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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #2881
geogregor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IpvNet View Post
Tbh I wouldn't even call these roads : UK motorways. They're just appalling !
Have a look a the new M25 section Thurrock Services - M11 Junction . It looks like it has been done by hand . The quality is ZERO !
Was talking with some chap from Skanska and was told the foundation will *sink* in time as they're tried to save money. A huge a pile of crap ...

I want my road tax back : mine £248 and wifes £178 ! At least our insurance is low.
In northern side of the country the roads are a bit better.
Come on dude, don't exaggerate.
As sirfreelancealot correctly pointed out many older motorways are excellently designed. And as new schemes, where corner cutting is visible, are actually few and far between the whole system is pretty good.
They are not perfect but I really like UK's motorways. The curvatures and gradients allow fast driving, they are mostly three lanes wide, surface is OK, slip roads are much longer and better profiled than in most German junctions.
I also like junctions (exits) in the form of large roundabout which allow easy exit to all the local roads.
And you don't have to pay ridiculous tolls like in France of Italy.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 02:24 AM   #2882
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Send an email to Parkers UK and ask them about average UK car suspension then you'll understand .
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Old April 21st, 2012, 04:36 AM   #2883
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Send an email to Parkers UK and ask them about average UK car suspension then you'll understand .
Could you elaborate?
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Old April 21st, 2012, 06:46 PM   #2884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfreelancealot View Post

2. A shift from two lane slip roads to single lane slips at most junctions. This makes entering a motorway more difficult if a truck is in front.
In my opinion shifting from two lanes into one on slip roads and then using proper merging lane to build speed, is much better and safer solution than using double tapered slip road without properly shaped merging lanes.

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With two lanes, at least you could get past and merge onto the motorway in front at an appropriate speed.
As long as you can merge properly. Half of drivers in the UK can't. They do it too slowly blocking traffic on motorway at the same time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
Come on dude, don't exaggerate.
As sirfreelancealot correctly pointed out many older motorways are excellently designed.
I know you are British motorways' lover I don't mind but let's be honest. Mostly, their design was pretty good at the time when they were designed. Today, in many cases they are not sufficient, especially roundabout junctions,
poor surface(many cracks and extremely noisy tarmac or whatever it is) and lack of merging lanes.

Quote:
And as new schemes, where corner cutting is visible, are actually few and far between the whole system is pretty good.
They are not perfect but I really like UK's motorways. The curvatures and gradients allow fast driving, they are mostly three lanes wide, surface is OK,
Yes, that's the word!

They actually allow safe driving with the speed around 70 (80 ) and the curvature and gradient is not even close to the German one. No compare.

Quote:
slip roads are much longer and better profiled than in most German junctions.
Yes, some German motorway were built and designed much early than the British ones and their slip roads are not accurate, however most of them have long enough merging lanes which is more important on motorway.

Quote:
I also like junctions (exits) in the form of large roundabout which allow easy exit to all the local roads.
Markings and signage on such roundabouts usually make confused everyone but locals.

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And you don't have to pay ridiculous tolls like in France of Italy.
That's a very different story. Actually, why din't you mention Germany on the list this time?
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:22 PM   #2885
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Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
Today, in many cases they are not sufficient, especially roundabout junctions, poor surface(many cracks and extremely noisy tarmac or whatever it is) and lack of merging lanes.
the noisy surface is concrete - which last ages, but they we get "always resurfacing" type comments with asphalt. I agree that many roundabout junctions are inadequate - though the solution is either to grade-separate/bypass them on the non-motorway (and in a couple of cases motorway) or free-flow them (which is difficult to get decently aligned sliproads in a small land-take). Certainly the roundabout junctions are better than those awful dumbells and other cost-cutting measures that more recent roads have used.
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Markings and signage on such roundabouts usually make confused everyone but locals.
Really? There's some cases of poor signage/markings (mostly bad choice of abbreviations and no explaination of them), but I find the roundabout interchanges on the British motorway network aren't hard to navigate at all. Are non-locals really going to get confused by this?
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:41 PM   #2886
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but this is confusing... http://maps.google.co.uk/?ll=51.6868...16512&t=m&z=17
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:40 PM   #2887
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Can't see why - you have advance direction roundabout diagrammatic signs, signs (including gantries) and obvious markings on the road telling you what lane you need to be in, flag signs at all exits.

Yes there's lots of signage, but the volume adds to the clarity here.

Maybe 'locals' means Brits.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:45 PM   #2888
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
the noisy surface is concrete -(..)
I didn't mean concrete. I know what concrete looks like I meant old style dark-grey porous asphalt. Not long time ago, whole length of M26 was covered with one. Recently they put new, perfectly smooth asphalt on most of its part. It has the same structure as this one on widened parts of M25 or M1 J6 to J10 which is in my opinion just fantastic. Actually, all renewed or freshly built roads (yes, there is quite a number of such in the UK) are covered with this new tar's mixture.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:55 PM   #2889
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Can't see why - you have advance direction roundabout diagrammatic signs, signs (including gantries) and obvious markings on the road telling you what lane you need to be in, flag signs at all exits.

Yes there's lots of signage, but the volume adds to the clarity here.

Maybe 'locals' means Brits.
When i drove there for first time, it was very confusing to go from M25 to A1M. I dont even mention the huge queues and so many traffic lights... wouldnt a free flow junction be a better option there ? A huge 4 lane roundabout isnt the best thing for such a metropolitan city as London.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:43 PM   #2890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Can't see why - you have advance direction roundabout diagrammatic signs, signs (including gantries) and obvious markings on the road telling you what lane you need to be in, flag signs at all exits.

Yes there's lots of signage, but the volume adds to the clarity here.
That what you said is as it should look like - ideal situation. It obviously happens but sometimes there is temporary lack of one link. Let's say wiped out road numbers on roundabout's surface.

However, if it comes to a permanently confusing place, hopefully in the next post I will give you an appropriate example which is related to a quick story. Some time ago I gave a lift to an English lorry driver. I was bringing him home. We were getting through J8 on M27. I took a lane which should lead me to his place. Lane was horribly congested. The driver finished his texting and suddenly realised he didn't tell me that I could use another lane which wasn't congested at all. So I did and he said: only locals know

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Maybe 'locals' means Brits.
Not really

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelos View Post
When i drove there for first time, it was very confusing to go from M25 to A1M. I dont even mention the huge queues and so many traffic lights... wouldnt a free flow junction be a better option there ? A huge 4 lane roundabout isnt the best thing for such a metropolitan city as London.
I know this one very well! I actually don't need to give any other example. This one is good enough.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 01:26 AM   #2891
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Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
I know you are British motorways' lover I don't mind but let's be honest. Mostly, their design was pretty good at the time when they were designed. Today, in many cases they are not sufficient, especially roundabout junctions,
poor surface(many cracks and extremely noisy tarmac or whatever it is) and lack of merging lanes.
Lover might be a bit strong world but I do think that British motorways are fairly well designed. Few roundabout junctions between motorways are of course not sufficient and should be replaced by the free flow junctions (which of course won't happen due to green lobby and NIMBysm) but roundabouts on ordinary exits work fine.

Quote:
They actually allow safe driving with the speed around 70 (80 ) and the curvature and gradient is not even close to the German one. No compare.
Come on, they are mostly fine with speeds well over 90mph. And that's how a lot of people drive, including myself.
A lot of German motorways feel really narrow and are actually tight curved comparing to British but also French or even Polish motorways.
BTW
I really don't get all the fuss about German motorways. One great feature of them are the speed limit-free sections. But it has nothing to do with design of German motorways, it is purely a legal decision.

Quote:
Yes, some German motorway were built and designed much early than the British ones and their slip roads are not accurate, however most of them have long enough merging lanes which is more important on motorway.
Of course short and tight slip roads as well as short merging lanes are features of the old motorways but there are still surprising number of them in Germany. It is just issue of age, similarly to roundabout junctions between British motorways.

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Markings and signage on such roundabouts usually make confused everyone but locals.
I don't know if it is my geographic and map loving brain but I never had issues with British signage.
Having said that, I do prefer signage in the US. It is virtually dumb proof

I don't want to idealize British motorways but it also doesn't make sense to picture them as somehow one of the worst in Europe as some people try (not you). There are a lot of features which some people like and some don't, but they seems to work fine considering the huge traffic levels they have to carry. The biggest problem is the overall lack of capacity due to the fact that this country virtually stopped building new roads 15-20 years ago.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 04:16 AM   #2892
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
A lot of German motorways feel really narrow and are actually tight curved comparing to British but also French or even Polish motorways.
BTW
I really don't get all the fuss about German motorways. One great feature of them are the speed limit-free sections. But it has nothing to do with design of German motorways, it is purely a legal decision.


Of course short and tight slip roads as well as short merging lanes are features of the old motorways but there are still surprising number of them in Germany. It is just issue of age, similarly to roundabout junctions between British motorways.

German Autobahns do not tend to have any corners you need to slow down for on limitless sections, you can constantly stay at high speed if traffic allows.

Lanes are a bit wider than our Dutch lanes in my experience. Not just on autobahns!

Driving culture in Germany is far far better, they rarely pull out on front of you without checking their mirrors, unlike Dutch.

Finally, while smaller defects may be present, the road surface is very even overall, I do not have to fear slamming my oil sump or exhaust into the tarmac unlike here in Holland at high speed ( I drive a lowered car). Here the asphalt is great usually, not a crack or hole in it, but, the road itself is un-even, due to the ground under the road shrinking/sinking, usually means ''wobble wobble wobble'' for whole stretches.

For example in Holland:
http://maps.google.nl/?ll=51.97921,4...26.35,,0,13.27
It looks like good surface, but it's constantly going up and down, you can see some scrape tracks just after the worst ones, it's badly visible on google streetview but that surface is terrible, constantly up and down up and down, I wrecked my oil sump on that bit by going a bit to fast, my whole car slammed against the road.

A lot of the roads in our ''polders'' are like that, the A12 Between Gouda and Utrecht is like that too in some places. The Ring Rotterdam A15 is also like this is some places. Sudden drops of the whole road surface.

I have never come across such things in Germany, I have a lowered car and even at 200 km/h it barely wobbles on the autobahn, while in Holland it feels like I'm on a ship constantly bouncing at the waves, which is why I like German roads. The legal ability to go as fast as you like is nice, but I mostly ignore speed limits anyhow in Holland and other countries, the difference is that German roads do not wreck my lowered car, Dutch roads do if I don't watch out!
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:08 PM   #2893
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Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
I didn't mean concrete. I know what concrete looks like I meant old style dark-grey porous asphalt. Not long time ago, whole length of M26 was covered with one. Recently they put new, perfectly smooth asphalt on most of its part. It has the same structure as this one on widened parts of M25 or M1 J6 to J10 which is in my opinion just fantastic. Actually, all renewed or freshly built roads (yes, there is quite a number of such in the UK) are covered with this new tar's mixture.
No it (stone mastic asphalt) isn't fantastic - that IS the cheap and nasty stuff. It misleadingly feels and looks good when it is new but it ages very quickly with traffic and poor weather. I've lost count the amount of times the A19 through Teesside has had to be patched up because of cracks and potholes that developed only within 2 years of the surface being laid. Eventually, AutoLink the company that manages and maintaines this stretch have seen sense and now use hot rolled asphalt.

Elsewhere there are many examples where much older surfaces laid over 20 years ago with hot rolled asphalt remain in good condition next to stretches of recent stone mastic saphalt surfaces that are less than 5 years old and riddled with cracks and potholes. This horrible surfacing is just creating a bigger maintenance legacy every year it is used.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #2894
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
but roundabouts on ordinary exits work fine.
On some yes, they do, on some they don't.

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Come on, they are mostly fine with speeds well over 90mph. And that's how a lot of people drive, including myself.
In my opinion it's just insignificant fraction (thanks god) of drivers who exceed 80mph. Mostly they do 60-70 in middle lane. But discussing driving in Britain would make a different chapter.

Quote:
A lot of German motorways feel really narrow and are actually tight curved comparing to British but also French or even Polish motorways.
BTW
I really don't get all the fuss about German motorways. One great feature of them are the speed limit-free sections. But it has nothing to do with design of German motorways, it is purely a legal decision.
I don't know what autobahnen you use or used but I am pretty certain you have experienced kind of bounce and feeling that your car isn't moving in level any more when approaching a bend , haven't you? Then after the bend the car jumped down to the level again. Maybe, driving very fast there you sometimes felt as if you were driving on a track instead of motorway? Trust me it's not only legal issue,

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I don't know if it is my geographic and map loving brain but I never had issues with British signage.
I do love maps too, though had some issues here and there, however not as particular when driving on French N roads for the first time. Actually, I have to say that apart from some misleading road markings I find British signage quite good. If I may add the last word it would be that the signage system in the UK relies a little bit too much on road markings.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #2895
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Hang on there are two things which come to my mind now and are so smart that if had a power I would implement them anywhere.

1. Changing size of signs on A and B roads. When the speed limit lower - sign gets smaller. Speed limit increase - sign grows.

2. Incredibly well signed heavy goods vehicles' routes (black signs)
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #2896
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Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
1. Changing size of signs on A and B roads. When the speed limit lower - sign gets smaller. Speed limit increase - sign grows.
Already done, though not typically changed - even when replacing signs - when the speed limit changes.

Motorway signs in the UK are huge, but you don't notice it because of the speed.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 09:23 PM   #2897
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I found some older pictures showing impressively solid gantries.

























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Old May 24th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #2898
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On 24 May 2012, Spaghetti Junction at Junction 6 of the M6 will be 40 years old.



The junction is designed to last 120 years.

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2012...etti-junction/
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Old May 24th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #2899
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71

The junction is designed to last 120 years.

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2012...etti-junction/
Its an amazing piece of civil engineering but junctions of it's magnitude are commonplace in the us and Asia so it's not really that special
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Old May 24th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #2900
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Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post


The junction is designed to last 120 years.

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2012...etti-junction/
Spaghetti junction in Birmingham is ugly and outdated, sorry. It is an unnecessary mess that doesn't even connect 2 actual motorways anymore. I say knock it down, replace it with a more simply / less brutalist looking structure. Also, it could be done as part of a scheme to widen the entire M6 from the M42 near BHX to the M6 Toll / M54 north of Wolverhampton to 5 lanes either side, to cope with god-awful traffic that was bad enough a decade ago when I used to have to commute on that wretched motorway (god knows how bad it is now).
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