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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:08 AM   #1021
NCT
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As far as London is concerned public transport is the only way forward. Apart from Upgrading the South Circular Road and a few bottle neck removals that might just be realistic, there's no chance for a wholesale overhaul - the costs will far far outweigh the benefits.

As for not having proper motorways - the primary determining factor should be the volume of traffic. If there's not enough traffic to warrant segregation of local and long-distance traffic then I'm afraid one has to go with the compromise - green dual-carriageways. The A27 links Portmouth with Brighton, neither of which are that big (in terms of size or population). 14 roundabouts are perhaps a bit of an overkill, but I doubt they add more than 10 minutes to journey time. The small roads they link with don't justify grade-separated junctions. The only problem is around Worthing where it meets the A24, but that's hardly a fundamental motorway/non-motorway problem is it.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:21 AM   #1022
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As far as London is concerned public transport is the only way forward. Apart from Upgrading the South Circular Road and a few bottle neck removals that might just be realistic, there's no chance for a wholesale overhaul - the costs will far far outweigh the benefits.

As for not having proper motorways - the primary determining factor should be the volume of traffic. If there's not enough traffic to warrant segregation of local and long-distance traffic then I'm afraid one has to go with the compromise - green dual-carriageways. The A27 links Portmouth with Brighton, neither of which are that big (in terms of size or population). 14 roundabouts are perhaps a bit of an overkill, but I doubt they add more than 10 minutes to journey time. The small roads they link with don't justify grade-separated junctions. The only problem is around Worthing where it meets the A24, but that's hardly a fundamental motorway/non-motorway problem is it.
10 Minutes? I wouldn't say so. One thing that is obvious is that it causes horrific traffic jams (especially in the spot I linked in Google maps) due to roundabouts. There is a fundamental problem with road transportation in that area and one of the main reasons is lack of motorways (or whatever you call a grade separated dual-carriageway with relevant capacity).

Indeed, it would be interesting to see the traffic volume figures for A27, however the fact that it often turns into one giant traffic-jam probably means that volumes are high enough to make some changes (if not make it a motorway then remove the roundabouts or other grade junctions).

I just can't understand anyone actually defending such a situation. It must be the worst example of traffic I have ever seen anywhere during my lifetime (except of London, of course).
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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:38 AM   #1023
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10 Minutes? I wouldn't say so. One thing that is obvious is that it causes horrific traffic jams (especially in the spot I linked in Google maps) due to roundabouts. There is a fundamental problem with road transportation in that area and one of the main reasons is lack of motorways (or whatever you call a grade separated dual-carriageway with relevant capacity).

Indeed, it would be interesting to see the traffic volume figures for A27, however the fact that it often turns into one giant traffic-jam probably means that volumes are high enough to make some changes (if not make it a motorway then remove the roundabouts or other grade junctions).

I just can't understand anyone actually defending such a situation. It must be the worst example of traffic I have ever seen anywhere during my lifetime (except of London, of course).
I guess some of the points you make are valid. Seems that there's indeed scope for local bottle-neck removals, probably around Chichester where roundabout proliferation is verging on the insufferable. The problem is this road is in the South Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you can't really have large-scale obtuse concrete structures. The railway line will probably need to play a bigger role.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:59 AM   #1024
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10 Minutes? I wouldn't say so. One thing that is obvious is that it causes horrific traffic jams (especially in the spot I linked in Google maps) due to roundabouts. There is a fundamental problem with road transportation in that area and one of the main reasons is lack of motorways (or whatever you call a grade separated dual-carriageway with relevant capacity).
I live in this area and can confirm high volume of traffic on A27. In particular in high season that road is really overcrowded. Even if the grade separated stretch connecting Portsmouth with Chichester is not the most representative section to show traffic jams, though, as soon as one approach first roundabout in Chichester, may be certain to be stuck in the queue, for much longer than 10 minutes. A trip to Brighton or further might turn to a real nightmare then.

Another example in Southern England is A31 going around Poole/Bournemouth conurbation. Summertime Fridays, when Londoners plan to visit seaside or Sundays' evenings when are coming back to the Capital, make this road together with western part of M27 and southern end of M3, something similar to M25 in peak hours.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:17 PM   #1025
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Do other countries in Western Europe have the quirkeness of the British system, of having an A type 'motorwayish' road(the expressways like the A42 or the A50 discussed above), which suddenly come to a full stop because of a roundabout and then turn into a 'motorwayish'(expressway) again.

Where i am from originally, California, these sort of roads are rare. Almost all motorway roads(Interstates and California built freeways) all connect to each other seamlessly, without one ending for a short time, and beginning again. Yes, I know there are exceptions but for the most part the whole system works as one unit. I don't see that here.

Has any politician ever put forth a strategy(serious or otherwise) that would integrate all of the UK's motorways(and A dual carriageway expressways) into one seamless unit?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:23 PM   #1026
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A lot of European countries have near-motorway roads, but those are usually continuously grade-separated roads, like the Voie Expresse in France, Superstrada in Italy, Droga Ekspresowa in Poland, Autobahnähnliche Straße in Germany, etc.

I think such roads as in the UK with roundabouts in otherwise dual carriageways with limited access are rare.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #1027
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Old March 24th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #1028
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A lot of European countries have near-motorway roads, but those are usually continuously grade-separated roads, like the Voie Expresse in France, Superstrada in Italy, Droga Ekspresowa in Poland, Autobahnähnliche Straße in Germany, etc.

I think such roads as in the UK with roundabouts in otherwise dual carriageways with limited access are rare.
But "Droga Ekspresowa" (expressway - lower road parameters than real Motorway in PL) doesn't have any roundabouts, traffic lights and that kind of traffic blockers. At least as far as I know.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #1029
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I think generally if you live in the urban core of the country - that is the are running up through the spine of England, then you can generally expect to have either motorway or expressway style roads WITHOUT roundabouts etc. stopping you. For instance, I drove up to my house in the midlands south of Birmingham recently from Dover without stopping using grade sperated junctions along the M20, M26, M25, M40 and very quickly too. Because we are an island, if you try and go off towards the edges, somtimes your gonna hit roads that are not always going to be grade seperated - we don't join to other countries, so we don't have HGV's running too and from other places in the same numbers as Europe. OK, at certain times of the year, we are going to have heavy traffic on routes in SW and SE such as school holidays - but we can we justify more roads just for these short peridos when lots of us are in our cars? DOn't get me wrong some routes DO need upgrading, but generally, I can get on the M5 or M40, and go to almost anywhere quickly and grade seperated routes. I know Netherlands and Belgium have much higher densities of motorway but they are very flat, and don't really have landscape to protect in the same way we do (and please don't take offence if you are from these tow countries because i like them both and visit regularly). By the way - I have hit terrible jams driving through France and Italy at cetain toll plazas, and accessing autoroutes/autostradas. At least we don't have that problem (Well, generally don't have that problem as M6 Toll so expensive no one uses it - the only place for potential jams although there maybe jams on the severn crossings but I don't use them. I know Dartford crossings have jams....)
Also, people power in the UK is actually quite high when compared to somewhere like France - yes it can be a pain sometimes when we really need a new road, but it can be great when we stop a mine or quarry being built. Works both ways. For thoose who are asking for map showing motorway and motorway like roads, this one shows motorways in blue, and then the green roads shown are generally dual-carriageways like motorways and are grade seperated for most of the stretches shown. When you look at it from this perspective, we really are not doing too badly. It also shows the gaps that need filling in. The second image shows lanes on motorways, although maybe out of date, as parts of the M25 are now x4 lanes, and other motorways such as M42 aorund Birmingham now have x4 lanes with the new hard shoulder running scheme.


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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #1030
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website for images in above post if havent worked properly

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/reference/netw...g/mwayvsap.gif
http://www.cbrd.co.uk/reference/network/img/lanes.gif
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #1031
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But "Droga Ekspresowa" (expressway - lower road parameters than real Motorway in PL) doesn't have any roundabouts, traffic lights and that kind of traffic blockers. At least as far as I know.
Poland too has non-restricted dual carriageways, but they're not expressways.

Same with California (and the rest of the US): There are lots of US routes that are dual carriageways but non-restricted, run through town centers, etc. It seems to me even some rural interstate roads are not fully restricted in the European sense; you're much less likely to see this on a motorway in Europe, UK included. (Not saying this is a bad thing, these roads are more desolate than any motorway in Europe)
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:36 PM   #1032
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That's just a turnaround possibility for emergency services or cops.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #1033
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Yes, but it's not physically restricted like this or this. I don't know if "commoners" use it, and I don't see why they shouldn't, in the middle of nowhere with no other cars around.

Last edited by Maxx☢Power; March 24th, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:00 AM   #1034
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Yes, but it's not physically restricted like this or this. I don't know if "commoners" use it, and I don't see why they shouldn't, in the middle of nowhere with no other cars around.
They are not physically restricted so emergency services (ambulance, cops) can use it anytime. Pictures you shown in Europe show places used to switch traffic from one carriageway to another during renovations etc. Lack of such open crossings in Europe might have severe drawbacks during emergency situations but they can't be used as lack of wide median requires continuous safety barrier.
It is not an issue in USA. You have to also consider that distances are quite long in rural USA so cops have to be able to turn around more often as they have more ground to cover during their patrols than in Europe. Sometimes next exit is miles away and there is no other town around the corner to call for backup if something is happening on the "other side".

Only once I saw "commoner" using these sort of connection. They are all clearly marked as "not for public" and penalty for using them might be way, way higher than for speeding or other "regular" offenses as far as i know
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #1035
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Estonia has such "gaps" in the median as well on it's dual carriegeways but the traffic law in Estonia says that you can cross the median only when it's allowed by a sign. I think this is the case in other countries as well.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:13 PM   #1036
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Only once I saw "commoner" using these sort of connection. They are all clearly marked as "not for public" and penalty for using them might be way, way higher than for speeding or other "regular" offenses as far as I know
They are typically marked "official use only" or similar. It is not unknown for members of the general public to use them, even though it is unlawful; I have done it myself on several occasions, usually to escape traffic jams. I don't think use of them is punished more severely than speeding in most states.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 03:38 AM   #1037
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They are typically marked "official use only" or similar.
I couldn't remember exact wording.

Quote:
It is not unknown for members of the general public to use them, even though it is unlawful; I have done it myself on several occasions, usually to escape traffic jams. I don't think use of them is punished more severely than speeding in most states.
Strange, I've drove thousands of miles on US interstates and saw people doing this sort of shortcut only once, in rural Nevada.
Maybe it depends from the region?

PS. I've just realized we did quite an OT. Maybe it can be moved to US interstates thread
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Old March 29th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #1038
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Old March 29th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #1039
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A rural Surrey road

M1/M6 split.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 03:23 AM   #1040
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you're much less likely to see this on a motorway in Europe, UK included.
Those are generally accompanied by a small sign meant only for drivers attempting to take that turn reading "emergency vehicles only" - there are several of those on Interstate highways in my vicinity.
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