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Old May 1st, 2011, 03:38 PM   #2281
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:08 PM   #2282
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MLM
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 10:07 PM   #2283
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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #2284
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Old May 7th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #2285
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I had some time on my hands:



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Old May 7th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #2286
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Wow thank you! You must have had a lor of time on your hands.

Not much constrution these days

As I commented on a youtube post, you must come to the UK and make some videos
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Old May 7th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #2287
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Wow thank you! You must have had a lor of time on your hands.
Nah, took me 30 minutes. I already had compiled the motorway openings + length for each opening year, before.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 10:43 PM   #2288
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In my lifetime, the most recent "big" new builds were the extension of the M40 from Oxford to Birmingham completed in 1991 and of course, the M25 in 1986/87. Other than that, there's been little major activity. aside from widening. I never got to drive on the M6(Toll) aka "Birmingham Northern Relief Road" before I left the UK, but that's one example of a new motorway built very quickly and very efficiently.

I think that a "South Coast Motorway", or extension of the M27 would be one of the most important, the most vital and the most lucrative builds. It would connect cities such as Plymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton directly to the Channel Tunnel, without having to take the A27 or use motorways via London (going north to come back south again). You could even make some parts into a toll motorway.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #2289
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They must be waiting for the whole network to reach full capacity (if it already hasn't) before doing something.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #2290
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I never got to drive on the M6(Toll) aka "Birmingham Northern Relief Road" before I left the UK, but that's one example of a new motorway built very quickly and very efficiently.
But unfortunately, the M6(T) is a wasted opportunity. By setting the tolls as high as they do (over £5 for a car, I believe), most of the traffic on the M6 stays on the M6 instead of paying the toll. The result is that the M6(T) is grossly underutilised. The majority of long distance traffic heads in to the heart of the West Midlands connurbation instead of bypassing it on the M6(T), meaning that the new road fails to free up roadspace for local users in Birmingham and the outlying towns. To this day, many still do not see the M6(T) as part of the motorway network.

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I think that a "South Coast Motorway", or extension of the M27 would be one of the most important, the most vital and the most lucrative builds.
I tend to agree - simply because journeys from the South East of England to the South West involve a fairly large 'detour' for so many users (for example M20, M25, M3 etc instead of a more direct route.) I'm no advocate of unfettered road building but, where there is a clear need, you have to take a serious look at the problem. The hidden cost of not building a route like this is the excess congestion and inconvenience suffered by users of the routes that get used as alternatives. Unfortunately, the dissenters who make themselves heard when new routes are proposed shout louder than masses who suffer on the existing, overloaded infrastructure.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #2291
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I had some time on my hands:



I know the motorway from 2008 is the last part of M6 at the former Cumberland gap. But what motorway is opened 2011?
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Old May 10th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #2292
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A portion of M80 in Scotland opened on February 27th, 2011.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 06:27 PM   #2293
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And of course soon to be added will be the remainder of the M74 in Glasgow.

Not sure if the A1(M) Dishforth to Leeming section will be finished this year, I think there's still a fair bit of work to be done so perhaps 2012 for that?
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:18 PM   #2294
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It's interesting to note that, though motorway building has almost flatlined since 1990, the number of vehicles on the UK's roads has increased by about 10 million or 28% in the same timeframe.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #2295
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It's interesting to note that, though motorway building has almost flatlined since 1990, the number of vehicles on the UK's roads has increased by about 10 million or 28% in the same timeframe.
Interesting, yes, but it doesn't give the full story. What the analysis does not allow for are:
  • capacity increases arising from the widening of existing motorway carriageways; and
  • construction of non-motorway classified strategic routes.
Regarding the first point, there has been a significant degree of carriageway widening over the last 20 years. Large parts of the M25 and M1, for example, are now 8 lane motorways, with further widening planned. And regarding the second point, the UK (for some reason) does not tend to give a motorway classification to routes as readily as many other countries. There are a great many 4 lane (and sometimes 6 lane) non-motorway routes that drivers treat as motorways, with driving speeds to match, but which do not show up as a blue line on a map. A good number of these have been constructed or upgraded during the last 20 years.

This distorts the picture somewhat, to the extent that analyses such as yours (28% increase in capacity vs negligible increase in motorway mileage) do not stand up to detailed, quantitative scrutiny. (If improvements had genuinely come to a standstill since 1990, the network would be in permanent state of gridlock - and that, clearly, is not the case.)

None of that detracts from the overall point, however, that capacity improvements are certainly needed in many areas. I think we all agree on that.

Last edited by Harry; May 10th, 2011 at 08:14 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:46 AM   #2296
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The tendency of building motorways that are all but actual, official motorways, seems to be appearing in more countries. For example, the N74 in Belgium (which is going to be a grade-separated, dual carriageway with a speed limit of 120 km per hour, hard shoulders and no slow traffic allowed), or the N62 in the Netherlands (100 km/hour, grade separated, dual carriageway with hard shoulders). Normal Dutch motorways will have an A-number. I am pretty sure these would all be able to gain motorway status in Britain.

Would anyone have an overview of motorway-like A-roads opened/upgraded recently in Britain, or is that definition too wide?

I really don't get the British system anyway. There are are motorway-like A-roads, there are A-roads that are actually motorway (Axxx (M)), there are 3-digit M-motorways...

Interestingly, the Dutch motorway network (that is, with A-numbers) is actually declining; some unimportant motorway-classified roads have been 'downgraded' by removing hard shoulders or even putting traffic lights... on a motorway. Yes. Really. The most ridiculous example is the former A325 (now N325) near the city of Nijmegen; the speed limit is now 50 km per hour (!!!!), there are now several traffic lights on the route, the hard shoulders have been turned into bus lanes and the median has disappeared on a short stretch of it(!!!). Now, only a small part of the former motorway still has motorway status, with the number A325 (one of the few 3 digit motorways in the Netherlands). Luckily, several new actual motorways are under construction (A4, A5, A74, A2).
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Old May 11th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #2297
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I bought a Michelin Map of the UK when I was there last year and noticed that the A-roads with "motorway characteristics" are drawn very differently from other A roads. In fact, apart from their slightly different colour, they looked just like motorways on the maps themselves.

It made me appreciate that the 'motorway' network of the UK, if you include these roads in the reckoning, is rather bigger than if you just include roads legally defined as motorways.

Some sections of A roads with motorway-like characteristics include:

Several sections of the A303/A30 btw the M3 turnoff and Cornwall, including lengthy sections from the M3 to Andover; Mere to Sparkford; Honiton to Exeter; Exeter to Launceston; Bodmin to Mitchell.

A38 from Exeter to Plymouth.

About two thirds of the A3 from London to Portsmouth.

A23 from Crawley to Brighton.

A27 Brighton bypass.

A20 from Folkestone to Dover.

A470 from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil.

A40 from Newport to Monmouth.

About half of A417/A419 from Gloucester to Swindon.

Nearly all of A34 from Winchester to where it joins the M40 north of Oxford.

Nearly all of A299 from M2 turnoff to Thanet.

A2 from M2 to M25.

A46 from Coventry to M40 jct15.

A45 from M1 jct15 to Wellingborough.

A421 from M1 jct13 to east of Bedford.

A14 from M1 jct19 to Thrapston; A14 from jct with A1 to Cambridge and nearly all of the A14 bypassing Cambridge all the way to past Ipswich.

A12 from M25 jct28 and Witham; and from Marks Tey to past Colchester.

A120 from Bishops Stortford to Braintree.

A11 from M11 jct9a to A14 jct36 and from Attleborough to near Norwich.

A5 from M54 to Shrewsbury.

Nearly all of A50 from Stoke-on-Trent to M1 jct24.

Nearly all of A38 from M6T to M1 jct28.

A46 Leicester northern bypass.

A42 from M42 to M1 jct23a.

Peterborough ring-road (A47?)

A47 Norwich by-pass.

Nearly all of A55 from Holyhead to Chester.

A15 from M180 jct5 to western edge of Hull (includes Humber Bridge).

A180 from M180 to Grimsby.

A64 York southern bypass.

A19 Middlesborough western bypass.

Most of A19 Newcastle eastern bypass.

A1 Newcastle western bypass; A1 from Newcastle to north of Morpeth; A1 from Dunbar to Edinburgh; and several shorter sections further south.

Nearly all of A69 from Newcastle to Hexham.

A78 from west of Ardrossan to south of Irvine.

A92 from Dunfermline to past Kirkaldy.

Plus plenty of short sections elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I can't vouchsafe for how accurate Michelin's assessment of these roads is!
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #2298
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The reason why most of these 'motorway like A roads' are not classed as motorways is because motorways have restrictions on what type of vehicle can run on them. If these restrictions were not in place then I'm guessing they would also be shown in blue etc...

Its like Mancunian Way in Manchester. That is really an urban inner city motorway but is shown as green on the map as its used by regular service buses (I think)
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Old May 11th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #2299
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The problem with Motorway-like A-Roads is that they tend to be imperfect copies the real thing. For example, travel north on the A11 and, for a while it looks like a motorway: dual carriageway, grade-separated junctions etc. Until you get to Mildenhall where you are confronted by an at-grade roundabout, followed by 10 miles of single carriageway, followed by another series of at-grade roundabouts around Thetford. Does the traffic suddenly dissipate through this section? I don't know but I doubt it. More than likely it just gets squashed into the bottleneck.

It's not A-roads that resemble motorways that are the problem. It's the almost inevitable bits in between that don't. Some bits of some A-roads could pass as motorways but they're not because of the other inadequate sections. The A-road network is littered with places like the above example.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #2300
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The whole A3 now
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