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      07-04-2006, 12:22 PM   #1
gowin
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UK road conditions

Hi guys,

I'm going to relocate to UK soon. Never been to UK before. I'm thinking getting a E91 320d SE with M-Sport. How's the road condition in UK? I plan to drive the car around UK/Ireland often. I'll probably live around Manchester areas. How's that compared to NYC or CA? I heard the road condition is not so good. I may stick with 17" wheels. Will sport package be too bumpy on the UK roads since I will drive a lot of miles on this car?

thanks and look forward to joining you on future UK meets.
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      07-04-2006, 02:43 PM   #2
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Road conditions are comparable to US roads up to a point. There are different classes of roadway: Motorway, A-roads, B-roads, and lesser roads.

The motorway, like the M25 around London is up to the standards of the US Interstate. They generally are dual-carriageway or divided highway, quite often with more than two lanes each direction and are limited access as the Interstate.

The A-roads are like the US highways, i.e., US-301 in the east, US-101 in the west and the more travelled state roads. As in the states they are usually single carriageway, i.e., one lane each direction, but can be dual-carriageway. The condition is bit below what you'd expect a state roads to be. Alot of it depends on the traffic level and how they are maintained.

A B-road is comparable to a less used state or county road. As such they don't get resurfaced nearly as often as they need to be. The main bit about them is you need to watch very carefully while driving on them because the houses here are sometime right next to the road; there may be a stone wall around a field that suddenly becomes the wall of a house for 30 feet and then turns back into a stone wall. This usually occurs at a bend in the road.

Lesser roads could be compared to those in rural America that don't have high traffic. Yes, they're paved but sometimes just barely. Some are less than 4 meters across.

It's been 20 years since I was travelling the roads in Ireland but do remember those in Connemarra (sp?) were horribly full of potholes, probably because of the peat bogs.

I don't have the sport package so I really can't answer that aspect.

From the looks of it you plan to get a diesel. Diesel costs a couple of pence more per litre than petrol but gets better mileage. Will it be left or righthand drive?

Bone up on the road signs and traffic laws when you get here. They are much different than what is over there.

Hope this helps. Look forward to you join us all here, too.

Cheers,
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      07-04-2006, 11:27 PM   #3
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thanks a lot. I have a better understanding now.

I will probably get a diesel. never driven one before. but from what I read here, it should be a good choice. and it will be right hand drive. I am thinking taking a lesson or two for the driver license when i get there. not that I'm a bad driver.

I think I can live without sport package as it'll be more comfortable driving long distance. but I want the Le Mans Blue color which only comes with M-Sport package. Any other UK owners have inputs on the road conditions and whether it's too stiff/bumpy for UK roads with sport package?

thanks in advance.
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      07-06-2006, 10:23 AM   #4
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I have another question. How's the parking in UK? I heard you pretty much have to park bumper to bumper in the cities. is that right?
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      07-06-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowin
I have another question. How's the parking in UK? I heard you pretty much have to park bumper to bumper in the cities. is that right?
Parking is limited. The spaces are smaller than what you'd encounter in the US. In the larger cities there are multi-story car parks; smaller cities and towns have parking lots. Parking is in several flavors/flavours: Metered, aka Pay and Display; Ticket upon entry, payment upon exit; parking disc where you display a clock-like dial with your arrival time -- this is free unless you violate the time limit in which your rent on the space is around 40 ($75).

It's with parking that the size of your car and your dexterity at maneuvers comes into play. I'd suggest practicing parallel parking and backing into and out of car park spaces before arrival.

Oh, and don't forget the large crowbar to pry your car out from between the others when you do find a space.
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      07-06-2006, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowin
I have another question. How's the parking in UK? I heard you pretty much have to park bumper to bumper in the cities. is that right?
As so eloquently put by Floyd, parking is a total pain in the ar*e over here!

Shopping centre car parks with trolleys are the worst.
My last BMW was hit by a trolley on the driver's door at a Makro car park, so I got hold of the CCTV video for that day & saw some woman just let the trolley roll into door, leave it, get into her Volvo & drive off- the number plate wasn't picked up by the camera.
If I ever find out who that woman was....

No matter...I'm over it now, but if that ever happens to the e90...

All the best.

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      07-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #7
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thanks, guys. It's interesting to know about the parking issues there. I guess I'd stick with a E91 instead of a E60/E61. And I'll probably get the front/rear PDC. You guys on this forum have been great. I look forward to joining you guys on future BMW meets. I don't think I can make the second one that you guys will have soon...
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      07-07-2006, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowin
Any other UK owners have inputs on the road conditions and whether it's too stiff/bumpy for UK roads with sport package?
thanks in advance.
I personally would avoid the 18"s and M Sports suspension. I know loads of people that have that combination, but for me its just too hard. I opted for 17" alloys and non sports suspension on the Z4, but will go for the 18" wheels and standard suspension on the new 3 coupe.

I think on the smaller engined M Sports models you can remove the M Sports suspension option can you not???
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      07-18-2006, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4 Beemer
I think on the smaller engined M Sports models you can remove the M Sports suspension option can you not???
Hmmm... Not sure.

I have the full M sport pack, sure it is firm, but still compliant. Not nearly as bad as the equivalent Audi sport suspension 'bone shakers' (A3 / A4 / A6).


And, of course, you get the fabulous BMW handling as a result!
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      07-18-2006, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowin
thanks, guys. It's interesting to know about the parking issues there. I guess I'd stick with a E91 instead of a E60/E61. And I'll probably get the front/rear PDC. You guys on this forum have been great. I look forward to joining you guys on future BMW meets. I don't think I can make the second one that you guys will have soon...
I'm based in the UK in the Midlands and have just ordered a 330i m-sport with 18 inch rims.

At the moment I have an e60 with 19 inch rims and VERY low profile tyres (not runflats).

The comments on road conditions in the UK are pretty reasonable. The Motorways and A roads are maintained to a high standard. B roads not so well. In residential areas many local councils are pretty hopeless at filling potholes and in the country there are a lot of single track roads, with loose verges.

Speeding is a BIG issue in the UK and you need to be VERY careful not to get caught on camera.

One thing I would say is that the best opportunities for enthusiastic driving in the UK are on fairly narrow country roads. Although my e60 laps it up in terms of handling - it's a wide car and dinging my big rims is a big concern on badly edged roads.

Also - in terms of parking the e60 is a big car over here. You would find it only just fits in most car parking spaces, so it is a real risk for dings in the doors from the car in the next bay.

This is partly why I am trading down to the e90.

As for the diesel comment - if you are going to do a lot of miles - then definitely get one - the fuel prices over here are going to scare the pants of you.

Having said that - my e60 is diesel and my e90 is petrol - It's going to cost me - but I just want the fun of a petrol engine - even if it isn't any quicker on the road.
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      07-18-2006, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed
At the moment I have an e60 with 19 inch rims and VERY low profile tyres (not runflats).
How can you tell they're not run(ning) flats? Maybe they are flat and you just don't know it.
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      07-18-2006, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank
How can you tell they're not run(ning) flats? Maybe they are flat and you just don't know it.
Funnily enough - I did have a slow puncture on one of the back tyres (275/30/19) and I couldn't tell - I though the tyre sensors were malfunctioning.
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