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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:56 PM   #2481
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
The intersecting road is grade-separated and dualled. It provides a high-capacity link between two motorways. The symbol is rightly chosen.
The Heidelberg/Schwetzingen gives you a connection to these towns only, not to any other motorway. You can of course use the exit to reach the A6, but why would anyone drive through Schwetzingen when the A656 is a few kilometers to the North. High capacity and non-surface road? Not for more than 1.5 kilometers on both sides of the exit. Whichever increase in capacity that may generate, its network importance is slight.

So it depends on the message that you want to spread. You said that it was so bloody important to highlight network nodes, i.e. the points where through traffic makes its key decisions. If you think that Heidelberg / Schwetzingen or a three-digit motorway between the A5 and Darmstadt-Zentrum are such places, you're wrong. If you have changed your mind and believe that network importance is not key in choosing the interchange symbol but high-capacity is, then the Germans are doing the right thing. But I definitely prefer the former approach, as was signposted pre-exit numbering (using words like Kreuz and Dreieck) but that is not signposted anymore now.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:17 PM   #2482
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My two cents about the motorway system in the UK:

They are among the worst in Europe. While the quality of the road surface is adequate - apart from stretches on the M25 and M20 - they lack clear road signing. Major interchanges are very confusing for the satnav lacking driver. Good example is the M6 around Birmingham. A plus is that you always know when you're going north, south, east or west.

I like to fill up first and then eat, like pretty much anywhere in Europe. Not in the UK you don't, unless you stop at the next services. The services are amongst the worst in Europe anyway (Knutsford on M6, Trowell on M1 really take the biscuit, Southwaite on the M6 makes up for them though)
There is a charge when you park longer then 2 hours. Totally obsessed with health and safety, but they still make you pay if you're in need of a proper rest....

70 MPH limit should be upgraded to 80 MPH, but again the health and safety freaks won't allow it. Volume of traffic and slow speeds encourages traffic to stack up like it does now, and there is no adequate encouragment to keep overtaking lanes clear for overtaking only. Too many Brits hog middle and even outside lanes forcing traffic to stack up behind them. Only in britain do you get strange situations with an inside lane full of lorries, an empty middle lane and lane 3 full of cars.....
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 10:57 PM   #2483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
The Heidelberg/Schwetzingen gives you a connection to these towns only, not to any other motorway. You can of course use the exit to reach the A6, but why would anyone drive through Schwetzingen when the A656 is a few kilometers to the North. High capacity and non-surface road? Not for more than 1.5 kilometers on both sides of the exit. Whichever increase in capacity that may generate, its network importance is slight.
By the end of next year you won't have to go through Schwetzingen anymore. Then the B 535 will be the high capacity road that the junction symbol promises.

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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
So it depends on the message that you want to spread. You said that it was so bloody important to highlight network nodes, i.e. the points where through traffic makes its key decisions. If you think that Heidelberg / Schwetzingen or a three-digit motorway between the A5 and Darmstadt-Zentrum are such places, you're wrong. If you have changed your mind and believe that network importance is not key in choosing the interchange symbol but high-capacity is, then the Germans are doing the right thing. But I definitely prefer the former approach, as was signposted pre-exit numbering (using words like Kreuz and Dreieck) but that is not signposted anymore now.
The words Kreuz and Dreieck are still used at some motorway to motorway interchanges. Elsewhere they have been dropped. The signage guidelines still requires them though. But then again guidelines aren't strict rules.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 11:47 PM   #2484
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By the end of next year you won't have to go through Schwetzingen anymore. Then the B 535 will be the high capacity road that the junction symbol promises.
So what is the symbol promising? You started telling your missionary work with statements that the symbol promises important network nodes. Heidelberg/Schwetzingen is not and will in the future, at the very best, be of an importance that stands out a bit over ordinary junctions but is a looooooooooooooong way down from intersections between motorways with one or two digits. Your posts suggest that you now understand that the interchange symbol gets used a lot in non-important situations, so you have adapted your justification for the symbol to high-capacity roads. Fine, but I can't be bothered to have that type of information on a sign.

And to revert to your original point that almost all of the civilised World bar Britain signposts interchanges like this, I'm very glad that this approach is limited to Germany. Deutschland unter alles, so to say.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:31 AM   #2485
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Glasgow M74 completion opening next week, giving us a full inner ring road.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:55 AM   #2486
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I'm babbling, but even little things like signage quirks add to the sense of place to me, and I think sense of place is something worth preserving. I like it that a French streetscape doesn't look quite like a German one even in a border area where the architecture wouldn't tell you which country you're in.
On on hand I understand it but I also understand practicality of standardization. If Europe is about to integrate more that's the way to go. Imagine if every state in the US used different junctions, signs, directions, currencies etc. Such differences are lovely and charming for out of Europe tourist but annoying for locals, especially those living close to the border (I know as I grew up in place right on Polish - Czech border)
At the end it all depends where we want to see Europe, as more federal organism with increased trade and movement between countries or more of group of independent nations. At the moment most people are probably not sure where are we really going.
Whatever happens I can't see Britain happily jumping into more integration.

As it is an island nation there is no pressing need about road system integration with continental Europe. Transit traffic is way, way smaller than on continent. And locals (and people like me) seems to have no problems with current signage.


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My two cents about the motorway system in the UK:
They are among the worst in Europe. While the quality of the road surface is adequate - apart from stretches on the M25 and M20 - they lack clear road signing. Major interchanges are very confusing for the satnav lacking driver. Good example is the M6 around Birmingham. A plus is that you always know when you're going north, south, east or west.
Are you kidding?? To get lost on UK motorway one have to be drunk or brainless. It never happen to me.
I think motorways in UK are excellent and one of the safest in the world. They are mostly 3 lane, drainage is excellent, curvature allows for high speeds, most drivers are actually well behaved and polite.
I find grade separated roundabout type exits especially great. It's easy to turn around for example.
What needs improvement is crash barriers, they are often very flimsy and easy to breach. For example on M11 from London to Stanstead sometimes it's often just one metal bar between the lanes. It's rather illusory protections. Fortunately all new schemes (which unfortunately are rare) and reconstructions will see concrete barriers.

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I like to fill up first and then eat, like pretty much anywhere in Europe. Not in the UK you don't, unless you stop at the next services. The services are amongst the worst in Europe anyway (Knutsford on M6, Trowell on M1 really take the biscuit, Southwaite on the M6 makes up for them though)
It seems we both write about completely different country. I find UK services one of the best in Europe, definitely better than in Germany where they usually contain gas station only, sometimes some small place to eat. Of course French services, even if often smaller, offer better food but I don't think we going to discuss cuisine here
You like fill first, some might prefer to eat first. Irrelevant to quality of the services. I like ample toilet facilities, free showers, a lot of space. You don't feel you are at cramped gas station as it is the case in most of Europe.

Quote:
There is a charge when you park longer then 2 hours. Totally obsessed with health and safety, but they still make you pay if you're in need of a proper rest....
It is more of deterrent from overnight camping, I never heard about anyone fined for parking longer than 2 hours. Never.


Quote:
70 MPH limit should be upgraded to 80 MPH, but again the health and safety freaks won't allow it. Volume of traffic and slow speeds encourages traffic to stack up like it does now, and there is no adequate encouragement to keep overtaking lanes clear for overtaking only. Too many Brits hog middle and even outside lanes forcing traffic to stack up behind them. Only in britain do you get strange situations with an inside lane full of lorries, an empty middle lane and lane 3 full of cars.....
Speed limit is low but fortunately not really enforced as long as you drive under 85-90MPH. And hopefully it is going to be raised to 80MPH. I find lane discipline mostly OK, maybe not as much as in order crazy Germany but definitely much better than for example Poland.
One thing I can agree with is national obsession with health & safety. Well, no country is perfect.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:52 AM   #2487
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I agree with all of that.

I was shocked when I went to Germany and people wouldn't cross on a red man. I know that that is the reputation that the Germans have here but I had never seen anything like that in my life, I wonder why it is like that there? I guess their road safety in comparison to most countries doesn't come out of nowhere.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:19 AM   #2488
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You people are talking too much and posting very few pics.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:24 PM   #2489
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I was in Tokyo a few years ago - on a deserted street without a car in sight - but none of the locals would cross the road until the green man was showing. Bizarre.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:25 PM   #2490
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I'm so sorry, Tall Dreams, that this thread isn't a photo-fest at the moment but actual discussion. Such a horror! After all this is a photo gallery, not a discussion forum. Oh, wait...

If you want some pictures, here's some of the A494 that goes across Wales - just click the flags for a thumbnail and click that to get the full size photo. Type any British road number into the search bar and it works (though many roads have typos in their gridrefs and thus don't render quite properly).
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:32 PM   #2491
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I agree with all of that.

I was shocked when I went to Germany and people wouldn't cross on a red man. I know that that is the reputation that the Germans have here but I had never seen anything like that in my life, I wonder why it is like that there? I guess their road safety in comparison to most countries doesn't come out of nowhere.
Apparently it is the same in the Netherlands. A friend of mine said he crossed before the green man showed and an old woman told him off and shook her umbrella at him Perhaps it is illegal to?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM   #2492
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Apparently it is the same in the Netherlands. A friend of mine said he crossed before the green man showed and an old woman told him off and shook her umbrella at him Perhaps it is illegal to?
That woman might have been German. It''s getting to a stage now in Holland, and particulary in Amsterdam, that it's illegal to cross when the light is on green. Ask any cyclist in Amsterdam, and they will tell you that stop lights are there for decoration purposes only!
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:15 PM   #2493
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This is on my delivery trip from the UK to Mo-i-Rana in northern Norway. Travelling through the UK, France, Belgium, Holland (stopped over in Schiedam to see relatives, then went to Sneek to pick my granddad up, he wanted to come to Norway) , Germany, Denmark, Sweden and finally Norway.

Here is the British section of my journey......











And my van at Dover:
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2494
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Can't you/isn't faster to take the Eurotunnel shuttle?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:50 PM   #2495
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Can't you/isn't faster to take the Eurotunnel shuttle?
We only use Eurotunnel if either every minute counts, or if Dover or Calais is blocked (mostly due to French on strike). Eurotunnel costs a lot more, and we get special prices with SeaFrance. And it really doesn't cost that much extra time...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:08 PM   #2496
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I just went to the Eurotunnel website, out of curiosity... does a ticket for car shuttle really cost more than 200€? :O
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:09 PM   #2497
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It depends on the time of the day, and the day of the week, but the Eurotunnel really is quite expensive. Makes the € 30 tolls on the Danish bridges a joke...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:20 PM   #2498
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We don't even use the Danish bridges. We always use Scandlines from Puttgarden to Roedby and Helsingor to Helsingborg. Just as expensive and just as quick...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:52 PM   #2499
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We only use Eurotunnel if either every minute counts, or if Dover or Calais is blocked (mostly due to French on strike). Eurotunnel costs a lot more, and we get special prices with SeaFrance. And it really doesn't cost that much extra time...
And ferry crossing is much, much nicer than in cramped claustrophobic Eurotunnel shuttle. In good weather views can be stunning, especially approaching Dover, you can also get meal, do shopping etc.
Ferry wins, no doubts.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:05 PM   #2500
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It seems we both write about completely different country. I find UK services one of the best in Europe, definitely better than in Germany where they usually contain gas station only, sometimes some small place to eat. Of course French services, even if often smaller, offer better food but I don't think we going to discuss cuisine here
You like fill first, some might prefer to eat first. Irrelevant to quality of the services. I like ample toilet facilities, free showers, a lot of space. You don't feel you are at cramped gas station as it is the case in most of Europe.
I use the motorways a lot in the UK and find the services not to be all that great. (I've not had much experience of continental services.) I recently had to stop for an extended period (several hours) at Clackett Lane services on the M25, which is just south of London. The services on offer are pretty good -- a cafe, several fast food joints, toilets (including two disabled toilets), showers, some phones, a newsagent which also sells food, and a phone and travel accessories shop. The problem is that it's all so expensive -- there is a huge mark-up compared to high street prices, which seems to come from a combination of the high rents the companies pay to occupy the sites, and the fact that there is no competition -- you can't just go to the nearest town (Westerham) as it's miles away (there is an exit to Clacket Lane itself, but I believe it's for staff vehicles only to stop people using it as a motorway exit).

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It is more of deterrent from overnight camping, I never heard about anyone fined for parking longer than 2 hours. Never.
You wouldn't get fined; you'd get charged. The free parking is two hours; if you want to stay there overnight, you have to pay a charge. However, if you are waiting for recovery (as I was when I had to wait there for several hours two weeks ago) you can arrange that with the staff and you may not have to pay.


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Speed limit is low but fortunately not really enforced as long as you drive under 85-90MPH. And hopefully it is going to be raised to 80MPH. I find lane discipline mostly OK, maybe not as much as in order crazy Germany but definitely much better than for example Poland.
One thing I can agree with is national obsession with health & safety. Well, no country is perfect.
The speed limits are enforced, and they sometimes have vans parked on bridges with speed cameras inside. They also have cameras on the better-used stretches such as the south-western part of the M25. There is no serious possibility of the speed limit being raised any time soon. The road safety and fuel efficiency arguments would be used against it in any debate.
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