What Car? test: road atlases - 4th AA 2008 Road Atlas Britain £14.99
Best of the web £5.49 at amazon.co.uk
The AA proclaims that it provides Britain's clearest mapping, and this 1:200,000 scale map, printed on A4-sized pages, backs that up. It provides great general detail and its in-depth city, port and airport maps gave useful added information.
Ease of operation
The spiral-binder makes it easy to turn pages over, while the laminated card front and back covers ensure you won't rip pages if you flick through it in a hurry. The index is comprehensive. However, we'd prefer to have the speed limits marked on the map next to the speed camera locations, rather than just a symbol indicating a camera, with the speed limits listed elsewhere.
Although the marked price of this atlas is high, there are good internet discounts available. You also get a free magnetic tax disc holder.
With its wipe-clean covers, durable spiral-binder and thick paper, this atlas strikes a fine balance between usability and durability. It won't last as long as a hard-backed edition, but it will survive at least a year's hard use.
Although speed cameras are marked accurately, the speed limits at those locations are not. The city, town, port and airport plans are helpful, but not fully detailed. The jam-busting maps highlighting potentially busy areas could be useful in pre-journey planning. The index and distance charts are easy to use and detailed. Deals with Ikea, Burger King and KFC means these outlets are highlighted.
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