With the recent good weather, well the bank holiday weekend only, saw the Atom dust off its winter cover and managed 250 miles buzzing around four counties (Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire). It is probably the most I have driven in one go and apart from the chap in the Shell garage asking why I kept coming back in and I had to explain the fuel tank was pretty small, it was pretty uneventful. I think I have finally got used to the new Toyo rubber which apparently is as slick as it can be for the road and needs an ambient temperature of 9 degrees or more to perform. Initially I was a bit scared of them as they didn’t seem to offer much grip but I think they must be pretty good even though the car still wheel spins in 4th gear!
The only real problem with the drive turned out to be the quality of our asphalt. As you know our roads have got worse from the weather and the lack of funding to the point where I now look like the village drunk weaving in and out to avoid the worse of them. The Atom is pretty unforgiving and while I am concerned I might have a serious repair bill, I am more concerned with the damage they will do to my spine. I have mentioned before how the Evoque rides so well that I honestly don’t notice many of the ruts in the road but taking the Atom out certainly highlights the issue.
What I thought was incredible was that a council was seriously considering declassifying some B-roads so that they no longer had to maintain them! Considering the income motorists generate for the country, and the fact that outside the city centres there is little other choice, I thought it was an unbelievably stupid idea. So what is the solution? Well the mayor, Boris Johnson, is now pushing the idea of a north to south Crossrail link across London which will cost between £9bn – £12bn, I am sure a very worthy cause. However the fact that £10bn is required just to bring the UKs roads back up to a good standard I would propose the money is better spent considering a much larger majority would benefit. No wonder our fastest growing car company builds 4×4 vehicles.