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→Insights about service stations method
Most people in the United Kingdom seems to be afraid of terrorist attacks, criminals or whatever. You can easily notice that junctions, stations, supermarkets and sometimes even pubs are video-monitored. They have naked scanners at the airports and so on. If you ask unknown people in cities in the dark for the way or for something, they can be terrified or anxious.
Insights about service stations method ==
Stick to motorway services, as lot of traffic is passing, filling up their tanks. TALK with drivers who are filling up their tanks in petrol station. It will help if you will have a sign, or if you don't have one, have some kind of paper map, because you will look more trustable from distance. As they are afraid of terrorists, try to be as polite as possible, sometimes you'll encounter chatty people, chat a little bit for their pleasure, and for you to calm down if you are trying to get a ride for longer time. Also you can even get job offers (Strazdas007 got offer from driver to work as roofpainter or smth like that in service station near Leeds). If there are a lot of traffic coming through petrol station, or in general, don't waste time going to speek to drivers in rest area, they will pass you at some point. Try asking drivers if you are in good place for heading that direction, for example: Strazdas007 was stuck on Maidstone services while trying to get to the North, as all drivers where going South, or just around the corner, so he just went back to Dover port. If you are in bad service station for your direction, don't hesitate going back to last good spot, or possibly good spot. Try to look up service stations on maps or gps. A Collins road map of the UK (+ Ireland) can be found in book stores for ~£5 and is very useful here since you don't want to miss the last possible service sttation. Go for the popular ones if you have a choice, like: Starbucks over Costa, as it is with petrol stations - Shell over BP.