Written by Laura Lexx


One more for the road(s)

So many roads and only one more column to squeeze them into. Laura Lexx’s ode to a road series goes out honking like an overexcited trucker.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Alrighhhhhht then. Standard Issue is going all audio and I’m pretty confident no one else is going to have the solid tits needed to ask me to write about various UK roads. And so here is a quick rundown of some other notable stretches of tarmac in my final Ode to a Road(s).

Here we go:

The M6 Toll: A stretch of Tarmac where BMW drivers pay someone about £6 in order to break all the driving laws they like for a while. Management has built this road and gone, “Speed cameras are vital for saving lives, but if we’re already earning from that road then there’s really no more lives they can save. Do what you want.”

It’s basically a confinement space for wankers who can’t wait an extra five minutes to get to their Nutribullets. I hate it. I’d rather sit in traffic with the Nissan Micras on the M6 normal than throw my money into this cesspit of immorality. (Unless I’m in a real hurry.)

The M23: The M23 is like a coma patient that spent approximately 900 years under a 50mph speed limit while they promised us it was going to be brilliant one day.

Well, the M23 is awake now and seems to have to undergo reconstructive surgery to help it remember its past and walk properly again every fortnight. When it works, it bloody works. There’s a great little rollercoaster bit in the middle just before it turns into the A23 and there are some fancy houses up by the M25 turnoff that are well worth a glance. It’s best going south (in my opinion) because then you lose the main bulk of the traffic going to Gatwick that bit quicker.

The A23: is also great, especially right down around Hurstpierpoint and into Brighton where you pass through the Downs (Hell’s Gate with hummus) and into Brighton. It’s stunning.

The M11: It’s a cheap, fake stupid driveway pretending to be a motorway for all of about 200 yards before lumping you out into the wilds of East Anglia and just snooting its nose while you make your own way through fields and forests to mysterious places like King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.

“The A27 is 90 per cent roundabouts and one brilliant sign telling us not to race all our awesome horse-drawn vehicles on it.”

I’m not saying that the A11 and A10 are the M11’s fault but don’t pretend to be a motorway if you’re going to stop and get petty when the going gets tough. Sure, I get it: Cambridge is the big dog in the area and once you’re done dropping all those uni kids off you’re bored. BUT SOME OF US NEED TO GET NORWICH SO SORT YOUR SHIT, M11.

Alright, I think some of my anger about the closure of the magazine portion of Standard Issue might be leaking into my feelings about roads. Here’s a road I like:

The M4: The M4 is properly, properly dull. It’s straight, flat and goes on for much much longer than you think (you listening, M11?). The M4 only really gets exciting once it hits Wales – if you discount the bafflingly named service station ‘Leigh Delamere’, which always sounds like it’s up for Best Supporting Actress.

Coincidentally, though, just as the M4 gets interesting in Wales, it also usually grinds to a halt as we pay £6 to get in (Gavin and Stacey have that covered so I’ll leave it be) and get all snarly past the impressive looking Celtic Manor.

However, I do find that a lot of the time the M4 at least functions as a serviceable road, which I know shouldn’t be enough to boost it up the rankings, but as so many of our roads are total crud I think it’s worth praising the basics. Sure, it’s no M40 but it is at least trying. Pat on the back M4. Also, I once saw an abandoned office chair on its hard shoulder, so that’s a good memory.

The M27: Even shorter than the M11. What’s the opposite of TL:DR… maybe TS:DD? Answers to that riddle at @lauralexx thank you very much.

The A27: Ninety per cent roundabouts and one brilliant sign telling us not to race all our awesome horse-drawn vehicles on it. Well, alright then, mate: if you insist I’ll go and race them on all those awesome horse-drawn vehicle tracks in the local area.

The M20 is a lorry park so we disregard that.

And there we go. Pretty South-centric as those are the ones I know best and I secretly think the North is awful like the BBC do, but obviously if you’re offended by that, then write your own damn articles and tell me what I’m missing out on in your area.

Bon voyage!

Read all of Laura’s odes to the UK’s roads here.


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Written by Laura Lexx

I am a comedian, writer, baker and glorious feminist. I am nothing if not enthusiastic about everything. @lauralexx