 57 minutes. What is the real figure?
I do J12 (M3) to J16 (M40) every day as part of my commute from North Hampshire into W1. I normally hit the M25 at about 7:30 and this stretch usually takes me about 20 minutes. To get to Stockley Park, you will only need to use one junction of the M4 (4a to 4) which is less than a mile, but it is normally nose to tail. The Stockley bypass is generally quite bunged up as well. There is another route to Stockley Park via J14 (Heathrow T4) so if things get really bad you have other options. You can also come off at J13 (Staines) and make your way across via Staines, and the back end of West Drayton.
In the past few weeks, J15 to J13 going the other way in the evening has been completely unusable. I have been coming off at 15 and taking an alternative (but longer) route via the M4. It's something to do with the roadworks round towards 12/11 I think, so hopefully shouldn't be for too much longer.
My total commute is between an hour and 45, and 2 hrs each way depending on traffic. It's hard at first, but you quickly learn to live with it. Friday mornings are considerably quicker (took me an hour and 20 to get in this morning), Friday evenings are hateful (2.5 hrs to get home usually), and school holidays make a big difference.
If you want the bucks that the London area pays and don't want to live in the place, them's the breaks. I can live with it for now.
DP - How long have you been doing this commute and
how long do you think you can continue?
I've been doing it for nearly 8 months and at the moment I can tolerate it for the foreseeable future. Some days it gets to me but most of the time now I don't really think about it. I do it in a reliable, but cheap car which is bought and paid for, so wear/tear and parking knocks and dinks don't cost me any sleep. The company also chips in a fairly generous car allowance which covers my commuting costs each month. All I need to fork out of my main salary for is repairs and maintenance on the Mondy.
I am occasionally out and about, and do travel to Europe a few times a month which breaks the monotony a bit. Heathrow is 25 minutes away if I get an early flight. My distance from the office also means I'm rarely expected back in the office if I go out somewhere and get finished mid afternoon. On a normal day I leave the house at 7 and get home between 6:30 and 7. A lot of people do worse.
My plan at the moment is to stick at it for now, and then look to transfer from the head office where I am now to a big regional office we have in Feltham (25 min commute tops) when something comes up. But it's alright for now. Not ideal obviously, but it pays the bills quite nicely.
Used to do Chatham to Bracknell each day for 2 years. 75 miles, best time was.... err I won't go there but worst was 4 hours. In the winter it's the weather & in the summer it's the holiday making muppets. Used to leave Kent at 05:30 & arrive in the office at 07:00 but the trip home even leaving at 16:00 was dire. This is M20-M26-M25-M3.
Eventually changed role & now work from home most of the time so not an issue, but it didn't do me or the car any good for the time I did it!
I spent nearly 13 years doing Leatherhead to M25 and M4 Junc 3
It got progressively worse , a regular 45 min to 1 hour run was becoming 1.5 hours ( and at least once a week turining into 2 hours plus and the occassional 4 hours thrown in when a major smash closed the Mway).
I moved my day forward further and further till I was starting work at 7:30 then being the clock watcher and running for the door at 5 to beat the worst of the rush.
In the end I was driving thought the middle of Hounslow and onto the M3 at Sunbury Cross to avoid the M25 around Heathrow. (sounds a mad route but it worked)
Best advice I can give is:
study the back routes before you need them,
listen to the travel news or get traffic master.
develop a laid back attitude to the occassional monster jam, just pull off & have a pint and watch the footy/rugby/cricket or whatever is on till the jam subsides.
In the end I was driving thought the middle of Hounslow and onto the M3 at Sunbury Cross to avoid the M25
around Heathrow. (sounds a mad route but it worked)
I have advised serveral of our contractors to go from Heathrow to the A 316 before the Sunbury Cross and they have been well pleased to avoid the M25.
M3 J1 to J2 is always incredibly qiet.
study the back routes before you need them,
And I would say try them out when not under stress.
Over the years I have employed this to great advantage.
Some routes, even local routes do not always work in the reverse direction.
Sometimes it pays even to start of in totally the opposite direction.
err slightly less, 55 minutes in convoy with a s70 T5, new years eve I think we saw about 6 cars the whole length of the M25. One was a Golf in it's normal location outside, lane 4 doing about 60! This was in Alfa 156 JTD SW in those days.
I quickly realised that it's not worth having anything fast (lucky if I can hold 70 for more than a mile or so), thirsty (2000 miles a month), or desirable (I leave it in a public car park every day). It needs to be comfy and economical, dependable, and have air-con and a decent stereo. It should also be cheap to fix when things inevitably do go wrong.
We bought an ex contract hire 100,000 mile X plate mk2 Mondeo TD just over a year ago for a couple of grand, which was pressed into service as my commuter when I took this job (and lost my company car). Forgetting its truly dreadful acceleration, which isn't an issue on the commute anyway, it's just about perfect. Good seats, good air-con, decent CD stereo with RDS/Traffic (vital!), never returns less than 40 mpg even in the foulest traffic conditions (44 average) and it's not let me down yet. Nobody wants to nick it or damage it, and outside of routine servicing and tyres, it's cost me about £30 (a headlight bulb and a set of brake pads) in the last 15,000 miles, although it needs an engine mount and a CV joint, so another £100 ish probably. Not bad for 15000 miles on a car that already had 100,000 on it though.
Will run it till it drops and then buy another one most probably.