Driving in the middle of London

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby jcochrane » Sat May 27, 2017 11:59 pm

Most of my 56 year working life has been in London. Started off in the City, then Kings Cross and the last 20 years in Westminster. So I suppose I am fairly adjusted to the daily cut and thrust commute to work in the car to Central London

I find it relaxing which may seem strange :o but I think the secret is in how I mentally and emotionally prepare for the drive. I take a few moments to relax and get my focus on driving, to become calm and allowing emotions to float away. When ready, start the drive. (The parallel is preparing for meditation.)

To just observe but remain emotionally detached from the chaos around makes a tremendous difference and avoids stress.

Rather than adopting a very positive, decisive or aggressive style, I find it works best, at least for me, to act with calm deliberation instead.

I'll use the drive to develop good inputs and to flow through the traffic as seamlessly as possible.

Not saying this would work for all but it does for me and I get to enjoy the commute to and from London and also the bonus of arriving refreshed and relaxed :D

Carbon Based
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:52 pm
Location: London

Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby Carbon Based » Sun May 28, 2017 6:48 am

jcochrane wrote:I find it relaxing which may seem strange :o


I'm with you on this, and that aiming for calmness while surrounded by chaos seems the best way. Attempting to overcome that with aggression seems counter productive.

Besides, it isn't Naples ;)

devonutopia
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Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby devonutopia » Tue May 30, 2017 12:42 pm

It was fun as a one-off, but wouldn't fancy it long term.

I think its likely that I enjoy driving much more when everything is moving, even if you are following a car or two. Probably comes from learning to drive in Devon where at the very worst traffic I deal with might be Exeter's rush hour, which I have had described to me as "weak" - I think by someone who lives in London ha!

No plans to venture inside the M25 again, that's for sure. Tonight I have a very pleasant evening drive down from East Devon to Dorchester. The A35 should very pleasant to drive at a late hour.

sussex2
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Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby sussex2 » Tue May 30, 2017 2:07 pm

Spending a great deal of time driving around Europe I feel pretty much at home driving anywhere; adapt quickly to local rules and regs and habits etc..
I often drive between Barcelona and Sussex (not the wet bit of course, a ferry takes care of that) and always work on the assumption that nobody is going to really try and kill me, until I get a few miles from home. I am rarely disappointed.
If anybody has the 'pleasure' of driving regularly in Sussex you will probably know the feeling :)

It was different when I was younger and a pointed memory is hiring a car at Naples airport (which is pretty much in the city) and driving out into the rush hour traffic. I thought at the time I was in that famous chariot race in the film Ben Hur (without of course Charlton Heston's wig).
Some people get more fazed when they get older and others (as has been mentioned) become more calm.

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby GTR1400MAN » Tue May 30, 2017 4:13 pm

I'd just like to point out you can be positive and assertive while still driving in a calm and controlled manner. ;)
Mike Roberts

TheInsanity1234
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Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby TheInsanity1234 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:51 pm

I drove in (very nearly) Central London once, going around Battersea/Tooting, and basically all the areas between Tooting and the M4.

Drove in at about 11am, was very quiet and relaxing, drove out about 5pm - forgot about rush hour!

Having said that, despite the fact it was rush hour, it genuinely did not feel as badly congested as certain areas of Essex can get. I think it helped that it was Easter half term, but I digress.

As I drove around, I found the best attitude for dealing with the traffic is to not be aggressive, but certainly be assertive. Basically, don't force your way through traffic - but make your positioning just so that people naturally will secede to you without thinking you're forcing them to do things. Turning out of minor roads to bigger roads, the trick is to make sure you're behind a suitably large vehicle, and follow them out tightly. Otherwise, just select a gap about 3 car lengths long, and just take it. Changing lanes is done by NOT indicating, but simply performing the manoeuvre while maintaining a look out for anyone else trying to move into the same gap, but as soon as you do the manoeuvre, flash your hazards to thank the driver behind you for 'letting you in'. This means you basically get to jump through queues etc without pissing anyone off because they think they've helped you correct a mistake, rather than acting like an obnoxious arsehole.

Another trick is to ensure you're driving either a f*ck off massive vehicle which would intimidate anyone daring to challenge you, or drive a tiny little cheap car which nobody can get angry at because it doesn't look like a "arsehole's car".

In other words, if you have an Audi or BMW of any sort, stay away from London :lol:

EDIT: Oh, and make sure that whatever you do, LOOK OUT FOR THE GODDAMN MOPEDS! I've never seen so many mopeds pulling wheelies before!

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Driving in the middle of London

Postby jcochrane » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:11 pm

GTR1400MAN wrote:I'd just like to point out you can be positive and assertive while still driving in a calm and controlled manner. ;)

The problem in London though is that many are positive and assertive without being calm and controlled. ;)


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