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I recently received a copy of the AA Close-Up Trucker’s Atlas Britain, which is a large scale road atlas of Britain and offers mapping at 1.5 miles to 1 inch (1:100,000 scale). In comparison, the AA’s ‘standard’ road atlas, AA Road Atlas Britain 2011, has a scale of 3 miles to 1 inch.
The Close-Up Trucker’s Atlas includes details of low bridge heights, weak bridges and width restrictions throughout Britain, including 3,800 low bridge heights and 1,700 narrow or weak bridges.
Although height, width and weight restrictions most commonly affect lorries and buses, there are plenty of roads and bridges in the UK which are not suitable for motorhomes or caravans either – hence the subject of this review.
Fixed speed camera locations are also included (although these are subject to change), as are a list of truck stops and an 11-page street map of Central London. No other town plans are included, but the main maps are much more detailed than usual, so this does compensate to some extent for the lack of town plans. Instead of lots of detail for a few towns and none for others, this atlas gives you a moderate level of detail for all towns.
In Use: AA Close-Up Trucker’s Atlas Britain
This atlas is certainly the most detailed road map of Britain that I have used, and the mapping is clear and easy to follow. The atlas is wire-bound, A3-sized and with more than 300 pages, is quite large and heavy. A surprising number of width and height restrictions are sufficiently low to affect many motorhomes, as are some of the 3 tonne weight restrictions which are sprinkled randomly around the UK. Size restrictions are specified in feet and inches, as they are on road signs, but almost every page includes a metric-imperial conversion table for ease of use.
Given that most motorhomes are 7′ – 8′ wide (including mirrors) and 8′ – 10′ high plus roof boxes, satellite dishes and so on, a map like this can be a real help for motorhome owners, especially if you like to get off the beaten track and explore more minor routes.
What Are The Alternatives?
Anyone considering buying this book might also want to consider the Philip’s Navigator Trucker’s Atlas Britain 2011. This offers mapping on the same scale but also includes 100 town plans and has campsite and tourist information locations marked on the maps, something missing from the Close-Up Trucker’s Atlas.
For anyone with a smaller motorhome who really doesn’t want this kind of detail and would prefer an A4-sized atlas, the AA also publishes the Close-Up Atlas Britain, which comes in A4 format (752 pages) and is aimed at car drivers and leisure travellers. This atlas has the same 1.5 miles to 1 inch scale but omits height, width and weight restrictions. Instead, these are replaced with 55 town plans and the locations of 2,000 AA recommended pubs, camp sites and golf courses. Cycle routes and leisure attractions are also shown.
Buy AA Close-Up Trucker’s Atlas Britain Direct From The AA & SAVE 10% (or buy on Amazon (Amazon⇒))