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Old December 22nd, 2008, 07:38 AM   #561
Svartmetall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
How are the A roads in Wales?
Depends where you mean. Around the south coast (Swansea to Newport) in particular there are a good number of higher quality duel carriageways with high capacity interchanges where needed either in the form of grade separated ramps or large roundabouts near cities. The quality of the "red" A roads around Cardiff/Merthyr Tydfil/Newport area is variable. Sometimes they're divided 2+2, sometimes smaller 1+1 depending on what they're connecting.

Further north in Wales and the road capacity drops markedly as you'd expect in the sparsely populated areas around the middle of the country. However, right at the north of the country you have the A55 which links Holyhead to Chester and the rest of the UK which is a full duel carriageway along its route. This is a high quality road, however, it doesn't always possess grade separated interchanges. The A55 actually has a really nice tunnel at Llandudno junction if you're interested.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 02:06 PM   #562
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 02:34 PM   #563
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Michelin maps and the website www.viaichelin.com give a lot of information about road quality, as they show near motorway class roads (grade separated dual carriageways) and give an indication of the quality of other roads.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:30 PM   #564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
In the UK there is a set standard for duel carriageway roads (as far as I recall from our convoluted official road discriptions).
there isn't really - even for Dual Carraigeways. There's basically a description of 2 or more 3.65m lanes, a central reserve and 2 or more 3.65m lanes.
Quote:
Our network of duel carriageways (or high quality A roads) is far more extensive than our motorway network. For example, whilst my home town (Northampton) only seems to have one motorway nearby, it has an extensive network of fully grade separated duel carriageways with a hard shoulder (such as the A45/A508 Northampton Ring Road which is 3+3 lanes for significant sections).
Does that really have a hard shoulder? Hard strip maybe, but not hard shoulder...
Quote:
Like I said anyway, duel carriageways with almost motorway like standards do exist throughout the country in great numbers
no they don't - they really don't. Partially as 'motorway' isn't really a standard. Junctions either are well below par, or there's not even a hard strip on so many of them. There does exist some decent quality A road DCs, however there is less milage of them the motorway network. "throughout the country" is definitely not true. Things like the A31 across the New Forest or the A43 are no where near almost motorway standard - there's the odd couple of bits that dare to get close, but like most DCs in the UK they are a long way below standard.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Further north in Wales and the road capacity drops markedly as you'd expect in the sparsely populated areas around the middle of the country. However, right at the north of the country you have the A55 which links Holyhead to Chester and the rest of the UK which is a full duel carriageway along its route. This is a high quality road, however, it doesn't always possess grade separated interchanges. The A55 actually has a really nice tunnel at Llandudno junction if you're interested.
The A55 through North Wales is an amazing drive, especially when the sea is rough.
image hosted on flickr

from flickr.com
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Old December 24th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #566
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Hello world! First post in these forums, thought I'd share my local crappy motorway with you all, the M32 in Bristol!
_________________________________________________________________
M32

Elevated section at junction 2.
image hosted on flickr


Under the elevated portion. This area often gets flooded.
image hosted on flickr


On the elevated section. No hardshoulders here, but the on-sliproad from junction 2 stays with us forming an extra lane till the on slip for junction 1. The same occurs in the other carriageway, making this section 3x3.

From Pathetic Motorways

The long middle section, all 2x2. Looks remarkably like a rural motorway, even though this is well into the suburbs!


In a treched section at junction 1, approaching the city. The motorway becomes a dual carriageway after the second overbridge.

From Pathetic Motorways

The junction with the M4 at Hambrook where the M32 terminates.


This motorway is mostly 2x2. The elevated section touches 2x3 breifly for the slip road, and just North of that the Northbound carriageway gains a climbing lane for a little while. At junction 3 the Northbound carriageway hits 4 lanes, quite impressive for a 3 mile motorway! Unforunately the M32's thrill soon ends when at Hambrook the driver reaches the splendor of the mighty M4.

However the M32 is in fact very useful for locals. It forms a very handy and quick route into the city centre for most of the North of the city, and an easy escape route to the rest of the country with easy access to the West-East M4 and North-South M5. It also helps Intra-city travel from West-East Bristol with junctions at major A-roads like Stapleton Rd, Muller Rd, The A4174 Ring Road and St Phillips Causeway. And there's no point moaning about the 2x2 status, this road operates fine as it is and needs no widening! What it does not need though is a bus lane, which the council is proposing to put in, reducing one section to 2x1 for normal traffic...

_________________________________________________________________
M49

Also in the area is the terribly dull M49, which is uinique in the UK in that it is the only motorway to have all its junctions (all 2 of them!) with another motorway! ie: it can only be reached by getting onto a motorway. It is a very boring drive, 2x2 all the way, and is often dead quiet, but is actually a very useful shortcut for drivers going from the South of England to South Wales and vice versa, avoiding the sketchy and often congested M4/M5 Almondsbury Interchange.

Some pics just how dull it is!

The Northern terminus with the M4 next to the new crossing.

From Pathetic Motorways

Somewhere in the middle, who cares. The old Severn Bridge can be seen gleaming white in the background, with the landscape of Wales way off in the distance behind.


Yay, some bridges, how exciting.

From Pathetic Motorways

Lovely backdrop of the Severn Beach factories.
image hosted on flickr


No worries though! For Northbound drivers, the magnificent Second Severn Crossing and Severn Bridge make up for it, and for Southbound, well they have the wonderful Avonmouth Bridge to look forward to!

M48 (used to be a section of the M4) Severn Bridge, something Brunel would have been proud of!:


M4 Second Severn Crossing, cable-stayed, longer, more popular and much newer, but lacks the character of the old bridge.
image hosted on flickr


M5 Avonmouth Bridge. OK, I lied, it's not wonderful at all, it's awful. Much like the M8's Kingston Bridge, this was built for far less traffic than it currently carries. As a result it constantly needs repairworks, widening, strengthening and resurfacing and is rarely seen without heavy roadworks and lots of congestion. For such a vital crossing, it really needs to be sorted.
image hosted on flickr


_________________________________________________________________
M4 & M5

Of course there's the two big guys which rocket through Bristol on their way around the country: the M4 and M5.

These two are long motorways, and there's a lot to talk about with them, so I suggest you go to the CBRD site and take a look at the pages on them if you're interested:

M4
M5

OK, thanks, I hope that sheds some more light on the West-Country's motorways!!

_________________________________________________________________

Last edited by Exethalion; December 24th, 2008 at 03:04 AM.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #567
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Thanks for sharing!

@Accura4Matalan: that is absolutely stunning. Is this the dual carriageway that you can see from Mt. Snowdon?
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Old December 24th, 2008, 11:52 PM   #568
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
no they don't - they really don't. Partially as 'motorway' isn't really a standard. Junctions either are well below par, or there's not even a hard strip on so many of them. There does exist some decent quality A road DCs, however there is less milage of them the motorway network. "throughout the country" is definitely not true. Things like the A31 across the New Forest or the A43 are no where near almost motorway standard - there's the odd couple of bits that dare to get close, but like most DCs in the UK they are a long way below standard.
If the M271 deserves to be called a motorway, I'd say a lot of those A-roads qualify, too.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accura4Matalan View Post
The A55 through North Wales is an amazing drive, especially when the sea is rough.
image hosted on flickr

from flickr.com
What a stunning shot!

I've driven on the A55 (over 10 years ago) and it's a great road, practically motorway standard for most of its length (minus the hard shoulder). I was really impressed by the many tunnels & spectacular views + nice towns along the route.

IMO, the A55 could very easily be upgraded to motorway standard, should the need arise. However, it's worth taking into account that the UK has many roads of this standard, which are basically as good as motorways (expressways).
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #570
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The UK really needs:

- An upgrade of the A1 to motorway (or at least expressway) standard between Newcastle & Edinburgh (the M6/M74 is the only England-Scotland motorway link)

- The West Midlands badly needs a western orbital motorway, to complete the "ring" (maybe the M42)

- The south coast (from Brighton to Plymouth) could do with a motorway (i.e. extend the M27)

- The M8 between Glasgow & Edinburgh needs widening to at least 3 lanes each way (unless this has been done since I left the UK 6 years ago?)

- The M11 should be extended to Norwich/East Anglia

- The A34 should be upgraded to motorway standard A34(M) between Oxford and the point where it joins the M3 (near Southampton). This is a very heavily-used road due to the fact that it links the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton with the midlands & the north.

- Extend the M5 all the way down to Plymouth (to meet up with the newly extended M27)

- Extend the M2 all the way down to Dover (to take some of the pressure off the M20)

- Bring the entire A1 up to motorway standard.

- Bring the A14 up to motorway standard, bulding a new interchange with the M1/M6.

I feel that these proposals would "plug the gaps" in the British motorway network and would help to ease congestion, combined with a policy of also investing in mass transit.

The investment would be worth it, in the long run.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #571
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I would add to it western bypass of Birmingham, Sheffield-Manchester motorway, and some kind of new bypass of London, not orbital one though
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #572
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I would add to it western bypass of Birmingham, Sheffield-Manchester motorway, and some kind of new bypass of London, not orbital one though
Sheffield-Manchester...I couldn't agree more. What a scenic motorway drive that'd be too -- right though the Pennines.

As for London, perhaps it needs some sort of inner ring road, to replace the North Circular? I wouldn't want to build additional motorways too far into London itself, for various reasons.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #573
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I don't think building motorway in London is possible... but outside yes. At least M25 should be widened to 4 or 5 lanes at some sections.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #574
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I think it would be a good idea to build the M31, but I doubt they will.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
there isn't really - even for Dual Carraigeways. There's basically a description of 2 or more 3.65m lanes, a central reserve and 2 or more 3.65m lanes.Does that really have a hard shoulder? Hard strip maybe, but not hard shoulder...no they don't - they really don't. Partially as 'motorway' isn't really a standard. Junctions either are well below par, or there's not even a hard strip on so many of them. There does exist some decent quality A road DCs, however there is less milage of them the motorway network. "throughout the country" is definitely not true. Things like the A31 across the New Forest or the A43 are no where near almost motorway standard - there's the odd couple of bits that dare to get close, but like most DCs in the UK they are a long way below standard.
Compared to Motorways in other parts of the world (eg NZ), our duel carriageways are certainly "almost motorway standards". You're just being excessively nit-picky!
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Old December 27th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #576
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Quote:
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I don't think building motorway in London is possible... but outside yes. At least M25 should be widened to 4 or 5 lanes at some sections.
Can always consider tunnel motorways. Stockholm is building one in the center parts (after having already built one a few years ago) and planning on a pretty big mostly tunnel motorway bypass (not through the city at all so it's in a tunnel more for environmental reasons) of some 15km or so. Obviously London is much bigger so it would require more effort but it's also got a lot more money rolling.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #577
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I think it would be a good idea to build the M31, but I doubt they will.
the M31 in hungary is U/C...

from the page you linked:

So why wasn't it built?
The decision was taken to widen the M4 Maidenhead Bypass instead.

A slightly odd decision when you bear in mind that it costs as much to widen a motorway by a lane as it does to build a whole new three-lane motorway...


this sounds unbelievable... would it be true?

Last edited by H123Laci; December 27th, 2008 at 12:27 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 06:18 PM   #578
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If they compare a new motorway 40 years ago with a widening today, that might be true. But constructing a whole new motorway now is usually also very expensive due to the right of ways needed.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #579
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On another note, I read somewhere that they're planning to widen certain sections of the M25 to 8x lanes each side. Is this true?
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Old December 27th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #580
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Quote:
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Compared to Motorways in other parts of the world (eg NZ), our duel carriageways are certainly "almost motorway standards". You're just being excessively nit-picky!
Many of the dual carriageway "almost motorways" in the UK are amazing, quality-wise. For example, the A55 in North Wales, the A14, much of the A1, A45 and improved A34. Pretty much all you'd need to do is add a hard shoulder to these stretches of highway and guess what? They're motorways.
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