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WEEKLY WHINE

Stump Edvard on the motorway

There are 81 designated motorways in the United Kingdom, totalling more than 3,000 km. Would you like to drive all of them?

Ha! Gotcha! The correct answer is “of course not, I’ll be taking the train”. Do you have any idea how much carbon dioxide you’d be pouring into the atmosphere if you drove the entire length of the UK’s motorway system? You probably spent Earth Day increasing the lighting intensity in your office, asshole.

Well, you shouldn’t drive every kilometre of the UK’s motorways, but you should certainly take a look at those motorways if you are so inclined. Many of them are very interesting. Some of them are not, of course. And others are downright befuddling.

So, we have invited you the readers to send in questions about the UK’s motorways to our very own “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp, who has been to the UK a grand total of several times. He is now available to answer those questions.

Dear Edvard: What is the best motorway in Britain?

– Jock Stakken
Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Dear Jock: The M4 must be the best of Britain’s motorways. It originates in London and serves Heathrow before continuing onward to Basingstoke, Reading, and Bristol. Then it passes over the Severn into Wales, where it services Newport, Cardiff, and Swansea. It comes free with every two cartons of single cream. Not only that, it has two of Britain’s three stack interchanges, at the M5 and the M25. What’s not to love about the M4?

Dear Edvard: The Heathrow spur?

– Jennifer Caprigath
Harrow, England, UK

Dear Jennifer: Well, all right. There’s one thing not to love about the M4.

Dear Edvard: The one way toll at the Severn crossing. It costs money to go to Wales, but not back to England.

– Ginny Maerfwynny
Cardiff, Wales, UK

Dear Ginny: Fine. Two things.

Dear Edvard: The M4 has variable speed limits near Bristol. Also, the sometimes the hard shoulder becomes a useable lane. It is absolutely maddening.

– Bradley Gloucester
Gloucester, England, UK

Dear Bradley: I’m in favour of variable speed limits. I think they are a good idea. Drivers should change the way they drive based upon the conditions, and variable speed limits are one way to make them do that. But yes, the part time hard shoulder is ridiculous.

Dear Edvard: Before it was discontinued, the bus lanes were the single worst problem on the M4, and perhaps on any British motorway. It only made traffic worse, and they didn’t enforce it anyway.

– Brad Marquelford
Ealing, England, UK

Dear Brad: Of course the bus lanes didn’t work. They weren’t enforced.

Dear Edvard: We all know that the M6 is the longest motorway in Britain. But which one is the shortest?

– Vickie Sameborough
Allostock, England, UK

Dear Vickie: The Mancunian Way, just south of Manchester city centre, is designated the A57(M) for most of its length. But the A57 branches off from the Mancunian Way at the A6, and so there are 300 m of motorway left unaccounted for. Those other 300 m are the A635(M).

Dear Edvard: Which is the worst motorway in the UK? Aside from the M25, of course.

– Baewin Clafgragh
Romford, England, UK

Dear Baewin: The M25 is not the UK’s worst motorway. It has a bad reputation for its heavy traffic and incomplete nature, but that is simply because it is a half assed compromise. In the 1960s, the London City Council, and later the Greater London Council, developed a proposal to build four motorways in concentric rings around the City of London. Together with a network of radial roads, it would have been a visionary proposal to meet London’s transport needs for decades to come.

Of course, it never happened, due to the astronomical cost and the fact that it would have made virtually the entire metropolitan area motorway adjacent. What this means today is that the M25 is doing the work of four separate motorways.

I’ve got this one, Edvard. Our worst motorway is surely the M45, which is doing the work of zero other motorways. It branches off from the M1 and extends about 13 km towards Coventry, ending just past Rugby. Of course, with the M6 very close by, there is no reason for the M45 to exist any longer. – Debbie

Dear Edvard: There’s no reason to be so hard on the M45. It’s the greatest motorway there is in England. Want to have a nice, quiet 8 mile drive all by your lonesome? The M45 is the place to be!

– Beryl Basswey
Royal Leamington Spa, England, UK

Dear Beryl: Why would I want to have a nice, quiet eight mile drive all by my lonesome?

What if I was in the car with you? – Debbie

Giving me a handjob?

Ew. No. Also, pretty sure that’s illegal. – Debbie

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