Driving up north.


I think we have made car travel as tolerable as it could be. This is how my wife, Rose and I did last week. Excuse the rant about the sad neglect of my home town.

Best wishes, Steve.


Well done to all 3 of you, sounds like a mammouth task to me, but you all appeared to have coped admirably.

I imagine it’s nice to go back to your hometown, but imagine when it looks ‘old and tired’ it must be disappointing, especially when you can see your neighbours have kept up to date, so sad to see once lovely towns being left to rack and ruin.

As someone who never left her hometown, I still wish our lovely little market town had kept some of its heritance, although we do still hang on to some.

Great blog as usual, thanks Steve.

Pam x


Great blog, Steve. It’s great you have found something to relieve yourself. That is the one thing I dread about travelling. It’s not so easy when you are female. When I say to my husband I need to go to the loo he seems to think I can wait for another 10 miles down the road. Not so! I need it there and then. When we do eventually stop its a case of trying to get to the loo crossed leg and praying like mad that I’m going to make it. I carry a spare set of clothes just in case.

We are going away for a few days to the Highlands of Scotland at the end of April and I’m dreading the journey.

Mags xx


Great blog Steve (Tweeted it).

Oh for the days when we could just get out of the car and walk to the loo!!! Great idea that plastic bottle. I’ve heard of the ones for women but it would involve a few circus trips to use it!

Shame the town has been so neglected…and those new ‘regenerations’ are usually so ugly and somehow so temporary looking. Well they are temporary really. I mean they will never survive 50 years let alone a couple of hundred. So many of our towns have been ruined by thoughtless planners and unimaginative architects! Everything on the cheap as per usual.

Pat xx


Great blog Steve. You appear to have travel well planned. I must admit that bladder issues are probably the only thing that occasionally gives me penis envy. Those bottles for woman are not the easiest thing to use and lead to spillage very easily. I must admit that now I can catheterise myself before leaving home and where possible my journeys are much more tolerable and Big nappy pads are also appreciated for maintaining that last bit of dignity when stopping isn’t always possible.

Isn’t it funny how important amenities become when your health starts fading? Years ago I only used to worry about whether or not I had enough sweets to chew and my favourite cds to listen to. I hope you had a nice week away.

Cath x


Great blog Steve. We travel north also from Sussex on a regular basis so I am very familiar with the motorway services. My particular rant is that they put the loos right at the back so you have to walk (slowly with my rollator) past all the concessions selling stuff that motorists didn’t know they needed such as laptop trays and wooden pigs! You don’t know what you are missing. Unfortunately I don’t think I could manage the female version of the bottle, so the shuffle (and ranting) will continue.

I’ve just renewed my M6 toll card and they’ve removed the £15 charge so it’s free which is a bonus.

Shame about the neglect of your home town. It is a sign of the times I think.



Hello, Sharon.

I’ve e mailed several services about the placement of the loos. On the M40 (excuse me if you already know this) the two most guilty are Beaconsfield and Cherwel Valley. Beaconsfield actually said I could park round the back and get to the toilets via the back door. There is often one of their employees there having a fag break and they’re usually helpful. On Cherwel Valley however there is no alternative entrance. I don’t know if there are any wheelchairs for customer use but it is almost the entire length of the services. You’d think that by providing a modern radar locked facility they might actually think about its location.

Oxford’s ok but I can’t remember where the Warwick loos are. On the M6 avoid Keele. It makes such a difference to our travel yet it gets only arbitrary consideration.

Best wishes, Steve


That’s really helpful Steve, thanks

We usually stop at Cobham and there the toilets are at the back past all the concessions. You’re right, Oxford isn’t so bad although the slope to get into the services can be a challenge. Brakes on all the way. They’ve moved the door at Norton Canes so the toilets are further away, but I now scoot through the hotel entrance as it is much quicker. Occasionally get a ‘look’ from the receptionist although she hasn’t commented yet - it’s probably my body language puts her off.

I’ve only stopped at Cherwell Valley once but that was pre MS. I remember having to queue to get into the services and it being a nightmare getting out of the place onto the motorway so have avoided it since.

Brilliant isn’t it when the highlight of our day (well mine anyway) is a discussion about toilets!!

All the best, Sharon