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Old October 8th, 2014, 02:07 AM   #3861
sotonsi
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These might help explain the delay
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/l...es#column_1124
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/c...ass#column_252
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Old October 8th, 2014, 03:57 AM   #3862
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It's off the topic of this thread, but you can see in that sort of discussion the attitude that's getting power stations closed down, while at the same time complaining that one day there won't be enough.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 12:12 AM   #3863
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Online
New pictures showing how the Dartford Crossing will look after the introduction of the delayed Dart Charge have been released today by the Highways Agency.

The images show the difference that the project will make to the Crossing with the payment booths removed.

The 27-lane payment plaza will be replaced by four lanes in each direction and the approach to the tunnels will be enhanced with technology and dedicated extra lanes to help identify and turn away prohibited vehicle types from the tunnels.


(Now)

Work to remove the payment booths will coincide with Dart Charge going live in late November, and is expected to be complete next spring. Dart Charge is intended to improve journeys at the Dartford Crossing by removing the need for drivers to stop at a barrier to pay the crossing charge.

Instead, drivers will be able to pay online, by phone, by post or at one of thousands of Payzone outlets nationwide, either in advance of their journey or by midnight on the day following it


(Future layout)
Taken from The local rag
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Old October 18th, 2014, 11:11 AM   #3864
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Question:
What's the general consensus and opinion regarding speed limits in the United Kingdom?

I just observed when I was visualising a route from Crewe Hall Hotel all the way to the Blue Planet Aquarium on Google Street View.

Now, I can understand speed limit enforcement on certain roads in rural/suburban areas that have intersections or if there if the road is one lane per direction with no barrier or central median (like the A500)..............but on major roads like the M6, I was hoping that speed cameras would allow for higher tolerance to something like 80 MPH (aka 128 km/h).

Perhaps they can be a bit more lenient on this...........especially on a clear day and no vehicles in front of you.

What do you guys think?
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Old October 18th, 2014, 11:26 PM   #3865
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Yeah, as long as you don't go mad you should be ok. I travel at 80ish most of the time if conditions are clear, never been stopped or had a ticket from a camera on a motorway.
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Old October 19th, 2014, 12:36 AM   #3866
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Yeah, as long as you don't go mad you should be ok. I travel at 80ish most of the time if conditions are clear, never been stopped or had a ticket from a camera on a motorway.
Ah I see.

It seems fair enough then I guess............and it may seem in-line with other EU countries/territories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_by_country

I guess it's all good for now
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Old October 19th, 2014, 04:54 AM   #3867
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I don't think motorway cameras go off until 90mph, though I think the M4 through Bristol is an exception.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 08:59 PM   #3868
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Scotland drink-drive limit to be reduced

Scotland drink-drive limit to be reduced

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Around one in ten deaths on Scotland’s roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit. Photograph: John Giles/PA
Scotland is to reduce its drink-driving limit in time for Christmas, with motorists advised not to get behind the wheel if they have drunk any alcohol whatsoever.

The reduction from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood means that drivers could be breaking the law if they have drunk a small glass of wine or single pint of beer. The new limit brings the country into line with Northern Ireland and most of Europe, while the limit in England and Wales remains at 80mg.

From 5 December, traffic police will be able to breathalyse drivers at the reduced limit as the force launches its annual festive crackdown.

According to latest estimates, around one in 10 deaths on Scotland’s roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.

The Scottish parliament originally voted in favour of reducing the drink-drive limit two years ago but implementation of the new law was severely delayed by administrative backlogs at Westminster, which still reserves powers over the setting of breathalyser limits and their admissibility in court.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday morning, the Scottish justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, said the plans to reduce the drink-drive limit had “broad support”.

A previous government consultation found that almost three quarters of the public backed the proposed change. MacAskill added: “The support comes not just from the police and law enforcement. It comes from those involved in road safety.”

Asked on the Good Morning Scotland show why a joint approach had not been agreed with the Westminster government, MacAskill said: “We did seek that, but it was the United Kingdom government that decided not to lower the limit despite, I think, a great deal of public support for it being lowered down there.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 02:25 AM   #3869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
It needs to go via Aylesbury and 'end' at M1 J13, so it can be part of a Swindon - Cambridge route (Black Cat - Caxton still needing work).
What's left to do? The two ends? Other than that, what is wrong with it. OK, Oxford is a bit of a bottleneck, but a Swindon - MK road would possibly be able to bypass that by creating an Oxford South Eastern bypass between the A34 near Abingdon or Didcot and M40 J8.

I don't see the point of building it as a motorway. While objectors to the 1991 Wing Bypass did use the term 'motorway' for 6 months (and only those 6 months), the corridor wasn't proposed as such even under the late-80s/90s massive trunk road/motorway building plans. Something similar to the A421 between A1 and M1 is the right standard there.
IIRC, there was a proposal for an Oxford - Stevenage - Harwich/Felixstowe improvement back in the 1980's/1980s, as part of proposals to improve roads to ports, not sure if it came under 'Roads for Prosperity'.

Certain bits got built such as the very wide S2 A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass, and the A418 around Thame. The Dunstable Link to the M1 is still proposed, after that it would have done the (A6) Northern Bypass of Luton, then along the existing A505/A602 toward Stevenage. East of Stevenage, it was always assumed that the A1072 would continue eastward towards Bishop's Stortford. From there it would take the (now) improved A120 east to Colchester thence the Anglian Ports.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 03:20 AM   #3870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by link_road_17/7 View Post
IIRC, there was a proposal for an Oxford - Stevenage - Harwich/Felixstowe improvement back in the 1980's/1980s, as part of proposals to improve roads to ports, not sure if it came under 'Roads for Prosperity'.
3 of the big ticket items in that program got bogged down for years. The A34 Newbury Bypass, the M6 - A14 connection near some battlefield and the M3 missing link at Twyford down leading to Southampton. The tories seemed to have a white paper every year, there was one called England, Trunk Roads into the 1990s or something around the same time as Road for Prosperity.

Only the A55 North Wales expressway to Holyhead seemed to get completed in a reasonable timeframe.

Every Tory plan I remember seemed to propose doing 'something' about the A303 and sure enough it is still utterly crap in lots of places 25 years later. Tunnels under Stonehenge were a usual feature.

I can hardly recall any major road building in England in the 20 odd years since those Thatcher/Major era projects finished other than the elegaicly slow M25 widening process.

Labour and the coalition are incapable of either vision or of leadership on the subject and the absolute rot covers all the political parties in England now.

Last edited by sponge_bob; October 25th, 2014 at 03:26 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 10:04 AM   #3871
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There was progressive road building every year from the late 1950s through to the mid-1990s. I remember back in the early 1990s when every year there would be a couple of road improvements which would make my journeys better. Since then though, it is as if the progress that used to happen on an annual basis now happens on a 10-15 year basis. Quite simply, very little changes now. Yes, the road network may have been better in the 1990s than it was in the 1980s, and so on, but it is still far from complete, and for our population density the coverage of our motorway and expressway network is shockingly bad.

When the Labour government came to power in 1997, the then transport secretary John Prescott basically cancelled all road improvement schemes that hadn't already gone out to contract. Over the years, a small handful of these schemes have been resurrected, many years later than originally planned and considerably more expensive. As for motorway construction, it has been biased towards the north.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 09:43 PM   #3872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by link_road_17/7 View Post
IIRC, there was a proposal for an Oxford - Stevenage - Harwich/Felixstowe improvement back in the 1980's/1980s, as part of proposals to improve roads to ports, not sure if it came under 'Roads for Prosperity'.

Certain bits got built such as the very wide S2 A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass, and the A418 around Thame. The Dunstable Link to the M1 is still proposed, after that it would have done the (A6) Northern Bypass of Luton, then along the existing A505/A602 toward Stevenage. East of Stevenage, it was always assumed that the A1072 would continue eastward towards Bishop's Stortford. From there it would take the (now) improved A120 east to Colchester thence the Anglian Ports.
That's the one. Wing bypass hassle killed it.
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3 of the big ticket items in that program got bogged down for years. The A34 Newbury Bypass, the M6 - A14 connection near some battlefield and the M3 missing link at Twyford down leading to Southampton.
Naseby is the battlefield.

Looking at the public-suggested Tywford Down solutions is funny - most of them take out more of the hill (as would a tunnel), with some taking out both sides.
Quote:
The tories seemed to have a white paper every year, there was one called England, Trunk Roads into the 1990s or something around the same time as Road for Prosperity.
A year or two later, IIRC. It was this that had the East Coast Ports route.
Quote:
Every Tory plan I remember seemed to propose doing 'something' about the A303 and sure enough it is still utterly crap in lots of places 25 years later. Tunnels under Stonehenge were a usual feature.
That one somehow was still doing the rounds under Prescott and (more surprisingly) 'do-nothing' Darling. The Highways Agency have said that other than some pinch point type local works, there's no point in upgrading the A303 until Stonehenge has an approved solution. Which makes sense, as it is the bottleneck and improving elsewhere would attract traffic off other routes and make the bottleneck worse.
Quote:
I can hardly recall any major road building in England in the 20 odd years since those Thatcher/Major era projects finished other than the elegaicly slow M25 widening process.
There's been other widening of motorways, and the A1(M) construction in North Yorkshire. Plus medium size schemes in the South/East Midlands (A421 Bedford-M1, A120 M11-Braintree, A11 gap plugging, A1 Peterborough-Blyth finishing grade-separation and perhaps the biggest one: A46 dualling - Lincoln to A1 was done in something like the early 00s, and Windmerepool - Newark was done this decade.

But yes, it's nowhere near as much, including stuff like bypasses (though to be fair, there wasn't that many left to do after the splurge in the late 80s/early 90s).
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Labour and the coalition are incapable of either vision or of leadership on the subject and the absolute rot covers all the political parties in England now.
The coalition have done some long term planning, as did Lord Adonis in the Brown years. However it has mostly been on the railways (which to be fair have become a lot more popular in recent years) and/or really long range vague stuff.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 10:03 PM   #3873
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
railways (which to be fair have become a lot more popular in recent years)
Percentage growth rates are often impressive if the base is low. But a 10% growth in rail transport may be the same as 1% growth on the roads when measured in passenger miles.

In the Netherlands, train usage grew 30% between 1994 and 2007. At the same time, driving grew 15%. But when you compare passenger miles, driving grew by 18.7 billion kilometers, compared to 2.9 billion kilometers for train usage. (In fact, the driving growth alone was larger than all train usage combined).
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Old October 25th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #3874
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Well the UK only has (effectively) 1.66 north south motorways for 60m people and effectively 4 east west ones.

For the current coalition 'the big plan' is to build a TGV route up the middle. However I have heard numbers as high as €60bn ( UK £50bn) for that line which is planned at around 400km total length.

This is because of the combination of NIMBYs and BANANAs (two UK originated acronyms those ) lined up against it and forcing the rather weak government to concede early that they will put the whole 400km , in effect, in a bloody tunnel. As this would result in insane costs it will never be built.

For many years, in recent times, the UK had the fastest mainline train services in Europe ...from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s and all of it overground and with no nimbys demanding tunnels. I refer to the 200kph eastern line services in particular.

The lack of vision and leadership nowadays is only shocking.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 01:24 AM   #3875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
That's the one. Wing bypass hassle killed it.Naseby is the battlefield.

Looking at the public-suggested Tywford Down solutions is funny - most of them take out more of the hill (as would a tunnel), with some taking out both sides.A year or two later, IIRC. It was this that had the East Coast Ports route.That one somehow was still doing the rounds under Prescott and (more surprisingly) 'do-nothing' Darling. The Highways Agency have said that other than some pinch point type local works, there's no point in upgrading the A303 until Stonehenge has an approved solution. Which makes sense, as it is the bottleneck and improving elsewhere would attract traffic off other routes and make the bottleneck worse.There's been other widening of motorways, and the A1(M) construction in North Yorkshire. Plus medium size schemes in the South/East Midlands (A421 Bedford-M1, A120 M11-Braintree, A11 gap plugging, A1 Peterborough-Blyth finishing grade-separation and perhaps the biggest one: A46 dualling - Lincoln to A1 was done in something like the early 00s, and Windmerepool - Newark was done this decade.

But yes, it's nowhere near as much, including stuff like bypasses (though to be fair, there wasn't that many left to do after the splurge in the late 80s/early 90s).The coalition have done some long term planning, as did Lord Adonis in the Brown years. However it has mostly been on the railways (which to be fair have become a lot more popular in recent years) and/or really long range vague stuff.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 01:47 AM   #3876
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Lord Adonis.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 03:15 AM   #3877
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That Twyford Down cutting to bypass that A3 section south of Winchester was a bit of a hack to say the least, I'm still surprised that a cut and cover jobbie was not attempted. I mean, dammit they tunneled that sort of south downs terrain when building the Brighton London railway and that never slid anywhere on them. They could have tunnled it ( c 4km ) at grade but could have cut and recovered it for a 2km 'tunnel' and reduced the climb both sides.

I remember seeing it way off from the old A3 when it was under construction. IIRC I was racing an E Type at the time.

Last edited by sponge_bob; October 26th, 2014 at 03:21 AM.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 08:13 PM   #3878
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Percentage growth rates are often impressive if the base is low. But a 10% growth in rail transport may be the same as 1% growth on the roads when measured in passenger miles.
Absolutely, though a large percentage growth is much more noticeable, especially where the network is already struggling.

A 10% increase of traffic on the UK road network can be dealt with with much simpler solutions than the 100% increase in rail traffic in London by 2050. Some widenings, a couple of new routes, etc are needed for the road network, but the London rail network needs to be pretty much duplicated given its barely coping today.

Not that the UK Government shouldn't be visionary for roads in England, of course. Just that their vision casting for the rail network makes sense.
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That Twyford Down cutting to bypass that A3 section south of Winchester was a bit of a hack to say the least, I'm still surprised that a cut and cover jobbie was not attempted. I mean, dammit they tunneled that sort of south downs terrain when building the Brighton London railway and that never slid anywhere on them. They could have tunnled it ( c 4km ) at grade but could have cut and recovered it for a 2km 'tunnel' and reduced the climb both sides.
M3, not A3.

Here why it wasn't tunneled (from what I remember from reading the Public Inquiry report about 8 years ago):

A cut and cover tunnel would remove more of the hill, due to the need to be much lower to fit in walls (as the hill isn't that wide) and stuff on top. The approach cutting would be bigger than the existing one. A bored tunnel would have been worse - it would basically either stick out the sides of the hill, or it would smash through the protected Water Meadows, splitting it in two and causing immense environmental damage.

The lighting needed for the tunnel would make a big environmental impact and 'make the motorway more noticeable than with the cutting options'.

I'd argue that the north-facing J11 slips are a big mistake, as is the odd little ledge near the top of the cutting. That makes it ugly. You could create a false top for the last 100m or so, which would also help it (though lighting issues come about).

A 4km tunnel, especially cut-and-cover, would be incredibly damaging and nearly impossible to build - it would be under the water table so you'd need a lot of pumping. The grades wouldn't have been much flatter either.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 08:39 PM   #3879
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The old road should have been left at Winchester, perhaps narrowed to S2, rather than removed in my opinion.

The slip roads going up into the cutting, which are the north facing slips at J11 and the slips at J10, are very steep. Not only does this mean drivers have to brake extra firmly to safely come to an abrupt stop at the end of the slip roads, but the steep gradients cause considerable congestion. It is not unusual to even see cars trying to join the motorway at 40-45mph. Lorries struggle to get to 30-35mph by the time they merge into lane 1. The result is lots of braking, lane changing, tailgating and lorries moving into lane 2, and a lot of congestion.

If I were designing the route, junction 10 would not have been built, and neither would the north facing slip roads at junction 11. I would have kept the old road as a local access road, much like the old road still exists as a local access road between J10 and J9. Aside from removing the congestion and safety issues of steep slip roads going up into the cutting, and the additional unsightly signage it requires, it would take a lot of local journeys off the motorway, as a lot of people junction hop between junctions 10 and 11 due to a lack of decent alternative route. I would have combined my proposals with a long overdue upgrade of J9, which would give the A34 freeflow connections with the motorway.

Of course, to appease the NIMBYs, an option that was functionally inferior was chosen, and we are paying the price of that now due to the relatively poor design and subsequent congestion.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 11:37 PM   #3880
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I take Sotonsi's point about penetrating the aquifer/water table had they gone lower down in Twyford Down than they did.
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