How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
My usual commute is 5 miles along rural roads - takes 7 to 10 minutes. Today I had to go to a meeting in York, from Leics, about 90-ish miles. Got up 7am, noticed fog so set off at 7.30 for meeting - coffee at 9.45, meeting start at 10am, so up to 2and a half hours for 90 miles. Drove carefully in fog, not too thick, no real need for foglights (many others thought no need for lights at all!). All went well until I got to A1/A64 (the old Bramham crossroads - remember when it had traffic lights!?) junction at about 9.10, thinking, with 12 miles to go on dual carriageway, that I might even have time for a bacon butty before meeting. The next 12 miles took me almost 2 hours - arrived in York at 11am, because of roadworks at west end of York by-pass. My 90 miles had therefore taken 3 hours 30 mins. This is not unusual - I have within the last few months had a 4 hour trip from Leeds (100 miles), a 4hour trip to Wirral (120 miles), we have also missed our last 3 booked crossings on Eurotunnel despite allowing 5 hours for the 200 miles to Folkestone.
How do those of you who have to do these trips on a regular basis for meetings with clients etc know what time to allow?
How do you assess journey time? - cheddar
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
Your route planner estimates 2 hours 8 mins Ched - if I'd followed that I would have been even later!
Leeds is 1 hour 37 mins (not the 4 hours it took) and the Chunnel 3 hours 27 mins (a bit less than the 5 hours we allow!
This is my point - how on earth does anyone know how long it will take - work out the time and treble it?
How do you assess journey time? - cheddar
The RAC R/P quotes home to Leeds for me as 4:06 though it took me 3:45 both ways a couple of weeks ago.

However you cannot account for abnormal traffic volumes, roadworks and accidents. Best to go by experience, if you allowed two hours and it took three and a half then allow three and three quarters next time.
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
"Best to go by experience, .."
I did - last time I went to York it took me less than 2 hours , therefore I allowed 2 and a half and it took me 3h 40 mins!
How do you assess journey time? - Teapot42
It would be nice if they programmed more realistic journey times in to this thing. My employer uses it to double-check the travel times we submit as part of our expenses. As the times the RAC (and AA) give are usually a good 25% than is realistic at any time other than 3am in the morning, I have often lost out on overtime as a result....
How do you assess journey time? - Chas{P}
I calculate journey times based on an average speed of 40mph. If it's an inner city or some south east traffic hell hole to get to I add the same on again.

Normally pans out ok and if I'm early I can grab a coffee/snack somewhere.
How do you assess journey time? - David Horn
I trust my TomTom 99% of the time, even with roadworks it seems to be accurate to the minute. The only time it's ever been wrong is in Scotland last weekend when it assumed it would take 40 minutes to navigate 30 miles of the A7, when it took well over an hour. However, I had looked at a map and assumed the same, so not entirely blaming the TomTom. :)
How do you assess journey time? - Westpig
can confirm the TomTom is eerily accurate.......
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
"TomTom is eerily accurate....... "

Stick Loughborough to Fulford, York in it - bet it doesn't quote 3 hours 40 mins, nor 4 hours Loughb. to Headingley, or 5 hours Loughb. to Chunnel
How do you assess journey time? - local yokel
In the UK I allow 40 mph plus 30 mins. In France, Benelux,Germany I allow a min of 55mph + 10 mins. Go figure.
How do you assess journey time? - mr.freezer
I cover Scotland for my job and if I am going somewhere new I tend to make the appointment for later in the day and go somewhere where I know I can either drop or reduce the time spent.

I measure any distance in time as opposed to mileage and so I soon learn when to make appointments.

I don't trust my Tom Tom for times as in Scotland you tend to be able to beat it. It also refused to find several locations in rural Aberdeenshire and sent me in the wrong direction on an another occasion.

Eerily, the next day it sent me a message asking to track me. Is this normal ?
How do you assess journey time? - Bill Payer
PhilW - You could have found those roadworks in advance by looking at the Highways agency website (tick the boxes on the left of the page for the options you want) however you can't really legislate for a situation where it takes 2 hrs to do 12 miles.

As for the more general question, I live in the North West but frequently drive down South - I either make the appointment for early afternoon and then breeze down in the morning and then get back late (but with no time pressure) or I leave home at 4.00AM and I can be virtually anywhere (as long as it doesn't involve the M25) in the South by 7.30-8.00. The real pain is getting somewhere (like you did) for 9.30-10.00. Anything that means driving through the rush-hour(s) is a nightmare and so I tend to stay overnight.
The RAC/AA etc directions sites seem to assume that you can drive at pretty well the speed limit for the road that you're on. In my experience, even if the journey is clear motorway almost door to door, you're really going some to average even 60MPH.
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
Useful site Bill, saved to favourites. Thanks.
However, it advises delays of 20 mins on southbound carriageway and fails to mention the 2 hour delays northbound!!
Anyway, my sympathies to those of you who have to commute long distances, or belt around the country for meetings - I think I'll stick to my 10 min commute where the biggest worry is the occasional suicidal pheasant (not peasant!)

How do you assess journey time? - Bill Payer
- I think I'll stick to my 10 min commute

I generally work at home, where getting across the landing is the major hazard. However I'm often filled with horror by the traffic news on Radio 2 at 7.20ish (as I'm thinking I really ought to be getting out of bed) when they list the motorways that are messed up that morning.
How do you assess journey time? - hxj


Also living in the same town and travelling regularly, this is your problem -

"Got up 7am, noticed fog so set off at 7.30 for meeting" -

You need to be out and about at 6.45 or 7 am, whether going Nottingham, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Bristol or anywhere else, 30 minutes earlier makes a huge difference to travelling times.
How do you assess journey time? - Big John
There was some sort of incident on the A64 near York this morning, I got caught in it as well.

Traffic is a major problem here 7:30-9:30 & 15:15-17:30 during the school&work rush hour(hours!). It?s made worse by badly implemented traffic aggravating schemes, special bus lanes and lights that the buses don?t even use and traffic direction priority islands immediately adjacent to roundabouts (i.e. you can?t exit). Apparently it?s green to sit in a traffic jam for an hour! I.E. whatever your SatNav says, if you are scheduled to arrive in York in the rush hour add at least one hour (& a bit more for luck).
How do you assess journey time? - Bill Payer
Traffic is a major problem here 7:30-9:30 & 15:15-17:30 during the
school&work rush hour(hours!).

You also have to be careful to avoid race days!
How do you assess journey time? - rtj70
In the last 18-24 months had to be in Bradford at client's address for 9am. I live in Stockport. You plan via Autoroute/TomTom/etc. and it probably says 45 minutes or thereabout....

Well if you left Stockport at 8am for a 9am start you have no chance. In fact leave at 7:30am and you have no chance. I found after repeated trips for a 9am start I'd leave at 6:30am and get there for 7:30am or maybe earlier. But leave too much later and you'll be late. Surprising how early traffic started to backup on the M62 towards leads.

Many years ago (8ish) I had to be in Leeds for 8:30am and that was an early start from Manchester but not nearly as early as I was leaving for Bradford.

Oh that lovely office that is Provident Finance that's in the Red Light area of Bradford.
How do you assess journey time? - Bill Payer
I'm not sure quite what's going on, but I've been 'on the road' for 25 yrs, so I'm very used to seasonal fluctuations and steadily increasing traffic levels.
However the last few weeks, since the end of the school holidays, I'm certain that the traffic has taken a noticeable step up in volume - more than ever before (not just the usual post holiday increase).
How do you assess journey time? - rtj70
I'd say in recent years traffic has become very unpredictable. Back in 98/99 I used to often travel Manchester to Leicester and back in a day to a clients. Sometimes every day 5 days a week. Bit of a pain but doable without leaving too early. These days that would be impossible without leaving very early and many delays - or probably stopping over . This was back in the days of 35k+ miles a year on the roads.

Now I work from home a lot :-) Commute not too bad after getting out of bed.
How do you assess journey time? - daveyjp
First travel hold up mentioned on local TV news - A64 Copmanthorpe, queues to Fulford and this was at 7.25am.

Obviously I don't know the particular circumstances of OP, but I would have considered the train. Drive to Grantham, train to York. GNER is the best high speed rail service in the UK and there are plenty of trains on East Coast main line.
How do you assess journey time? - Nsar
GNER - get it while it lasts, in big doo doo now after overpaying for the franchise.

But the OP makes me think there might be a case for a "traffic wisdom" thread here where you can post user based knowledge of where the real blackspots are and when.
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
"Drive to Grantham, train to York."
Exactly what a colleague did - I considered it but reckoned that by the time I had driven to Grantham, waited for connection, 55 mins to York, taxi/bus to Fulford I would beat him there in my car. I was wrong, wrong wrong! And he had a bacon butty on the train!
Next time the train!
How do you assess journey time? - james86
I live in York but travel lots to see clients, including at least one trip down to London each week (south of river so through the nightmareish Dartford Crossing!). I cover 500-1000 miles each week so have lots of these challenging journeys to do. Particularly challenging this last week with the A64 roadworks.

There's no easy way to guess the times. As has already been said with the TomTom's traffic updates it is scarily accurate and can generally be trusted to within a few minutes. Also it's good at re-routing you around accidents. It does however have a habit of sending me through central London at rush hour when it doesn't like the M25 for some reason - advice you have to learn to ignore! The two main areas to avoid are the M1 J6-10 and the M25-A2; other than that there are no major blackspots that spring to mind other than accidents of course. You just have to get the knack of knowing how long a journey will take - I'm very rarely late for anything now though have had issues like you describe in the past.

On Monday, for example, I have a meeting in London at 9 so will leave York at about 4.30 (am!); having done that exact journey lots of times I've got little doubt that I'll get there in good time. I'm then due in Redhill - about an hour from my previous meeting - then finally off to Lincoln, which realistically needs 4 hours allowed but I wouldn't expect it to take quite that long. Finally home to bed! It just comes with experience I'm afraid; there is no easy answer.

Traffic wisdom thread sounds perfect - happy to contribute and even happier to read it when I'm going somewhere out of my normal journeys!
How do you assess journey time? - stevied
From recent experience, and they're still ongoing in Cheshire: you'll get to within a mile of your destination and get stuck in a queue waiting for some muppet with a clipboard to ask you where you've been and where you're going, and the reason for your journey... for which I imagine 80% of the answers are "to attend a meeting for which I am now late because I and my fellow motorists are held up answering your questions".

How do you assess journey time? - Adam {P}
I do something so incredibly simple that it's genius.

If I think I'm going to get somewhere for 11, I'll tell them I'll be there for half past. I adjust the extra based on how far away it is.

Try it. It really works!
How do you assess journey time? - PhilW
Have you told your sister that she's going to miss her show at the Apollo in London by a couple of hours Adam - and the IWM will be closed by the time you get there???
Have a safe (and prompt) journey! but don't forget to set off the day before!
How do you assess journey time? - Adam {P}
Always nitpicking Phil!
How do you assess journey time? - Statistical outlier
It's not foolproof, but the Transport Direct website has a car journey route planner. Nothing unusual there, but if you give it the date and time you want to arrive, it will calculate the route considering average congestion. I've found it to be really very accurate, and work very well when I've tried it so far. For routes I know well, it does indeed suggest a sensible route to avoid traffic.

It found noteriety for occasionally giving mad routes when it first launched, but they seem to have got that sorted now.

Ask Honest John

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