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Like Driving in Scotland

No, I haven’t been driving in Scotland recently. I haven’t got a pressing reason to visit there and, while it is a country I’d love to visit again, that won’t be happening during the present lockdown.

I did have a need to take a trip down to Oxford and back today, which should be my last until full freedom of movement is restored. I wasn’t sure what to expect although I did wonder if I’d get pulled over by police and asked to explain myself. That didn’t happen; I think the only police presence I saw was a mobile traffic camera van although there did seem to be an above average number of ambulances.

What I did find was that, although the roads weren’t deserted, they were a lot less busy than I’d normally expect to find. I made an early start, setting off before 6am and was in Oxford by 7:30am after a clear run. Coming back was just as smooth and again, the time wasn’t far off an hour and a half despite using the limiter on my car to scrupulously avoid breaking speed limits.

It’s just that roads work really well when there isn’t too much traffic. There was one, two-lane section where I had to slow a little for a minute or so while one lorry overtook another but otherwise I could go at the speed I wanted. I could also pull back a safe distance after passing without fear that I’d get trapped behind the next slow moving vehicle by a stream of faster traffic. All of this reminds me of my experiences of driving in more northern reaches of Scotland, where the number of road users is routinely low enough to have the same effect.

By the way, please don’t take this report as an encouragement to go on long-distance drives; the effect only appears because a lot of people seem to be heeding the call to avoid unnecessary travel as I will continue to do myself.

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