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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #521
Dan
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Sorry, what does ATM stand for?

So is taking the M6 Toll one easy way to avoid at least many of the problems?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post
We're not generally too bad at North South directions but when heading across country we're poor here. The A14 is a pleasant car park for much of it's time and here in sheffield the main routes to Manchester either the Snake pass (A57) or the Woodhead (A628) are romantically named but poor for the traffic levels. The M67 as proposed in the 1960s would solve this one but will never happen due to environmental considerations, even though the route has a rail track (disused) and a high voltage electricity pylon corridor straight along it. apparently road improvements would be seen as disturbing the (un) natural countryside here

Many of the much promised widening schemes are under review to cut cost, so what will come to fruition is generally hard shoulder running - a dubious improvement as they are really just longer slip roads. Current economic conditions are leading to a review of expenditure so I expect many more projects to be cancelled/delayed or just lost in time.
That's true, M67 should be extended to Sheffield really. It would be a beautifuly located road in hills Traffic between Sheffield and Manchester is bad Full of lorries, narrow curves, jams in towns where A628 goes thru
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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
Sorry, what does ATM stand for?
Active Traffic Management - it's on the M42 between the M40 and M6. It's basically Variable Speed Limits, but also allows hard shoulder running if it's too busy.
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So is taking the M6 Toll one easy way to avoid at least many of the problems?
yes, but whether it's worth the cost is another matter! The jams aren't that bad unless you hit the peaks, or there's been an accident.
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That's true, M67 should be extended to Sheffield really. It would be a beautifuly located road in hills Traffic between Sheffield and Manchester is bad Full of lorries, narrow curves, jams in towns where A628 goes thru
The towns are going to be bypassed. It's not that beautiful - it's rather bleak. The M62 goes through better scenery, as does the M6 in the Lune Gorge (the latter winning a prize for improving the landscape!). I see no problems with it happening other than the national park status (which works against it being built) and the lack of enthusiasm for road building, especially roads with blue signs (which means it won't be suggested, or financed).
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Old November 27th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #524
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How much is the M6 Toll?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #525
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4,5 pound during the day, 3,5 pounds during the night. Quite expensive for 43 kilometers... 10 pence a kilometer. Or 7 dollars for 27 miles.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #526
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When the M6 flows freely, legally it's 2 minutes quicker than the M6Toll. The owners of the M6Toll are trying to keep people off their shiny road by upping the price, despite having spent quite a bit of effort when building to make it that traffic would naturally flow onto it instead of other roads.

Dan - are you planning a trip? If you want to avoid the M6 in Birmingham, may I suggest the A50/A500 between M1 junction 24 and M6 j16. There are a few roundabouts (four?) on the route, however it's rather good and secret route. Unless your journey starts/ends near Birmingham it's worth considering.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #527
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I see no problems with it happening other than the national park status (which works against it being built) and the lack of enthusiasm for road building, especially roads with blue signs (which means it won't be suggested, or financed).
I remember reading that ever since the M3 was completed despite community protests, there has been a reluctance to build new motorways. Is this the reason for the lack of enthusiasm you mention? If so, why can't they just build it as an A-road, but to motorway standard, like the A27 east of Portsmouth?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #528
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Dan - are you planning a trip? If you want to avoid the M6 in Birmingham, may I suggest the A50/A500 between M1 junction 24 and M6 j16. There are a few roundabouts (four?) on the route, however it's rather good and secret route. Unless your journey starts/ends near Birmingham it's worth considering.
Next August we'll be leaving Birmingham early in the morning to head torward Caernarfon (using the coastal road in Wales).
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Old November 27th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #529
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Originally Posted by Robosteve View Post
I remember reading that ever since the M3 was completed despite community protests, there has been a reluctance to build new motorways. Is this the reason for the lack of enthusiasm you mention? If so, why can't they just build it as an A-road, but to motorway standard, like the A27 east of Portsmouth?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twyford_Down

That should explain it all. Idiocy from all sides basically.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:04 PM   #530
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Active Traffic Management - it's on the M42 between the M40 and M6. It's basically Variable Speed Limits, but also allows hard shoulder running if it's too busy.yes, but whether it's worth the cost is another matter! The jams aren't that bad unless you hit the peaks, or there's been an accident.The towns are going to be bypassed. It's not that beautiful - it's rather bleak. The M62 goes through better scenery, as does the M6 in the Lune Gorge (the latter winning a prize for improving the landscape!). I see no problems with it happening other than the national park status (which works against it being built) and the lack of enthusiasm for road building, especially roads with blue signs (which means it won't be suggested, or financed).
I agree, this stretch of M62 looks really good, 2X3 or 2X4, really nice landscape, wide motorway
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Old November 28th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #531
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Originally Posted by Robosteve View Post
I remember reading that ever since the M3 was completed despite community protests, there has been a reluctance to build new motorways. Is this the reason for the lack of enthusiasm you mention? If so, why can't they just build it as an A-road, but to motorway standard, like the A27 east of Portsmouth?
three reasons
1)Hard shoulders cause the alarm bells to ring (see A494 in Wales at the moment)
2)Newbury Bypass a bit later than Tywford had the same problems of people protesting. It wasn't a motorway.
3)The government hates building infrastructure. Major's government, while awful on transport, at least had some plans to build things. Blair came in in '97 and the plans went in the shredder, only to mostly be suggested again by all the expensive studies that followed. But there's not enough money given to build many of them.
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That should explain it all. Idiocy from all sides basically.
I don't think the DfT were being idiots. OK, they didn't explain that a tunnel would take out more of the hillside, be more enviromentally damaging and would leave a bigger scar loud enough (they mention it briefly that to have a tunnel would involve a bigger cutting on the north side of it, in order to get the wider bit of hill lower down (else the tunnels, which would be massively large bores, would break the surface). Of all the solutions the protesters and objectors proposed (and I've sifted through the summary report of all of them), what we have is the one that has the least enviromental damage.

The M40 cutting at Stokenchurch is bigger (and 25 years older, so shows what chalk looks like after a while - Twyford is already looking browner/greener and will be much better as plants grow more). Twyford only looks ugly due to the non-straight sides of the cutting - there appears to be a non-public footpath on either side.

The planners made the best of a bad job. It's all the fault of the college land stopping Winchester being bypassed to the west - both the original (very early - 1920s or early 30s) and the motorway.
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Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
Next August we'll be leaving Birmingham early in the morning to head torward Caernarfon (using the coastal road in Wales).
taking the M6 would be reasonably fine unless you do the problem section (8-10a) between 8 and 9 in the morning (depends how early is early - in August, it's light at 5am!). If starting in Birmingham, it's not worth taking the M6Toll as you'd probably triple the length of your route to Stafford. If starting close to the M42, or outside the M42 near the M40 or M6, then the Toll is a good idea in the morning. I guess speak to a local, like the person at the hotel or whatever, before setting off, and listen to the radio for traffic news (should be every 15/20 minutes in the morning - try a Birmingham station, rather than a nationwide one, as the nationwide ones tend to only mention very bad jams). August should be better unless you hit a holiday Saturday, though early morning should skip that at the Birmingham end.

May I suggest that the M54/A5/A483 is the best route between Birmingham and Chester, especially if you're going to be on the M6 near Stafford and Stoke in rush hour. From the M6Toll, use the A460 via M6 junction 11 to get to the M54, though the signed route is via junction 12 and M54 junction 2, which might be a bit easier to drive, though perhaps more congested. It's prettier, quieter and slightly shorter. Enough of it is dual carriageway, and if you hear of traffic problems on the A55, it's easy to change and take the A5 to Bangor!
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Old November 28th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #532
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Thanks!
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Old December 6th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #533
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For anyone interested, the final section of the M6 was opened yesterday to connect the English & Scottish motorway networks between Junction 44 of the M6 and Junction 22 of the A74(M). It was exactly 50 years after the first stretch of motorway in the UK was opened around Preston which also became part of the M6.

There are some photos here of the road just prior to opening. The Highways Agency press release can be found here.

If you want to see what the Preston Bypass looked like when it was opened see these pictures, which makes an interesting comparison to how it looks now.. You can even see the opening booklet by downloading a PDF from CBRD. Finally a video about the opening of the first two sections of the M6 can be found here: http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/corpora...eo/m6video.asp.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 12:40 AM   #534
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Interesting pics and video. Did they plan to open it exactly 50 years later?
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:16 AM   #535
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Interesting pics and video. Did they plan to open it exactly 50 years later?
Not exactly sure. I think it got a bit rushed through to make sure it happened. Nice PR opportunity for the government though. It does leave the odd situation that coming up from England to Glasgow although it is one route is the M6 then A74(M) and finally M74...
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #536
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Not exactly sure. I think it got a bit rushed through to make sure it happened. Nice PR opportunity for the government though. It does leave the odd situation that coming up from England to Glasgow although it is one route is the M6 then A74(M) and finally M74...
I thought they were going to change it all to M6 when the final section opened?
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:59 AM   #537
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they were, but then they realised how expensive that would be, what with junction renumberings, patching/depatching signs etc. Also with the SNP in power, they don't really want an "English" motorway going into their land. It might happen when the junctions need renumbering when the Glasgow extension of the M74 is added.

It's worth pointing out that the renumbering was only going to be of the A74(M), except junction 12-13. It would still be the case that you'd have three numbers just carrying on the same bit of road - the idea was that the M6 would take you to where the routes to Edinburgh and Glasgow split.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #538
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It's worth pointing out that the renumbering was only going to be of the A74(M), except junction 12-13. It would still be the case that you'd have three numbers just carrying on the same bit of road - the idea was that the M6 would take you to where the routes to Edinburgh and Glasgow split.
Actually you would only have to follow two numbers then - M6-M74 or M6-M(whatever number)... still madness but a little more comprehensible.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #539
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no you wouldn't, as the A74(M) goes north one junction further than the M6 would have - that was my point.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #540
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no you wouldn't, as the A74(M) goes north one junction further than the M6 would have - that was my point.
Actually the M74 is the number applied to the junctions 12-13 section. See here and here. I am trying to remember where most of the pictures of the signs that were erected had already been prepared to be converted to M6 and not A74 (M), however I've found a couple at CBRD.
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