Driving in all of zones 1-9

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Was92now625
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Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Was92now625 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 15:58

I can't remember this coming up before and I did a brief search so apologies if there was a previous thread on this.

Recently, a few days after the event, it occurred to me that I had now driven in all of zones (for all-purpose roads) 1-9 of Great Britain. The timeline is as follows

1981 : A85 (out of zone)
1981 : ZONE 9 : A92, A930, B978 etc.
1985 : ZONE 8 : A85 (Perth to Methven)
1985 : ZONE 7 : A700
1987 : ZONE 6 : A68 etc.
1987 : ZONE 1 : A1, A198
1988 : ZONE 5 : A59 (Preston)
1993 : A34 (out of zone)
1994 : ZONE 4 : A487, A494
2000 : ZONE 3 : A34 (where it enters the zone near Newbury)
2021 : ZONE 2 : A2

This refers to where I have been the driver e.g. I'd BEEN driven in all of the zones much earlier. I note that, a couple of times, I'd driven on an "out-of-zone" road before reaching the zone. This includes the first classified road that I'd driven on. There used to be a LONG carpark-type area just south of Riverside Drive and after driving up and down that a few times, the instructor tried me out on the main road. It does not include motorways as they are on a different zone-system. This would not make a massive change but would have the M25 as 'out of zone' around 2013.

It occurs to me that 40 years is a pathetically-long time to achieve this feat even specifying that it should start from first learning to drive (otherwise I'd say 7 years, 2014-2021). Is there anyone who has achieved this but taken a LONGER time ? I imagine that there are many who have achieved this in a MUCH shorter time.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by KeithW » Sun Sep 19, 2021 17:03

Well too take it in turn

Zone1 - This is is where I was born and I was cycling, motor cycling and driving along roads such as the A171, A174, A19, A1085 from about 1963 onwards on a bike, 1968 on motorbike and 1972 by car.
Zone2 - It would be 1972 before I got there when I drove my Hillman Imp down to Dover via Canterbury to catch the
hovercraft to Calais.
Zone 3 - My first drive to Devon and Cornwall was in 1974, by then I was driving a Mk III Cortina and as I recall the M5 north of the Avonmouth bridge was open along with the Bridgwater bypass but the Avonmouth bridge was not opened.
Zone 4 - This was also in 1974 as I crossed into Zone 4 on my way to Cornwall.
Zone 5 - same trip as Zones 3 and 4
Zone 6 - much earlier - I ventured over the pennines to Lancashire in 1969 on my trusty Honda CD125
Zone 7 - I drove into this zone when heading for Castle Douglas in 1974 during the Easter Holiday in my 1600 GXL Cortina
Zone 8 - Really pretty late as best I can recall it was 1978 before I drove into Zone 8 headed for Loch Lomond. Car at that time was a Fiat 132
Zone 9 - 1979 headed over the Forth Bridge and up the A9 to Inverness and Dornoch in the same Fiat 132.

Between 1979 and 1996 I did a lot of driving but mostly in Zones 1 and 2 hacking between Kent, London and Cambridge to North East England.

1997 to 2014 most of my long distance driving was in the USA and Canada but that is a different story :)

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by crb11 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 17:29

Mine's all in blocks

Zone 1: where I learnt to drive (2009).
Six months later (within about an hour) on my first serious road trip (Cambridge-Nuneaton-Wales-south London)
Zone 6: A14 at Brampton Hut roundabout
Zone 5: still A14 at A6 junction
Zone 4: B4111 at Mancetter (off A5)
A week later two more
Zone 3: M4 where it crosses A4 W of Reading
Zone 2: M25 where it crosses A3.
Then 7/8/9 all in quick succession two years ago on my first Scottish trip round Edinburgh and up the M90.

This is just under 10 years from learning to drive to completing the set, but it's also the first time I'd actually been properly in the 9 zone (i.e., eastern Scotland north of the Forth, rather than just in the centre of Edinburgh).
[real name Colin]

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by trickstat » Sun Sep 19, 2021 17:54

Due to the fact that my only trip to Scotland since passing my test was by plane to Glasgow and back in a day I am in danger of beating the OP's record.

Zone 1 - learnt to drive here in 1986-7. In Stevenage so only just in the zone.
Zone 6 - got my first car from Godfrey Davis of Welwyn which is just west of the A1(M).
Zones 2-5 - a few days later, my parents and I used my car to go to Worthing and back for an athletics meeting. On the way down, I drove from somewhere on the Leatherhead bypass to Worthing which would have accounted for the 2 zone. On the way back, I drove from about the same place home to Stevenage, which was my first motorway driving in the dark on the M25 and ticking off zones 3 to 5.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by solocle » Sun Sep 19, 2021 19:27

I too can claim all zones. I've cycled in all zones, in fact!

I'd claimed all English zones in a car beforehand, but had never got as far as 7-9.

Let's not count train transfers (I'll cycle overground through London). Let's only count journeys passing through some kind of "home".

I've also set bike wheels on every single single digit A road.

Zone 3 - raised here. 1998
Zone 4 - At university in Oxford - 2017.
Zone 2, Zone 5, Zone 1 - Oxford-London cycle May 2019.
Zone 6 - Bristol-Cambridge, Dec 2019.
Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9 - LEJOG. Sep 2021.

A1 - Wrong turn on a train connection on the way back from London. Actually, the Museum of London end of the A1. At grade crossing on Bristol-Cambridge.

A2 - Oxford-London ride. Just crossing.
A3 - Oxford-London ride. Rode one "block".
A4 - Various.
A5 - In London, a couple of times. At grade crossing on LEJOG.
A6 - crossed. 10s of miles on this during LEJOG.
33366010-5FEE-41B9-9904-90A1FEA562D9.jpeg
A7 - Carlisle during LEJOG.
A8 - Glasgow during LEJOG.
E072B5E6-C35F-497F-BC4E-0199E46DA5F8.jpeg
A9 - 50 miles on this, last day of LEJOG. Tain - A99
B06FF2FA-6FDC-479D-A111-BD9B809C52B4.jpeg
N.b I headed up to the Cromarty Ferry in Zone 9, as well as the aforementioned A99.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by owen b » Sun Sep 19, 2021 21:56

solocle wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 19:27
I too can claim all zones. I've cycled in all zones, in fact!
Likewise. I grew up in the zone 6/1 border area of Durham. I was at uni in zone 4 and a £30 second hand bike was my transport. As a middle aged cyclist I did Dover-Durness in 2016 (I was considering LEJOG, but when I saw the Dover to Durness route it appealed much more). That took in zones 2, 1, 6, 5, 6, 5, 7, 8 in that order. Living in Luton local rides can be in any of zones 4, 5, 6, or 1. I've done a handful of sportives in zone 3. I occasionally hire a mountain bike to access remoter summits in Scotland, I have done that in zones 8 and 9.

I had been driven in all zones by the time I was about 10 : I grew up in zone 6/1, grandparents in zone 4 took in zone 5 also, a camper van holiday to France got zone 2 for Ramsgate, a family tour of Scotland bagged 7, 8, 9, and I remember visiting Cheddar Gorge in my childhood in zone 3.

I had definitely driven in all zones except 3 by the time of the summer of my graduation when I was 21. I can't honestly remember when I first drove in zone 3. It could well have been surprisingly late, in my late 20s or early 30s when I remember day trips to Bournemouth.
Owen

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Big Nick » Sun Sep 19, 2021 23:09

Let's see what my memory can dredge up.

Zone 1: I learnt to drive here in 1994-1996
Zone 4: I got my first car in 1997 and went out for long drives to places like Aylesbury
Zone 6 and 5: Road trip to Middlesbrough and the Lake District in August 1997, came back via Manchester and Wales.
Zone 2: Job interview in Croydon in 1999
Zone 3: Went down to Devon and Cornwall for the solar eclipse in August 1999
Zone 7 and 8: Camping trip to Scotland in 2006
Zone 9: Not until about 2014

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by ais523 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 01:44

I can't drive, but on a trip to Bristol, I once intentionally crossed the A4 in order to set foot in zone 3 (which I hadn't been in before).

I visit zones 4, 5, 6, 1 fairly regularly, and walked into 2 while working in London (the various zones aren't far apart there, and it was fairly simple to find a bridge across the Thames), so it's just the Scottish zones left for me in terms of being there.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by M4Simon » Mon Sep 20, 2021 05:41

I grew up and learned to drive in zone 4. I went to university in zone 5, but was only a mile or so from zone 6. I did a placement year in zone 1, not too far from London and took a couple of holidays in zone 3. I also drove to visit a friend in zone 2. After completing my finals, I drove to John O'Groats (well why not?) which took in zone 7 (A74 as was), zone 9 (took a detour via the Forth Bridge) and returned via the A82, so I think the last zone I drove in for the first time was zone 8. I was about a month less than 22 years old.

I like boundary conditions - I grew up within sight of Mumbles Head which is on the edge of zone 4. OK, zone three was a few miles over the Bristol Channel but it was visible on a clear day. University was close to the 5/6 boundary and my current home is even closer to 6/1. zone 4 is about 7.5 miles away at the Peahen in St Albans.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by FosseWay » Mon Sep 20, 2021 06:12

I grew up in Zone 4 and passed my test there in 1992.
1992: Zone 5 (assorted hillwalking trips to North Wales)
1992: Zone 2 (drove to the ferry at Dover)
1992: Zones 1, 3, 6 (trips to grandparents)
1994: Zones 7 and 8 (went to the Highlands)
1998: Zone 9 (went to the Highlands)

So I knocked off all of England's zones pretty quickly, which is easy to do if you live in the Midlands, as I did then. Basically all the kind of normal journeys that we would do as a family, such as visiting grandparents, involved using all the English zones other than 2, and that got ticked off because we happened to drive to Italy that year.

In terms of driving the Ax roads, I doubt I've driven the full length of any of them, because I very rarely have reason to drive much inside the M25 except for very specific destinations. But I've driven substantial lengths of all of them other than the A7. I'm not sure I've ever set wheel on the A7 at all. I suspect the most complete Ax will be the A9, since I drove from the Forth Bridge to Thurso, thereby only missing a short section at the beginning.
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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by FleetlinePhil » Mon Sep 20, 2021 08:37

I passed my test in Zone 5 in August 1980, but very close to the Zone 6 boundary, so covered those as soon as I started driving.

Zones 4 and 3 (from my geographical perspective) were first covered by a trip to the Stonehenge festival in June 1981.

Zone 1 is less clear in my mind, but was certainly covered by April 1985 at the latest when we were on what passed for our honeymoon in East Anglia, and Zone 2 followed that summer when we drove down to Kent to stay with my wife's brother, who was stationed in Deal at that time.

I had never driven in Scotland by the point I sold my car in 1990, so it was 2002 before Zone 7 was visited on a holiday in St Abbs. October 2004 saw us get to Zone 8 while staying alongside Loch Awe, but it was a holiday in Aviemore in June 2012 that completed the set after nearly 32 years (or 21 if you count only those years I had a car :D ).

I could add that I'd been in all zones before those dates as a passenger. Holidays and day trips with my parents covered Zones 1-6 by 1980, plus I'd covered all three Scottish zones on a planespotters' coach trip to Aberdeen and Glasgow in 1979. I'd also travelled in every zone as a service bus passenger before I drove in them, again the Scottish zones being last but all covered during a week's railrover trip in February 1982.
Last edited by FleetlinePhil on Mon Sep 20, 2021 13:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by M4Simon » Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:34

FosseWay wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 06:12
In terms of driving the Ax roads, I doubt I've driven the full length of any of them, because I very rarely have reason to drive much inside the M25 except for very specific destinations. But I've driven substantial lengths of all of them other than the A7. I'm not sure I've ever set wheel on the A7 at all. I suspect the most complete Ax will be the A9, since I drove from the Forth Bridge to Thurso, thereby only missing a short section at the beginning.
I've driven all of the A1, though not in one trip. I've done Edinburgh bypass to Welwyn Garden City in one go, which is most of it.
I've done most of the A2, not sure about how much of the part west of Sun in Sands.
Again, most of the A3, not sure I've done the bit bypassed by the A3(M) nor how much inside the South Circular
A4 - Piccadilly westwards is done, and I've walked everything east of there.
A5 - big chunks of this missing, but done everything west of Llangollen and south-east of Milton Keynes, with only a few sections in between.
A6 - quicker to say what I've done - Leicester through to Manchester, short bit near the Lakes, and a few odds and ends north of Luton up to Bedford.
A7 - I have heard rumours of its existence.
A8 - the bit that filled in the gap in the M8.
A9 - everything from the end of the M9 to John O'Groats. I've also been on the road to Thurso that became the A9

So quite a lot to do, I think.

Simon

[edit - typo corrected]
Last edited by M4Simon on Mon Sep 20, 2021 13:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Telstarbox » Mon Sep 20, 2021 13:03

2009: Zone 6 (driving lessons but didn't pass test)
2017: Zone 2 (driving lessons and passed test this time) followed by Zones 1, 5 and 4 by the end of the year
2018: Zone 3 (work trip to Gloucester)
2021: Zones 7, 9 and 8 (first time driving in Scotland!)

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by c2R » Mon Sep 20, 2021 16:39

I think I may have done all zones in a single journey around the turn of the century, from the boat at Newhaven to Stornoway with a brief stop at my house in zone 1 to swap summer clothes for those more suited to Autumn on the western isles!
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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Chris Bertram » Mon Sep 20, 2021 19:53

I think I've driven in all zones except zone 9. I live in zone 4, zone 5 is close by, I've spent enough time driving in London to claim zones 1, 2 and 3, in addition to travel to the Channel ports, holidays in Devon and Cornwall and a period living in zone 1 in the North Riding. Mrs B grew up in Nottingham, so plenty of visits to zone 6 to visit the in-laws. I haven't done much driving in Scotland, but zones 7 and 8 were covered by visiting Edinburgh airport to collect Sarah from an overseas trip. Zone 9 I have been driven in, most recently from Edinburgh airport to Crieff and back, but I don't think I've ever been behind the wheel myself.

Incidentally, do others agree with me that A1 is *in* zone 1, A3 *in* zone 3 and so on (A2 being a special case)?
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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by coneman » Mon Sep 20, 2021 20:59

As can be seen from my avatar pic I'm an ex serviceman and all my zone tallies come from my service days in the RE so :-

Zone 1 :- 1980 whilst based at Waterbeach Barracks in Cambs.
Zone 2 :- 1978 whilst based at Kitchener Barracks in Chatham.
Zone 3 :- 1978 basic combat engineer training at Delville Barracks, Cove, Hants.
Zone 4 :- 1977 basic training & where I passed my driving test Beachley Barracks, Chepstow.
Zone 5 :- 1985 Installation of aircraft arrester net at RAF Valley in Anglesey.
Zone 6 :- Used many times travelling from many of the above locations on leave.
Zone 7 :- Born and bred and still living in Dumfriesshire.
Zone 8 :- 1980 adventure training on Skye.
Zone 9 :- 1985 skiing in the Cairngorms staying at the Norwegian Hostel on the mountain road.
Patience and perserverance pished a hole in a stane !

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Rob590 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 21:27

Some people get about quickly!

I've never driven in zone 9.

My others would be:
Zone 5: grew up in Cumbria, drove on A5087 on first day when learning to drive in 2003
Zones 6 and 7: 2003 day-trip to Carlisle to get on motorway for first time A6 and very briefly A7 in city centre
Zone 1: 2006 I think A1(M) would have been the first but also A167, in long day-trip to pick-up friend in Darlington then to Leeds for Leeds Festival
Zone 2: 2010 drive from Durham to Epsom to pick up friend moving house. A24 into Epsom
Zone 8: 2013 friend's wedding in Glasgow. A803 would be first I drove on I think
Zone 3 and 4: 2013 or 2014: both out of zone, A38 and A453 around East Midlands - started dating someone with family in Derby. Both zones proper first driven in 2017 on family holiday to Swanage

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by TomJ » Mon Sep 20, 2021 23:56

I end up driving about a lot for work. So, within just over a year of having a car I could reliably take a reasonable distance, I think I managed to complete all 9 zones. I'm only counting driving through a zone as driving on a road that starts with that zone's number. (For example, driving on the A52 in zone 6 would NOT count as driving through zone 6).

2017 (learning to drive): Zone 1 - my old hometown in Norfolk. First primary A road would have been the A146.
June 2019 (finally got a reliable car): Zone 6, 5 and 4. Trip to Derby from Norfolk, then onwards to Snowdonia. A6 going into Derby (from the out of zone A50) and A52 through Derby. Followed by the A487 coming off the A55 in Snowdonia.
July 2019: Zone 3 and 2. Trip to Chichester from Norfolk, going via the A3 on the way there and the A27/A23/M23 on the way back.
August 2020: Zone 7, 8 and 9. Scottish road trip. First roads I drove in each zone were: A720, M90 and the A836 to the west of Thurso.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by PhilC » Tue Sep 21, 2021 09:27

I have driven in all zones, but it did take a considerable time to manage it.

1972 - Zone 4, where I learnt to drive, and zone 5 to visit friends.
1976 - Zone 3. My first holiday in my own car, to Weston-super-Mare.
1983 - Zone 6 and zone 7. My first year following the RAC Rally into northern England and Scotland.
1984 - Zone 2. My first holiday to France in my own car, sailing from Dover.
1988 - Zone 1. A holiday in Great Yarmouth.

Then a 21 year hiatus.

2009 - Zone 8 and zone 9. A touring holiday of Scotland - Oban, Fort William, John O'Groats, Aviemore, Ayr.

I have also driven on the Isle of Man and Jersey, but I've not yet managed Northern Ireland.

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Re: Driving in all of zones 1-9

Post by Chris5156 » Tue Sep 21, 2021 09:48

I've definitely driven in all nine zones (living near London helps with that), but when exactly I did it is tricky. I think my timeline looks like this:

2003: Zones 1 and 6. Driving lessons around east Leeds which ventured both sides of the A1.
2007: Zones 3 and 4. Living in south west London, hired a car and made a trip to the West Midlands.
2008: Zones 2 and 5. Had access to a car and started making trips around London.
2010: Zones 7, 8, 9. Trip to Scotland, including driving the whole of the A1 in a day, but while up there journeyed around Edinburgh.

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