I have to travel from my home in South West London to the North quite a lot for customer meetings. Getting to the M1 which starts at the top of North London is a doddle. Just follow the North Circular road. Some bits of Hangar Lane are just a single lane, but for the most part it is two or three lanes. It's about 15 miles and normally takes me about half an hour.
But today I had to go south to Chelmsford so had to take the South Circular road to the Dartford tunnel and the M25. Again - this is about 15 miles but this morning it took me 1 and a half hours! In fairness there were road works in Wandsworth and Lewisham, but the real problem is that the South Circular isn't really a road - it is just a set of confusing road signs. I kept finding myself doubling back on myself when I hit signs that pointed left saying "South Circular (E)" and right saying "South Circular (W)". I don't know if I need to go East or West! Just tell me where they go to. Getting from the Dartford tunnel to Chelmsford which is 30 miles only took an additional 20 minutes. So today's lesson is if you have to travel from South West London to Essex - take the train.