by Giles Turnbull
There’s a new option in Google Maps, allowing you to plan a route that skirts away from motorways. You can choose to stick to the quieter, slower roads. I applaud the thinking behind this.
The added bonus is that you can get an interesting view of how our major roads and minor roads link with our cities. Take a look at these two route maps, showing a hypothetical journey from Liverpool to Folkestone:
On the motorway…
… and off it
The top map shows the route on motorways; the lower one avoids them. Note how the motorway-free route skips *around* Birmingham but dives right through the centre of London. How it diverts south from Liverpool, via the Wirral and North Wales, instead of ploughing eastwards towards Manchester. And how, in Kent, the slower A20 and the faster M20 are intertwined, skipping and diving around and below one another.