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Old July 24th, 2016, 03:55 PM   #4281
geogregor
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I get the same feeling. There are also border checks on the Belgian-French border, but apparently only on 3 motorway border crossings. Other crossings are not checked, so you don't stop terrorists crossing the border. Nor does it stop domestic terrorism.
All the the checks like that are pointless, especially in mainland Europe where there ate thousands of small country lanes criss-crossing the borders.

If you really want to move unnoticed you always find a way. The motorway checks are just to show frightened population "look we are doing something" even if this "something" absolutely doesn't make any difference.

Of course crossing from the UK is different due to nature of the border.

In this case of course it doesn't help that plenty of people are trying to cross at the same time, on the first weekend of school holidays. I would specifically avoid times like that, heighten security or not.
Sometimes people are like sheep, witness the massive summer jams in most European countries.
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Old July 24th, 2016, 06:46 PM   #4282
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
All the the checks like that are pointless, especially in mainland Europe where there ate thousands of small country lanes criss-crossing the borders.

If you really want to move unnoticed you always find a way. The motorway checks are just to show frightened population "look we are doing something" even if this "something" absolutely doesn't make any difference.
Checks may be expensive, economically as well as politically, but they are not pointless. They make unlawful shipments way more difficult. Especially as there aren't many country lanes crossing borders. And where there are quieter paths across a border there are still some locals which do notice foreign traffic in their area.
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Old July 25th, 2016, 11:12 PM   #4283
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Checks may be expensive, economically as well as politically, but they are not pointless. They make unlawful shipments way more difficult. Especially as there aren't many country lanes crossing borders. And where there are quieter paths across a border there are still some locals which do notice foreign traffic in their area.
I grew up on Polish - Czech border. There are lots of ways of crossing it and avoiding the motorway. Such motorway checks are useless.
It is just a show of force. You either enforce the border properly or you can give up on such gimmicks. They would be better off concentrating on proper intelligence-led border policing rather than on random checks.
After 10min of such checks the word spreads by CB radio and anyone with a bit of brain and bad intentions can avoid it taking local roads.

Anyway, it is rather OT in this thread

BTW,

Are these massive car parks on the way to Dover approved and going ahead?
Last time I heard there were still some local objections.
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Old July 26th, 2016, 10:12 AM   #4284
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Government Response
Introduction

The Government welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Transport Select Committee’s recommendations on the lorry area.

We are pleased to note the Committee’s support for the strategic case for the lorry area and agree with its view that “there are clearly serious consequences for the local community and the local economy when the M20 is closed; major inconvenience and cost are caused to individuals, public bodies and private businesses. A particular burden is borne by the A20, which becomes heavily congested with traffic diverted from the M20. Delays to freight traffic also have implications for the economy as a whole.” (paragraph 46).
Preferred site announcement and next steps

The Committee may have seen that on 6 July 2016, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that Stanford West near M20 Junction 11 in Kent is the proposed site for the major new lorry area. The lorry area will alleviate the queuing of lorries on the M20 during disruption to cross-channel services, in almost all foreseeable events, so easing congestion to ensure drivers and companies go about their business.

In reaching the decision of the preferred site at Stanford West, a wide range of factors were considered, including (i) Stakeholder Views, (ii) Environment, and (iii) Capacity / Cost issues.
(i) Stakeholder Views

Highways England launched a non-statutory consultation from 11 December 2015 until 26 January 2016. This set out the case for a new lorry area. Highways England consulted on the two potential sites (1) Stanford West and (2) Junction 11 North.

In the consultation, the public and stakeholders suggested a range of alternative options and a number of alternative sites. These were evaluated by Highways England. Overall a lorry area was the best performing option and Stanford West was the best performing site.
(ii) Environment

The Stanford West site has an impact on the setting of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; but to a lesser degree than Junction 11 North.

There are adverse environmental impacts at both sites. Highways England will continue to work closely with local residents, the local authorities and the statutory environmental bodies to try to mitigate the environmental impacts at Stanford West as far as possible.
(iii) Capacity / Cost

Both sites are sized to deliver around 3,600 spaces. Current cost estimates indicate that both sites can be developed within the £250 million budget allocated.
Next Steps

Highways England will be engaging with stakeholders later this summer to set out in more detail the proposed design and operation of the preferred site, and what it proposes to do to mitigate the environmental impacts. This will be a further opportunity for local stakeholders to provide input to the lorry area.
Delivery and timescales

We note the Committee’s concerns that the ‘Government’s decision to proceed was taken hastily in reaction to the events of the summer of 2015’. However, given the scale of the impacts on the road network in Kent last summer and the potential risk that such incidents may be repeated, Government is keen to progress this scheme as quickly as possible.

Also, Highways England has been working to deliver this scheme at pace for almost 12 months already and will need to continue to do so to ensure some capacity can be available on the site by summer 2017.

Recommendation 1 (paragraph 161): Before proceeding with this scheme, the Government ought to demonstrate the necessity of building the lorry park. In doing so it should adhere to the principles set out in HM Treasury’s Green Book and the Department for Transport’s own Transport Business Cases guidance (January 2013), including:

(a) the undertaking of a Gateway Review Process;

(b) use of the Five Case Model Methodology, setting out the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management cases for the lorry park through the development, in succession, of a Strategic Outline Case, an Outline Business Case and a Full Business Case; and

(c) calculation of Whole Life Costs.

The Department for Transport is following the HM Treasury Green Book and its own business case guidance, including the undertaking of Gateway reviews, the preparation of a 5-part business case and calculating costs, including operation and maintenance, over an appraisal period of 60 years.

Recommendation 2 (paragraph 162): As part of this, a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the lorry-park plan must be undertaken, giving full weight to:

(a) the cost-benefit ratios of alternatives to the lorry park;

(b) whether the lorry park is a proportionate and appropriate solution to the scale and frequency of disruption associated with Operation Stack;

(c) the environmental and social costs that the lorry park will impose on the locality;

(d) the value of any benefits that the lorry park will bring locally and to the UK economy; and

(e) the long-term costs of operating, maintaining, renewing and, eventually, decommissioning the lorry park.

Recommendation 2(a): the cost-benefit ratios of alternatives to the lorry park

The Government agrees that a clear understanding and careful consideration of the cost-benefit ratios as well as risks, for all potentially viable solutions, should be a key aspect of its investment appraisal process, and this is the approach we have adopted when developing a long-term solution to Operation Stack. The Committee’s report helpfully summarises many of the alternatives that have been put forward.

Alternative options and a number of alternative sites were put forward in response to the public consultation held from 11 December 2015 to 26 January 2016 and these were evaluated by Highways England. However, overall, a lorry area was the best performing option and Stanford West the best performing site.

In view of the urgent strategic need to deliver a solution to the current Operation Stack and taking account of practicalities, including operational considerations, a single site lorry area remains the only viable solution.

Recommendation 2(b): whether the lorry park is a proportionate and appropriate solution to the scale and frequency of disruption associated with Operation Stack;

Operation Stack was implemented on over 30 days in 2015. On each of these occasions implementing Operation Stack led to the closure of the M20 between Junctions 8–9 coast-bound with a capacity to hold up to about 2,100 lorries (Operation Stack Stage 1); and on many occasions the closure of the M20 between Junctions 9–11 was also needed (Operation Stack Stage 2). This brought total capacity up to 3,600 lorries.

It is therefore considered proportionate to provide a lorry area with a capacity of around 3,600 spaces. A lorry area of this size will alleviate the queuing of lorries on the M20 during disruption to cross-channel services, in almost all foreseeable events, so easing congestion on the roads in Kent.

Recommendation 2(c): the environmental and social costs that the lorry park will impose on the locality;

We agree with the Committee’s recommendation. Some of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed lorry area were detailed in the Highways England consultation published in December 2015.

Highways England is continuing to look carefully at the environmental and social impacts of the proposed lorry area, and will shortly begin a public engagement process in which it will set out in more detail the design and operation of the proposed site and its environmental and social impacts.

Recommendation 2(d): the value of any benefits that the lorry park will bring locally and to the UK economy;

We agree with the Committee’s recommendation. Operation Stack makes the best use of existing infrastructure but by closing sections of the M20 motorway it causes a lot of disruption to residents and businesses in Kent. Other traffic is unable to use the motorway and local roads become severely congested. This results in disturbance, increased travel times, missed appointments, late deliveries and a general negative impact on residents, businesses and visitors in Kent. It also impacts on people and businesses right across the UK that use the short Channel crossings to travel to and from the continent.

The new lorry area will help keep the M20 moving during disruption to cross-channel services, helping companies go about their business and other drivers and residents go about their lives as normally as possible.

The DfT has examined, and will continue to examine, the value of the benefits of a lorry area. However, whilst there are established methodologies for valuing, for example, the benefits of travel time savings from keeping the M20 open, the number of closures that would be avoided is always going to be uncertain and estimating the value of broader benefits to the local economy and wider UK economy is difficult.

Recommendation 2(e): the long-term costs of operating, maintaining, renewing and, eventually, decommissioning the lorry park.

We agree with the Committee’s recommendation. The DfT’s WebTAG appraisal guidance requires the full costs of a proposal to be considered over the appraisal period. This includes consideration of costs for operation, maintenance and renewal. Highways England has assessed costs in line with this guidance and will continue to do so.

We are not complacent in seeking to ensure that the project continually bears down on costs. In addition to keeping the construction cost of the lorry area to a minimum, Highways England is also considering how the benefits of the lorry area can be maximised. As announced on 6 July 2016, the Government is exploring using the lorry area for overnight parking of lorries which would relieve pressure caused by some drivers parking in unsuitable or illegal locations. This has the potential to provide revenue that could offset some of the construction and operation costs.

Recommendation 3 (paragraph 163): It is important that this proposal is not looked at in isolation. The Government’s support for modal shift, improvements to rail freight, improvements to the existing road network, and a decision on the Lower Thames Crossing need to be considered alongside each other. The Government should take a view on how these different improvements to the UK’s strategic transport infrastructure will affect each other and how they can be taken forward in ways that will deliver the best outcomes for the economy and for local communities.

The proposal for a lorry area is not being developed in isolation.

Decisions are taken in the full knowledge of the Government’s plans for investment. The first Road Investment Strategy was launched in December 2014, setting out the biggest upgrade to England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads in a generation, including development of the Lower Thames Crossing proposal. Investment in a lorry area supports and strengthens the Government’s commitment to improve the resilience and reliability of the road network.

Government is also clear on the vital contribution of rail freight to our economy and the environment and is currently working with industry to develop a Rail Freight Strategy considering how best to support its growth now and into the future.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #4285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
I grew up on Polish - Czech border. There are lots of ways of crossing it and avoiding the motorway.
Crossing it by foot maybe, but you certainly don't drive a lorry on unpaved tracks.
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Old July 27th, 2016, 10:17 PM   #4286
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A46/M4 - M5 (Michealwood services) (Part 1 of...)

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Old July 28th, 2016, 11:22 AM   #4287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Crossing it by foot maybe, but you certainly don't drive a lorry on unpaved tracks.
He is right...checking selected motorway entries/exits is completely useless and only bothers the regular people.
Pretty much like the check on the Austro-Hungarian Border at Nickelsdorf.....they make a 5-10km queue and do checks, and you can bypass the whole thing going into Slovakia and then to Austria(or the other way around) with 0 checks and only a few kilometeres added....
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Чл. 140. Водачът на велосипед е длъжен да се движи възможно най-близо до дясната граница на платното за движение.
Чл. 141. На водача на велосипед е забранено:1. да се движи успоредно до друг велосипедист;
3. да се движи в непосредствена близост до пътно превозно средство или да се държи за него;
6. да управлява велосипед по площите, предназначени за движение само на пешеходци. Тази забрана не се отнася за децата велосипедисти.

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Old July 28th, 2016, 06:11 PM   #4288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Crossing it by foot maybe, but you certainly don't drive a lorry on unpaved tracks.
Queues in Calais were caused by more stringent screening of passenger traffic rather than trucks.

Do French seriously think that someone will bring guns from the UK to France? And that more stringent checks on passengers of the coaches will deter it?
You can easily obtain guns in Eastern Europe and drive them without problems all the way to central Paris.
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Old July 29th, 2016, 02:47 AM   #4289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satanism View Post
He is right...checking selected motorway entries/exits is completely useless and only bothers the regular people.
Pretty much like the check on the Austro-Hungarian Border at Nickelsdorf.....they make a 5-10km queue and do checks, and you can bypass the whole thing going into Slovakia and then to Austria(or the other way around) with 0 checks and only a few kilometeres added....
Random checks may be ineffective, consistent border controls on the other hand are exactly the opposite. And this is what I'm talking about.
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Old July 31st, 2016, 05:51 PM   #4290
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(M5) Berkeley (Michealwood services) - (M5) J9 (Part 2 of 3)

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Old August 5th, 2016, 12:39 PM   #4291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanCleverly View Post
Both Newspaper article links to the Highways England 3D rendering of what it *should* look like.
Main construction on the A19/A1058 scheme started this week, leading the Daily Mail to go into overdrive about the 'mind-bending' and 'brain-twisting triple-decker roundabout'. Never mind that there are already a couple of dozen of these junctions in the UK...
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Old August 8th, 2016, 06:40 PM   #4292
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New average speed cameras will be switched on in Birmingham and Solihull from today (8 August)

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Birmingham routes -

A38 Bristol Road between Priory Road and Speedwell Road – 30mph
A456 Hagley Road between Portland Road and Lordswood Road – 30mph
A4540 New John Street between Lucas Circus and Hospital Street – 30mph
A34 Newtown Row Northbound between New John Street West and Newbury Road – 30mph
A45 Coventry Road between Berkeley Road and Rowland Road/Steyning Road – 40mph

Solihull routes -

B425 Lode Lane (between Henley Crescent and Moat Lane) – 30mph
B4114 Bradford Road / Chester road (in the vicinity of the junction) – 30mph
A3400 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath – 30mph
ITV / Highways Industry
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Old August 13th, 2016, 07:58 PM   #4293
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A354 Blandford Forum - A36 Warminster (x3)

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Old August 17th, 2016, 10:51 AM   #4294
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A102 approaching the Blackwall Tunnel, photos around North Greenwich:

Looking south:

P8130976
by Geogregor*, on Flickr


P8130977
by Geogregor*, on Flickr


P8130978
by Geogregor*, on Flickr


P8130979
by Geogregor*, on Flickr

Looking north.

P8130980
by Geogregor*, on Flickr

Traffic is often bad here as it is the only river crossing (if you don't count the Wollwoch ferry) between the Tower Bridge and the Dartford Crossing on M25.

P8130981
by Geogregor*, on Flickr


P8130983
by Geogregor*, on Flickr


P8130988
by Geogregor*, on Flickr
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Old August 17th, 2016, 11:10 AM   #4295
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Is it tolled?
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Old August 17th, 2016, 12:51 PM   #4296
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Is it tolled?
No. Part of it is truly ancient by the way.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #4297
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Traffic is often bad here as it is the only river crossing (if you don't count the Wollwoch ferry) between the Tower Bridge and the Dartford Crossing on M25.
Actually, I have to correct myself as I forgot about the Rotherhithe Tunnel
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Old August 18th, 2016, 08:48 PM   #4298
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Trans-Pennine Tunnel

Manchester to Sheffield Trans-Pennine road tunnel routes shortlisted

Five routes have been shortlisted today, 18 August 2016, for the Trans-Pennine tunnel – the most ambitious road scheme undertaken in the UK in more than 5 decades.

The Trans-Pennine tunnel study was launched by the government in autumn 2015, one of a number of studies aimed at addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the road network in the UK. Today’s study shows the continued strong case for the tunnel which could provide safer, faster and more reliable journeys for motorists.

The tunnel between Manchester and Sheffield could be a national first and almost halve journey times between the 2 cities.

All 5 routes join the M60 east of Manchester to the M1 north of Sheffield, with 4 options starting at the M67, and will see journeys cut by 30 minutes.



The tunnel could provide an economic boost to the 2 cities as well as the surrounding area. The link would help protect the environment by reducing traffic through the Peak District National Park, as well as support the government’s plan to build a Northern Powerhouse.

The study is part of the government’s next phase of road improvements, which will get underway from 2020. The current Road Investment Strategy period covers 2015 to 2020.

In the final stage of the study, due to be completed by the end of 2016, the strategic and economic cases for each option will be assessed and cost estimates will be provided.
Full press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/m...es-shortlisted
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Old August 29th, 2016, 03:45 AM   #4299
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As well as the Pennines tunnel routes, Highways England recently released some interesting presentations about the Oxford to Cambridge expressway, Manchester North West Quadrant and A1 East of England schemes here.

A quick summary of the options is as follows:

OXFORD TO CAMBRIDGE EXPRESSWAY
Option A: Southern - M1 J13-Leighton Buzzard-Aylesbury-Thame-M40 J8-Abingdon
Option B: Central - M1 J13-South East of Bicester (goes direct, not via Buckingham or Bicester)
Option C: Northern - M1 J13-Buckingham-Bicester-South East of Bicester
There are 'Oxford sub options' for Options B and C, with them connecting to the A34 either west or east of the city.
Discussion here.

MANCHESTER NORTH WEST QUADRANT
Northern Corridor Package: in short term, new M6 to M61 link, M60 junctions upgraded, A580 upgraded to expressway (i.e. GSJs); in long term extra elevated/tunnelled capacity from the M61 to beyond M60 J18
Orbital Corridor Package: in short term, M60 junctions upgraded; long term plan seems to be for second orbital route to west and north of Manchester
In Corridor Enhancements: in short term, C/D lanes and junction improvements on M60, and A580 and A57 upgraded to expressway; in long term, elevated/tunnelled capacity between M62 west of J12 and east of J18.
Public Transport Max - no road improvements
Discussion here.

A1 EAST OF ENGLAND
Option 1: Motorway for Baldock to Alconbury
Option 2: Local improvements (GSJs) for Baldock to Alconbury
Option 3: 'Upgrade the east-west connectivity of the A1 to avoid "hop on, hop off" behaviour'
Discussion here.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 06:46 PM   #4300
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Recent Drone footage of the M8 M74 scheme to complete a full motorway from Glasgow to Edinburgh in Scotland.

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