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Old August 25th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #701
bleetz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
I think the British Motorway system is by and large fine as it is. Many people are scandalised at the idea that it's inferior to the motoway systems of so many other European countries. I for one do believe the notion that 'you cannot build your way out of congestion'. Britain is more densely populated than most other European countries so you simply can't have everyone driving their cars all the time. The railway system of the country is essentially sound, only a bit old. Ironically enough the problem with British railway is actually quality rather than quantity. All it needs is some junction alterations and signalling improvements. Progress is on the way and it does have the potential to become an even better alternative to the car. For most high-volumn journeys the train is already a much better option - trying Birmingham - London in 90 minutes in a car. Ticket flexibility would also be nice too.

Aethetically I think anything more than 4 lanes is hard to manage as a driver. If you start turning local roads into motorways and build duplicates then you really do end up spoiling the beautiful but already precious countryside. Many drivers prefer the A1(M) to the M1 because the M1 is too boring. Having a variety of road widths and an odd roundabout here and there is actually quite nice. For all intents and purposes most dual-carriageways do just a fine job as motorways - the obtainable top speeds are essentially the same, roundabouts may take an extra 5 minutes but a variety helps keep you awake. I don't believe motorways in Britain need any major capacity boosts - most of the time even with a bit of congestion 40 or 50 mph is still obtainable. Britain is very fortunate to have very good drivers - everybody drives at almost identical speeds, something that won't happen for 100 years in America or China. British Motorways are still pretty free-flowing with its high AADT. Trust me if Chinese motorways had this level of AADT everything would be at a standstill.

That's not to say however that nothing at all needs to be done about the system. There are bottlenecks that still need to be widened and bypassed, but I'd keep it at that. Perhaps it is true that too much power is given to the NIMBYs and tree-huggers. I suspect the underlying problem is that people are nolonger talking to each other, each fearing if any compromise is made it's the start of a slippery slope.

As for signage, I think the British system is just fine. In fact I feel it's quite systematic - it's very easy once you understand how it works. It uses a checkpoint system, such that on your way from Liverpool to Leeds, it doesn't give you Leeds straightaway, so you look for (for example) Warrington, then Manchester, then Rochdale, then Huddersfield, then Leeds. I think that's the least amount of work that can be expected from any driver. If you can't even handle this little amount of basic geographic information then you simply shouldn't be on the roads.
I agree with a lot of what you are saying. The British motorway network is quite sound and there is little to complain. There is a lot of work to be done but the quality of it is actually pretty good (of course lack of transit traffic when compared to Germany helps the adequacy). The signage is also decent and I don't think that there are that many people that would struggle too much with it.

The biggest problem in the UK are A roads (too many roundabouts and single level junctions) and city bypasses/ringroads/good city-roads in general (or the lack of them). For example, in my opinion, London desperately needed to complete the A406, they even bought out the houses around it! Yet they abandoned the plan and it is still a huge, unacceptable mess. Try crossing it around 5 PM from Turnpike Lane to Southgate, you end up standing in Traffic for 30-40 minutes in the same 500 meters!!

London roads are unacceptably terrible, yet if someone says something about it they end up being called "selfish", "inconsiderate", etc. for driving a car!? At the same time, London spends billions on the inefficient, old tube that, in my opinion, does not bring anywhere near as many benefits as a decent road network would! And you could build a very good road network in London for the money that they spend on the tube.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleetz View Post
London roads are unacceptably terrible, yet if someone says something about it they end up being called "selfish", "inconsiderate", etc. for driving a car!? At the same time, London spends billions on the inefficient, old tube that, in my opinion, does not bring anywhere near as many benefits as a decent road network would! And you could build a very good road network in London for the money that they spend on the tube.
What you are saying is true but the only problem is these roads will have to be built somewhere. Don't forget that, after WWII, there were massive plans for a motorway network within London that would rival the motorway ringroads in Madrid. Yet as soon as they started a 2 mile section of the innermost motorway the residents were up in arms about the whole thing, which eventually led to only the outer parts of the 'ringways' being built, or what is now the M25.

This is sadly true for the whole of the UK no matter what type of road it is. People want a better road network, but not if it is anywhere near them!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #703
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There is enough money, but it's spend otherwise.
or in other words: "There is enough money. It's a matter of how you redistribute that money."

do you know the author?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleetz View Post
London roads are unacceptably terrible, yet if someone says something about it they end up being called "selfish", "inconsiderate", etc. for driving a car!? At the same time, London spends billions on the inefficient, old tube that, in my opinion, does not bring anywhere near as many benefits as a decent road network would! And you could build a very good road network in London for the money that they spend on the tube.
You need both, if the tube was abandoned, there's no way that the road network could pick up the burden of the 1.2 billion tube journeys per year even if it was vastly improved, there simply isn't room in London for enough roads to carry all those cars.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #705
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That's correct. London desperatly needs the tube.

A little sidenote; not all transit journeys would otherwise been done by cars. In the Netherlands, less than 10% of the PT travellers have day-to-day access and financial means to a car. This represents only 1% of all travel mileage on average. (higher to cities, lower in rural/smalltown areas)
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Old August 28th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #706
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Yeah, when there was a strike in the tube in June London was a complete chaos.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #707
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Somewhen ago I have drawn inner motorway ringroad in London, partly using A406, this would cost heavy billions
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Old August 28th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #708
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So? A HSR to Glasgow costs 55 billion dollars.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #709
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They just wouldn't do that.

As you see, rail 'is a cure' for all transport problems
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Old August 28th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #710
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Quote:
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You need both, if the tube was abandoned, there's no way that the road network could pick up the burden of the 1.2 billion tube journeys per year even if it was vastly improved, there simply isn't room in London for enough roads to carry all those cars.
Yes, you do need both, hence the question is why is it that only rail transport gets any decent investment? Nobody says that the tube should be abandoned. I simply think that London should diversify more and not abandon the road network.

And I disagree that there's no space in London for more roads. Yes, you can't really do much about zone 1 but roads like A406 and A205 could be easily expanded to form a proper ring road instead of what is now mostly a single-lane alleyway. This would make a huge (positive) difference to current traffic flows. Also, houses that are near roads further away from A205/A406 mostly have low architectural and monetary value and are quite new, so necessary road expansions could still be carried out, even if it would mean that some of those houses would have to be bought and demolished.

The saddest thing is seeing the change in attitude of the municipality. They bought out so many houses next to A406 to expand it, yet now those houses are abandoned and left for squatters and no work is taking place. This means that even viable and useful road projects that have been started are now dropped in favour of the tube using the same old excuse. This is a disgrace. For 55 billion London could have built one the best city road networks in the world and now all that we'll get are slightly faster journeys to Glasgow. Woo-pee
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Old August 28th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #711
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Currently long distane trains go about 200 kph / 120 mph. If HSR can give 200 mph / 320 kph then it's major improvement. 120 mph is still damn fast and trains still guarantee same comfort

I would rather invest in widening some motorways upgrading to motorway :0
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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #712
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleetz View Post
Yes, you do need both, hence the question is why is it that only rail transport gets any decent investment? Nobody says that the tube should be abandoned. I simply think that London should diversify more and not abandon the road network.

And I disagree that there's no space in London for more roads. Yes, you can't really do much about zone 1 but roads like A406 and A205 could be easily expanded to form a proper ring road instead of what is now mostly a single-lane alleyway. This would make a huge (positive) difference to current traffic flows. Also, houses that are near roads further away from A205/A406 mostly have low architectural and monetary value and are quite new, so necessary road expansions could still be carried out, even if it would mean that some of those houses would have to be bought and demolished.

The saddest thing is seeing the change in attitude of the municipality. They bought out so many houses next to A406 to expand it, yet now those houses are abandoned and left for squatters and no work is taking place. This means that even viable and useful road projects that have been started are now dropped in favour of the tube using the same old excuse. This is a disgrace. For 55 billion London could have built one the best city road networks in the world and now all that we'll get are slightly faster journeys to Glasgow. Woo-pee
I agree that there is a case for improving London's road network, especially the major arteries (the A10, A21 and A24 come to mind instantly) and the North and South Circular Roads.

The problem is that Britain is in the developed stage and people don't want the fuss of major construction works and mass-relocation. Coupled with NIMBY-ism and tree huggers such plans are very dificult come into fruition.

I'd still put stronger emphasis on public transport than on private transport though. Roads should be just decent enough so you can have continuous bus lanes in both directions and parking and loading bays don't get in the way. I wouldn't like any 8- or 10-lane monstrosities.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #713
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The problem also is with people. They would rather prefer own car and travel, 'freedom factor' or something. I have nothing against public transport and I like to travel on trains because it's comfortable, you don't need to stress or think, you just get on board and travel. Quite a lot of people who I know are describing buses and trains as 'peasant wagons'. Northern England have quite a good motorway network but it's sad how people see public transport.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #714
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Quote:
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For 55 billion London could have built one the best city road networks in the world and now all that we'll get are slightly faster journeys to Glasgow. Woo-pee
Yes, it could buy a lot of road, but why would we want to spend all of that money in London alone when it could be spent on projects which benefit the whole country (or at least much more of it than just widening a few London commuter routes)

I think that halving the time taken to get to Scotland (Edinburgh as well as Glasgow) from London is not an insignificant improvement at all and you also get big improvements in times from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool at the same time as well as big improvements for people traveling from Brum, Manc, Liverpool to Scotland too.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #715
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For 55bn there could be made quite a lot upgrades and constructions of new road stretches across the country
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #716
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August 30, 2009
NM Rothschild pitches motorway privatisation plan

Robert Watts and Dominic O’Connel

A radical plan to raise £100 billion by privatising the motorway network has been presented to the three main political parties by NM Rothschild, the influential investment bank.

Rothschild, an architect of several privatisations, made its pitch in the weeks running up to the summer recess on July 21, Whitehall sources said. Bankers told leading politicians that the sale of the roads overseen by the Highways Agency — all motorways and most big trunk roads — could help revive battered public finances.
(...)
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle6814923.ece
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Old August 30th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #717
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I hope this doesn't mean motorway tolls
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Old August 30th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #718
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Quote:
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I hope this doesn't mean motorway tolls
I'm quite sure that's what it means.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #719
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i very much doubt there will be motorway tolls in the UK. Power EU countries usually have no tolls.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:11 AM   #720
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So basically this means that motorways would stay the same except being toll.
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