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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #761
Pansori
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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #762
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There are quite a few road works... speed is limited to 50 mph
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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #763
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51.
Nearing Birmingham
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More road works
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to be continued soon...
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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #764
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8.
The famous M25. The weird thing was the traffic light at nearly every entrance to the M25... I somehow never noticed that before. This is really strange to say the least
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Those are Ramp Meters they have them at almost all West Coast Major hwy ramps in the Urban / Suburban areas and also sum areas over here too, they help control the amount of traffic entering the freeway at one time.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #765
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Excellent photos Pansori. I took the M40 a lot between the Midlands and London, but I haven't driven on that road in well over 7 years (brought back a lot of memories though). As for the M25, I barely recognize it....it seems to have gained a lot of weight (extra lanes). The gantries look different to the ones I remember though....are they new? Also, are they finally widening the M40 approaching the M42 in Birmingham? The M42 itself could have done with widening 10 years ago...hate to think how it must be now, in terms of traffic.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #766
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Excellent photos Pansori. I took the M40 a lot between the Midlands and London, but I haven't driven on that road in well over 7 years (brought back a lot of memories though). As for the M25, I barely recognize it....it seems to have gained a lot of weight (extra lanes).
There are some serious road works going on in some stretches of M25 right now. I guess they do more widening.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #767
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Amazing pictures! We haven't seen too much of the UK yet here on Highways & Autobahns (I mean continuous reports )
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Old October 9th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #768
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Amazing what you miss out while driving! Can't even believe I was there. Thanks for the photos.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #769
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You have to search high and low to find another sign designed with less imagination than this oddity.
I am sure the designer meant well but the end-result is appalling and confusing.


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11.
M25
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Nice to see something from the north-west of Europe. Good, though very noisy roads, good overall infrastructure, which by now is showing its age. Shall we say ... errr ... 'different' signage philosophy, though reasonably consistently implemented with minor exceptions.

On seeing the above picture my instinct reaction was 'a small, overcrowded island with far too many cars'. Yes, yes I know, this is the famous South East but such a sharp constrast with the open spaces of France. I always have ambivalent feelings about such over-urbanisation.


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Old October 9th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #770
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The aesthetics of these signs is below zero... There's a reason why no other country has signs like these? Any plans to improve the overheads?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #771
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Great pics. It's a shame you weren't able to catch the (fairly short - approx 2 mile) section of 6+6 lane M25 just south of the M4 intersection at Heathrow (immediately after the 5+5 lane section you captured). Anyone who chooses to drive on the south western section of the M25 during rush hour deserves a lot of sympathy. I tend to use it only at weekends when it's much more open and flows well.

And talking of madness...London to Cumbria and then back again in one day!! That's a long way. I hope you got a good rest afterwards. A single journey of that distance (~300 miles) is a long drive in my book.

Agree with Chris about the gantry signing, by the way. I think much of the signage in the UK is very good - especially away from the motorways where the quality and frequency makes it very hard to get lost. But for some reason, motorway signage can be poor quality, ugly and also inconsistent. I am sure someone will get around to making improvements one day...but this being the UK, it may take some time.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #772
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Really what is it with those people who don't like roundabouts? They offer better efficiency over conventional crossroads (by cleverly getting rid of left-turns (or right-turns in the UK)), yet are much less expensive and visually obtrusive than grade-separated junctions. If you observe lane discipline properly you shouldn't even have to change lanes - it doesn't get any more straightforward than that! Frequent roundabouts also mean if you take a wrong turning you can do a U-turn easily at the next roundabout.

As for motorway signage - IMO they are clear and consistent, and this is what's important. As for aesthetics, I don't see what's wrong with the Arial font or the blue background - it's a more subjective matter IMO.

I've worked out why most merge lanes in Britain are generous. Slip roads are usually 2-lane wide so the merge lane has to be long.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #773
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Really what is it with those people who don't like roundabouts? They offer better efficiency over conventional crossroads (by cleverly getting rid of left-turns (or right-turns in the UK)), yet are much less expensive and visually obtrusive than grade-separated junctions. If you observe lane discipline properly you shouldn't even have to change lanes - it doesn't get any more straightforward than that! Frequent roundabouts also mean if you take a wrong turning you can do a U-turn easily at the next roundabout.

As for motorway signage - IMO they are clear and consistent, and this is what's important. As for aesthetics, I don't see what's wrong with the Arial font or the blue background - it's a more subjective matter IMO.

I've worked out why most merge lanes in Britain are generous. Slip roads are usually 2-lane wide so the merge lane has to be long.
I have exactly the same opinion. Roundabouts are brilliant idea. Great to drive.
Signage is also good. Maybe some can complain about aesthetics but it perfectly does the job of guiding you while you drive.
Never had problem with finding my way, except sometimes in London madness
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Old October 9th, 2009, 11:48 PM   #774
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Really what is it with those people who don't like roundabouts?
In my opinion, excessive use of roundabouts is not necessary. You really do not need to turn every intersection with minor cross traffic into a roundabout. It only slows down through traffic. Roundabouts are a good thing for replacing traffic lights though. But it also depends on the roundabout design, for instance in the Netherlands, nearly always the minimum design is used, causing crawling lorries at every roundabout, really annoying at high trafficked roads, slowing down from 50 mph to 10 mph every 1 or 2 km at minor intersections.

Quote:
As for motorway signage - IMO they are clear and consistent, and this is what's important. As for aesthetics, I don't see what's wrong with the Arial font or the blue background - it's a more subjective matter IMO.
The font and colors are okay. The main problem is those obtrusive gantries with massive overheads like I referenced to here. Why not integrate the arrows and junction numbers within the sign and get rid of all the useless gray?

Another thing I'm not really a fan of in Britain is the layout of the road number in plain text. A box with a different color inside it would bring out the number much better, especially with the fact Britain uses a lot of brackets for indirect signage "(M6 toll), A1 (M)", that kind of stuff, which tend to make the number less visible between the other information.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 12:04 AM   #775
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Roundabouts are great in some situations. Especially when it comes to improving safety at dangerous one level junctions which are not too busy. In England, however, it seems that someone decided that roundabouts should be put everywhere and anywhere with or without reason, at busy interchanges (which need a 2 or 3 level junction) of divided A roads and streets or roads that are barely used... sometimes there are roundabouts every hundred yards or so and very often with traffic lights. Too much is too much.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #776
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To be honest though multi-level junctions are more easily said than done. The only really bad (large) roundabout I can think of is Hyde Park Corner with very heavy traffic and the roundabout itself has a lot of lanes. There's already the underpass and building more levels simply would not be practical or aesthetically justified for that part of London. Most motorway junction roundabouts do the job just fine IMO. Where there should be multi-level junctions there usually are(some M25 junctions and the Spagetti Junction).

As for roundabouts for junctions of an A-road with a very minor road - think of it that way, without the roundabout traffic on the minor road has almost no chance of crossing the dual-carriageway, and the roundabout itself serves as a traffic calming measure for the A-road.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 12:54 AM   #777
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To be honest though multi-level junctions are more easily said than done. The only really bad (large) roundabout I can think of is Hyde Park Corner with very heavy traffic and the roundabout itself has a lot of lanes. There's already the underpass and building more levels simply would not be practical or aesthetically justified for that part of London. Most motorway junction roundabouts do the job just fine IMO. Where there should be multi-level junctions there usually are(some M25 junctions and the Spagetti Junction).

As for roundabouts for junctions of an A-road with a very minor road - think of it that way, without the roundabout traffic on the minor road has almost no chance of crossing the dual-carriageway, and the roundabout itself serves as a traffic calming measure for the A-road.
What you say makes sense and after all traffic even in the worst parts of the country still keeps moving (albeit at a very slow pace sometimes ). My evaluation and conclusions are relative i.e. I'm comparing it to other countries that I had a chance to drive or be driven at (Germany, Malaysia, Singapore would be primary examples of well-developed and excellent road systems that I had a chance to explore) and I concluded that roundabouts are still evil and simply annoying and that road network can work better without them. If you have driven in the South East (especially around Brighton) you know what I mean. After some driving and all those turns on roundabouts I almost get sick and get headache. Not that it's the worst thing in the world but it could be done much better and more efficient (perhaps it would be more expensive though which, I guess, is the reason why such a system was chosen).
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Old October 10th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #778
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Let's go further...

We're somewhere near Birmingham on M6

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Truck from Czech Republic
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Old October 10th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #779
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Old October 10th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #780
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