The Coach Driver’s Knowledge

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Alan Payling has a look through a new publication that will test how much the professional tour drivers in the industry really know about the country’s road network and its history

I don’t as a rule believe in telepathy. But when I’ve been giving or receiving directions from professional drivers over the years, something strange and telepathic definitely seems to happen. It’s almost a taste of the paranormal.

Let’s say that a driver has asked me for the best route to a destination. I start by identifying a common reference point. An experienced tour driver will generally know exactly where I’m talking about. I then literally drive them, telepathically, to their destination pointing out landmarks it is clear they know from the way they nod their head. I have had the same experience when I have asked other professional drivers myself for help with directions. And they speak the same language too. And in a really uncanny way, I feel sure I get the same picture of a road layout or a junction in my head that they have in theirs. And when I use the directions I have been given, when I finally arrive at my destination, again, it’s eerie, because the route is just as it has been described and looks like I imagined it would look. It’s uncanny. Also, it’s not uncommon when speaking to a professional driver about a turning off a motorway to a nearby town or city for them to tell you instantly the junction’s number.

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