Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Everyday maths 1
Everyday maths 1

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.1 Adding distances

Many trips have more than one stop. To calculate how far you have to travel you need to add together the distances between stops.

Example: The sales trip

A sales rep has to travel from Edinburgh to York, then to London, and then back to Edinburgh. How far will they travel?


Use the mileage chart to find the distances between Edinburgh and York, York and London, and London and Edinburgh.

The distance between Edinburgh and York is 186 miles.

Described image
Figure 14 Edinburgh to York on a mileage chart

London to York is 194 miles.

Described image
Figure 15 London to York on a mileage chart

Returning from London to Edinburgh is 412 miles.

Described image
Figure 16 London to Edinburgh on a mileage chart

The total distance of the trip is:

  • 186 + 194 + 412 = 792 miles

Use the mileage table to help you with the following activity. Remember to check your answers once you have completed the questions.

Activity 5: Travelling across the UK

  1. You use a hire car to go from London to Cardiff, from Cardiff to Liverpool and then back to London. You pay 10p for each mile you drive.
    • a.How many miles must you pay for?
    • b.How much would this cost?
  1. You live in Newcastle and you want to buy a second-hand car trailer. There is one for sale in Leeds and one in York. Which one is closest?


  1. The answers are as follows:
    • a. You need to look up all the distances and then add them together:

      London to Cardiff is 150 miles.

      Described image
      Figure 17 London to Cardiff on a mileage chart

      Cardiff to Liverpool is 165 miles.

      Described image
      Figure 18 Cardiff to Liverpool on a mileage chart

      Liverpool to London is 198 miles.

      Described image
      Figure 19 Liverpool to London on a mileage chart

      So the total distance is:


    • 150 + 165 + 198 = 513 miles

    • b.The total distance is 513 miles and you pay 10p for each mile you drive. So you would pay:

    • 513 × 10 = 5,130p

    • You would not usually express an amount of money in this way, so let’s divide this total by 100 to find the amount in pounds:

    • 5,130 ÷ 100 = £51.30
  1. You need to use the mileage chart to compare the distances from Newcastle to Leeds and Newcastle to York.

    Newcastle to Leeds is 94 miles.

    Described image
    Figure 20 Newcastle to Leeds on a mileage chart

    Newcastle to York is 82 miles.

    Described image
    Figure 21 Newcastle to York on a mileage chart

    So the trailer in York is closer.


You have now completed the activities on using distance charts. This will help you with everyday life when you are planning a journey and or claiming mileage when travelling for work.