Letters of the week, May 24

What got you talking this week

Sunday Times Driving reader letters, May 24, 2015

Vroom with a view

Dominic Tobin may like to try another option next time he travels to the south of France (“Bonjour, express train to the Med . . . fancy a race?”, last week). This summer we will stop three times during our drive; at Auxerre, Dijon and Saint-Rémy de Provence. Don’t see the trip as a race but as a fantastic opportunity to see, eat and drink (after each day’s driving, obviously) your way to the Côte d’Azur. The realisation every morning that the sun is getting brighter is an experience the train cannot match.

Robin Bruce, London


Miles more expensive

Tobin’s car journey costs of £311 were grossly underestimated. According to one website, the true total cost of running a Mercedes-AMG GT for, say, three years and 60,000 miles is in the order of £1.20 a mile, including fuel. The 816-mile trip to Cannes would thus have cost not £311 but £1,126 (including Channel crossing fares and road tolls) — nearly five times the £235 standard premium ticket cost of the train.

Terry Flower, Kingswood, Gloucestershire


Driving in France, car against train cartoon


No righteous turn

Yet another pious correspondent. Arthur Harris criticises Anthony Young for complaining about a speed-camera van parked at a bus stop, saying if Mr Young hadn’t been breaking the law, he would not have been caught (“Right van man”, Points, last week). I’d bet on Mr Harris being one of those drivers who sits in the outside lane of motorways at or just below 70mph and refuses to move over.

Tony Hartley, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire


Remote control

Reader Andrew Webb writes about a single trip on a smart motorway in West Yorkshire (“Safety catch”, Points, last week). He should think himself fortunate as I drive on it every day. At 8.30 most mornings the gantry signs will read 60mph despite light traffic and no vehicles in the outside of the four lanes. Who is making the decision to impose these speed limits and with what authority?

David Waters, Dewsbury


Checked out

Mr Webb believes that having to check what speed you are doing on a motorway is unsafe. Could all who share his view please use public transport instead? Regular speedo checks should not cause concern for a competent driver.

Halvard Eriksen, Cholderton, Wiltshire


Setting limits

My Citroën C4 and Mercedes E 220 CDI are both fitted, as standard, with speed limiters. They should be compulsory in all cars.

Christopher Baker, Grasby, Lincolnshire


Accident prevention

The smart M62 section has been an unqualified success. Those of us who live within a few minutes of it have seen the accident rate drop significantly. It used to be so infamous for the number of “shunts” that the police had to attend on almost a daily basis.

Judith Pearson, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire


Brush off

In my first job after graduation I drove a Ford Transit for a painting and decorating company and kept The Daily Telegraph on my dashboard (“Paper trail”, Points, last week). It was never at risk of being taken away by the painters.

Patrick Ramsbotham, Edinburgh


Wiggle room

Alan Horten asked how Jeremy Clarkson can fit in and drive some of the smaller sporty cars (“Tight fit”, Points, last week). The easy answer is that Jeremy is a master at getting in and out of tight spots.

Susan Russell, Halifax


Date specific

Regarding extra revenue for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency when vehicle tax starts during a month (“Money-driven”, Points, last week), why are there still only six and 12-month options for the duration? The start and end dates could be made flexible; a particular benefit to, say, classic car owners who don’t use the roads all year round and whose vehicles aren’t yet tax-exempt.

Robert Ross, Drumnadrochit, Highlands


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