From the
writers desk

on the road web-log

  • March 2014

    Want to know why the North Yungas road in Bolivia is widely considered the world’s most dangerous? Go here for details of the 22 most deadly drive ways (including one in Scotland) around the globe.

  • January 2014

    Here's our New Year resolution for all travel fans in 2014: Take better care of your bodies! Harrowing tales reach us that all too often great journeys are spoilt by the effects of bites and bugs – so don't be squeamish, listen to these tips on Poo, Pills and Parasites from Don and Audrey our road warrior pals. Go here

  • November 2013

    Few of today's huge number of travel-blogs are worth a second glance, but this one by LA photo journalist Jen Pollack Bianco frequently delivers something special. As she heads towards visiting 100 nations, check out this travel addict's take on the sights, sounds and smells of Marrakech in Morocco. Go here

  • October 2013

    Everyday travel between Asia to Europe took another leap forward this month when an eight-mile rail tunnel opened below the Bosporus at Istanbul, adding to road, air and sea links that already exist.

  • September 2013

    Travel buffs and road warriors familiar with this site know how we like to feature some of the less familiar routes in the world. Go here for a tunnel ride in China like no other

  • July 2013

    Richard visits orphanage in Nepal for anniversary celebrations. Go here

  • June 2013

    As worldwide debate rages over the effects of global warming, readers to this site can read an eye-witness report as many hundreds die in the devastation of early monsoon rains in northern India. Go here

  • May 2013

    Richard begins extended trip to Australia and India; also plans visit to Bharatpur orphanage, Nepal for 10th birthday party and tracking tigers in nearby Chitawan

  • April 2013

    As a much-delayed Spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, take a look at these sensational photos – with thanks to PQ in Germany – and admire again the most wondrous beauty of nature. Go here

  • March 2013

    We have said before that driving in India is akin to playing Russian roulette - but now we hear there is a road accident there literally every minute. Go here for the latest horror story and how you can help

  • December 2012

    While travellers the world over are being bombarded by images of Santa and snowmen from Lapland to Lithuania, here's our favourite pic from Seoul in South Korea that says it's that time of year again. Enjoy! Go here

  • October 2012

    Want to know the worst place in the world to set out on a driving adventure? Well, don't try Sao Paulo in Brazil. Stuck in one of their 100-mile tailbacks on a Friday night would have Jack Kerouac screaming in his grave. Go here

  • August 2012

    London became the most cosmopolitan city in the world for the Olympics in August. Here's a pic that captures the lot – Big Ben, runners in the marathon and crowds from everywhere – with many thanks to happy snapper Tony Honess.

  • June 2012

    We get travel questions from all over the world on this site. Recently, an AIDS campaigner from Portugal wanted to know about the rules for foreigners driving in China – even for charity fund-raisers. Here is the edited correspondence

  • May 2012

    After recent scandals in China and constant flip-flopping by decision-makers in India, is trade with Asia really worth the hassle?

    Richard starts off his 2012 speaking tour next month with a thought-provoking lecture date in Coventry. Go here if you want to book him for an event near you.

  • January 2012

    Here's a great set of pix to get the new year under way for all travel fans. Called 'Amazing Paths' go here for some of the most spectacular highways and walkways you have ever seen. We don't know who to credit with capturing such a spectacular set of images, but we do want to thank Paquita for sending them to us. Visit her site here www.discover-interesting-places.com

  • December 2011

    More details of the India trip announced go here [Powerpoint]

  • November 2011

    Richard is off on another adventure in the New Year. With a former Indian Air Force pilot, he plans to lead an Indo-British team on an expedition across India raising international attention to the plight of the tiger. Estimates say only 3200 are left in the world with the majority in India. For more info go here

  • September 2011

    Never let it be said that we shy away from any aspect of travel - even the less savoury ones. This piece, entitled Poo, Pills and Parasites, comes from a friend who calls himself The Unorthodoc and gives some not-so-obvious health tips for global travellers Go here

  • July 2011

    How appropriate! This year's prestigious international conference in driver behaviour is to be held in Paris, home of the Rue Peripherique, one of the busiest and most dangerous roads in Europe, it has been announced. Go to www.icdbt.com

  • May 2011

    Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are two American kids, turned mid-career professionals, turned travel junkies. More than four years and 65 countries ago, they began travelling the world and they're still going...and still married. Richard was fortunate to meet them in Turkmenistan. Their travelog is up there with the very best for anyone bitten by the wanderlust bug. Read more...

  • April 2011

    Strapped for cash, Richard decides to put his unique collection of automobilia from the record-setting first crossing of the new Asian Highway up for sale. Go here for catalogue www.mercurybooks.co.uk/AHDcatalog and a Press Release.

  • January 2011

    Early birds. Among this New Year's first road trippers are Yang Jia and Anand Vassappanavara who set off from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi in a two-year-old Toyota Vios simply, they said, to highlight the improving cultural ties across six countries along Asia's 'friendship highway'. Wish you were there? Then catch the amazing photoblog of Adam Lai - Go Here

  • September 2010

    High-speed trains are in the news. After frenetic efforts to join up 'missing' sections of the Asian Highway network between East and West, now China is pumping $billions into improving its rail connections with the 'Stans of central Asia and then through Iran towards the Med. It predicts a two-day journey for the 5000-miles between Beijing and London within the next decade.

  • September 2010

    All forms of travel get featured on this site - cars, boats, bikes, and now planes. We love this YouTube vid on the pitfalls of flying with one of those cut-price, no-frills (or should that be no thrills?) airlines. See if you agree go here

  • June 2010

    Saddle sore: Brighton UK enjoyed its fifth annual World Naked Bike Ride in June in protest against oil dependency and in celebration of cycling and the human body. A friend who attended reckoned there were about 1000 entrants 'tho his inspection to assess male or female numbers was inconclusive. Go here for a pic

  • May 2010

    Every eight minutes one person dies in a road accident in India, and 10 are injured. For those of us who have driven there, the figures are not surprising - but truly alarming nonetheless. India overtook China as top of the world in road fatalities in 2006 and continues to pull ahead. But what's being done about it? Go here

  • April 2010

    This year's Newport Muster, an annual walking event in Richard's home town that raises thousands of £'s for charity, is to be held on Saturday, September 11, it is announced. Go here for more info - http://www.newportmuster.org

  • December 2009

    Richard is asked to advise a team planning to traverse the Pan-American highway by electric car!

    The 11-man team of (mostly) engineering students from Imperial College, London, want to tackle the often-treacherous route from Pategonia to Alaska in a modified 'Radical' car from Peterborough next May. Go here: www.racinggreenendurance.com

  • October 2009

    US President Barack Obama has banned text messaging among the Federal Government's near three million civilian employees while driving on official business or while using Government-supplied equipment.

    His edict comes after recent deadly crashes involving drivers distracted by text messaging in the UK. It's a growing danger on our roads, according to Dr Will Murray, research director of Interactive Driving Systems MORE

  • May 2009

    Shake the tree hard enough and even the most obstinate apples will start to fall...

    As the anniversary of Richard and Phil's historic drive across the new Asian Highway draws near, news has arrived that China's government is finally putting in some effort to reduce its horrendous toll of road deaths... MORE

  • January 2009

    Personal appearance diary of signing and speaking events for the coming year have been posted. MORE

  • February 2009

    Planning begins for the 'Newport Muster' a major charity event to be held in September. MORE

  • November 2008

    Move over Schumi: Feedback from reviewers of my new book 'DRIVEN TOGETHER' has ranged from almost praiseworthy (highly unusual from journalists!) to downright jealousy. The book raises serious issues about international travel and poor driving standards - especially in Asia - as well as the glamour of powering halfway across the world in an Aston Martin. But one question seems on all of their lips: Did it make you feel like James Bond? Here is my answer... MORE

  • October 2008

    Citizen Newspapers begin 4-part series by Richard on secret wartime work by Bond author Ian Fleming with Bletchley Park code-breakers. Click Here for a personal view of Part One.

  • October 2008

    Publishers announce full-length book of the Asian Highway journey will be available by end November. Here is what they are saying:
    "This far-reaching and thought-provoking book weaves in their first-hand account of an historic journey with a glimpse into the future that is of profound importance to us all."
    "How appropriate they should drive it in an Aston, it is almost the stuff of James Bond himself with back-handers in cash and women in foreign hotel bedrooms."
    The event has so far raised more than �80,000 for UNICEF to help save young lives on the roads of China. July 2008

    Asian Drive operational team nominated in Prince Michael's international road safety awards for 'improving public education'. Results scheduled December. www.roadsafe.com

  • April 2008

    "Make Roads Safe" campaign hails victory as UN General Assembly agrees to call first-ever global conference on Road Safety. Agenda will demand action plan and finance from international community. To be held in Russia next year.

  • March 2008

    Charity proceeds of 83,000 euros from the Asian Highway trip were presented to UNICEF at twin ceremonies in the UK and China. The money will help educate parents, community leaders and school children on road safety issues in Beijing and three eastern provinces. MORE

  • December 2007

    The record-breaking Aston Martin was sold at auction at Bonhams for �34,000 - with all proceeds going towards efforts by the China office of UNICEF in saving young lives on the roads.

  • June 2007

    Aston Martin - Driving Home Road Safety 2007 Richard and travel specialist Phil are to set off on the 25th June from Tokyo driving to London in a journey to promote the UN-backed Road Safety Is No Accident and the Make Roads Safe campaigns across the new Asian Highway. The achievement was marked with a civic award presentation in September. MORE

  • January 2007

    There was a song on one of those 'golden oldie' shows the other day that went something like this: "Keep your eyes on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, and keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead". Now OK, I'm no Jack Kerouac, but when I go travelling I certainly do a lot of it by road. Car, bus, truck, tuk-tuk; you name it. So I care a lot about what happens on the highway. And right now I don't much like what I see (or, rather, what I don't see). MORE

  • December 2006

    It could only happen in Denmark ... or could it? The Road Safety Council in Copenhagen has come up with a brilliant way of making motorists think hard about keeping their speed down (Mmm, well at least the male half of the population).
    They've launched a spoof news bulletin showing how topless models jiggling their bits can get men to drive more slowly. You betcha! Go here to catch some nifty pix of a couple of great danes on the move: Click here.
    Enjoy the ride!

  • December 2006

    Street-life danger in Bangkok. As all travellers know, the Thai capital of Bangkok is famous for its ..er ..colourful street-life. But there's another kind of traffic in town these days that isn't so appealing... MORE

  • November 2006

    So you think your roads are bad? Well try India's. After a short trip to the land of maharajas, Goa, call-centre mania and a squillion look-alike Mohatma Gandhis, I am this week safely back in the UK, but still trembling. Here's why: MORE

  • May/June 2006

    Kim Woo-choong, founder of the Daewoo Group of companies in South Korea is taken from court to hospital with heart and severe medical problems. He has just been sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined $22.6m for fraud and illegal financing (later reduced on appeal). MORE

Other works
MercuryBooks has also published a number of other books, collections and articles under it's own and/or associated imprints. The latest title in the local history series is Cromwell's Garrison Town, a revealing account of life in one of Cromwell's Frontline strongholds during the Civil War. Go here
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Record-setting Bond-style journey from Japan to
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    First travelogue from the Balding Backpacker and his tales of adventure (and misadventure)

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