As an established chauffeur with over 15 years experience in long distance chauffeur driving Nottingham and UK wide, we see many things most people dont experience, as they sleep through the night.
Night chauffeur work, although not as common as taxis, is still something we do frequently UK wide from Nottingham, Mansfield and Leicestershire.
Yesterday 27th Nov 2019, was just such a shift for myself. Not my favourite time, but essential to meet the needs of our clients. Yesterday was Leicestershire to the Tower of London with a wait and return booking at midnight to come home.
This type of work has positives and negatives which I will explain, and requires a small amount of planning to complete safely for clients as well as the chauffeur.
The ability to sleep daytimes prior to a 3pm collection for a long drive through rush hour in to central London, this took 4 hours and you need your wits about you as you weave in London traffic avoiding the reckless motorbikes and cyclists squeezing between vehicles without a care about safety
6 hours waiting at your designated parking place, mine was Tower Hill car park, a few steps from the Tower of London and only £3.50 per visit after 7pm, an absolute bargain in central London.
These 6 hours are used to get at least 3 hours sleep in the vehicle after a stretch of my legs on a short walk to get a coffee and something to eat. Bed pillows from home ensure my 3 hours sleep is comfortable, tiredness and driver fatigue while driving can be eliminated with this short comfortable sleep, essential for a professional Nottingham chauffeur.
Midnight is approaching and your clients are due to return, now is the time to check your route home for motorway closures, lane closures and any other traffic related delay that may impede your travel homewards. Google Maps is ideal, but Highways England and Waze app’s are both worth looking at too.
Night time motorways are a very different experience than days, especially with the heavy rain we had last night. Far less traffic is definitely a positive, just a few large lorries for company, travel back only took 2 hours 50 min to first drop off, but the other 3 drops across a large area of Leicestershire still took an additional hour, meaning a 3:50am final drop off. Time for me to head home, an additional 24 miles.
Motorways and rural roads during heavy rain tend to have large pools of surface water or even flooded roads, both of which I experienced repeatedly last night. Water on unlit roads in dips and gutters can be very hard to see, and the experienced chauffeur is well aware of the dangers this poses.
This is why we sleep while waiting for clients, we need to be awake, observant and very alert to the dangers of unlit roads, floods, surface water and wildlife. Occasionally as we drive within cities like London, drunk people staggering towards you on roads.
Over the past 15+ years, it never ceases to amaze me what we can see at nights driving on all kinds of roads and motorways through the night.
Motorways, I see Muntjac deer frequently grazing on the hard shoulder grass verges all across the UK, but especially the M40, M1, A1, but occasionally on more local roads like the A60 & A50. These deer are not the only ones I see, but they are the cutest. Not native UK deer though, they are Asiatic deer imported to UK stately homes that escaped and thrive in the UK to almost pest proportions in some places.
Other deer I see from roads during day times are Fallow, Roe and Red deer.
Back to night times and last night, Badgers are very commonly seen, again on the grass verges of motorways, A roads and B roads, but especially rural roads. Beautiful creatures and a favourite night time animal I see frequently UK wide.
Hares, these gangly legged animals are almost oblivious of humans and cars on the occasions I’ve come across them on rural roads, walking beside my car as I slow down passing them, not a care in the world is what I see in them. Frequently seen on fields during daytimes too, sometimes battling a fellow Hare.
Foxes, a beautiful but reckless night time animal for motorists as well as us chauffeurs, these are probably our most frequently seen animal other than rabbits. Foxes have the same tendencies as cats, running across the motorway or road just as your passing them. I have been fortunate not to have hit any over the years, but I have caused bad damage to allow wheels swerving to avoid them and clipping kerbs on residential and village roads.
Rabbits, not as scarce as some would think across the UK, just because you dont see them during daytimes, does not mean they are not there. Grass verges of all roads I travel have rabbit populations munching their way through grass and vegetation, another animal that loves to run across the road in front of your chauffeur driven Mercedes, but less of a threat in relation to vehicle damage. I have only hit 1 in 15 years, because if its possible while driving, I do my absolute best to avoid killing our UK wild life, as long as it does not put my car, myself and my passengers in danger, I will swerve, brake and stop to avoid hitting animals. (I am aware I am supposed to hit them according to my driving instructor)
I see many other less known, or disliked animals, and last night was no exception, mice, rats and a Stoat I think I saw.
Nocturnal birds, Barn Owls are by far my favourite night time bird, like ghostly shadows gliding along hedges and across roads, even better when there is a mist hovering over fields. Occasional I see Tawny Owls too, but far less frequently than Barn owls. Other owls I see I am not certain of their breeds, but probably little owls.
Chauffeuring is a job I love, and the experiences and things we see can be amazing once we exclude the heavy traffic and long drives.
We offer a professional Mercedes chauffeur service Nottinghamshire covering all of the east midlands region, although we usually complete long distance travel rather than local short distance taxi type bookings.
Corporate clients travelling to large cities like London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester value the experience and professional service companies like we offer. London full day hire or events like award ceremonies, corporate dinner events, Christmas parties in London in the evenings where arrival around 6 or 7pm is required, means the above information is replayed many times for my chauffeurs and myself.
Be safe, book a professional