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Old April 29th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #1081
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Old April 29th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #1082
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You could be correct, can anyone confirm or deny this?
Firefly is right. The A75/A77 itinerary in particular sticks out like a sore thumb--except for a short length around Castle Douglas, none of it is dualled, let alone comprehensively grade-separated.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #1083
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I don't get all the hate for roundabouts in this thread. Is it just because most of you aren't used to using them? Even if we do have them at weird places (like on motorway intersections), once you're used to using a roundabout it's much quicker, it keeps traffic flowing, and with so many I think the UK highway authorities (largely) know what they're doing. There are roundabouts with unnecessary traffic lights and some are less than ideally laid out, but for the most part they work. This desire to see the UK entirely linked by flyovers and overpasses is pipe-dreaming from people who don't see the bigger budgetary constraints and the fact that such a network simply isn't needed when roundabouts work so well.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1084
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The thing with roundabouts is that they are great at low traffic levels and connect roads up nicely. But when they jam up they jam up mercilessly and are an awful nuisance.

Especially in the UK where there is such vehement opposition to any road scheme so a lot of these roundabouts cant be replaced.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #1085
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I don't get all the hate for roundabouts in this thread. Is it just because most of you aren't used to using them? Even if we do have them at weird places (like on motorway intersections), once you're used to using a roundabout it's much quicker, it keeps traffic flowing, and with so many I think the UK highway authorities (largely) know what they're doing. There are roundabouts with unnecessary traffic lights and some are less than ideally laid out, but for the most part they work. This desire to see the UK entirely linked by flyovers and overpasses is pipe-dreaming from people who don't see the bigger budgetary constraints and the fact that such a network simply isn't needed when roundabouts work so well.
I for one love roundabouts, I think they should be plastered all over my native land of California(they are at least putting some in here and there).

What I am concerned about is drivers being able to get from point a to point b and back to point a again in the easiest smoothest way. Roundabouts don't, in my opinion, belong when people are going 60-70mph. It breaks up the continuity of the journey, creates more pollution and exhaust having a whole mess of cars having to go from 70 to 1/2/3 mph, then back to 70 again and finally is bad for fuel consumption.

Am I missing any other reasons? Again, roundabouts are great, they are much safer than traffic "lighted" junctions any day. But if you going to create a motorway/expressway network, do exactly that, not piecemeal it together.

Isn't there an argument from a "systems" point of view to having one integrated network/system? If we have any experts that can help me explain it better, I would appreciate it.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #1086
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Firefly is right. The A75/A77 itinerary in particular sticks out like a sore thumb--except for a short length around Castle Douglas, none of it is dualled, let alone comprehensively grade-separated.
OK, I appreciate it, then that Google Map doesn't show what I thought it did.... :-( I'm still hoping to find that perfect UK road map, one that has the motorways in one colour, the primary dual carriageways in another colour, and the other sorts of A and B roads still in other colours. Maybe I should make one myself.... if only I had the time. :-)
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #1087
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Apologies if this has been discussed in the previous 50-odd pages....

How do British people refer to roads with numbers like Ax(M) in casual conversation (a) with road enthusiasts, (b) with normal people :-) ?
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #1088
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Google Maps tries to follow local mapping conventions. In the case of Britain this is blue for motorways and green for primary routes, and some combination of red, yellow, and white for other roads. Some mappers try to establish a distinction between local authority principal routes and other roads.

In general, the primary route network is a type of reseau vert which includes roads of basically all types of construction, ranging from full American-style freeway down to single-carriageway roads (maybe even single-track in the Scottish Highlands). Much the same is true of local authority principal roads.

If you made a complete map of roads in Britain which met the AASHTO definition of a freeway, it would include nearly all of the motorway network (probably all of it now that the A6144(M) anomaly has been despecialized), a fair chunk but by no means all of the primary route network, and a few bits here and there of the principal road network.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:23 AM   #1089
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The United Kingdom is the only country in Europe which uses roundabouts on motorway-like roads extensively. Other countries with significant networks of near-motorways (France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy) do not have a large number of roundabouts on such roads.
I know the UK uses a lot of roundabouts, but it has plenty of stretches of practically motorway-standard highways that have no roundabouts.

Don't believe me -- just take a drive down large stretches of the A14, A45, A34, A1, A55, A303, A3, A23, A30, A42, A13 and A19 (to name but a few of the high quality trunk roads I've had the pleasure of driving on in my time).

I agree though -- the UK needs more motorways, in places. For example, the M27 should cover most of the south coast. The M11 should be extended eastwards to Norwich. The A1 should be upgraded to motorway standard from London to Edinburgh (its entirety). Manchester and Sheffield badly need a direct motorway link. My former home of the Black Country (west of Birmingham) badly needs a western orbital motorway, which has been on the drawing board for 22 years. Call me wild, but I have also always felt that London always needed its motorways to go into the semi-heart of London, ending at an inner ring road, much like Paris's Peripherique.

That always frustrated me about the UK -- the NIMBYism when it came to the building of new roads. Roads don't have to destroy the environment and they can actually help to keep traffic out of congested places, thus reducing pollution. New roads also = jobs.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #1090
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An 'Outer M25' would be really useful as well. Linking together the commuter towns ringing London and taking a lot of pressure off the M25.

Part of the reason that opposition to motorways became so strong I think links in with the general feeling in the 80s that the government of the day simply didn't listen to the electorate. When they decided to build motorways/dual carriageways through environmentally sensitive areas, they pushed through certain schemes-which could have been carried out more sensitively-regardless of vocal opposition. When you do this enough times you create a strong 'anti' lobby, not least because of rapidly increasing environmental awareness in the 80s.

In consequence, that Tory government and subsequent labour governments became so sensitive to the idea of building motorways, that they cancelled or shelved a number of schemes for fear of alienating voters. Some road schemes that did go ahead are motorways in all but name, because somehow building a 'dual carriageway' seemed less environmentally damaging than building a motorway, even if they were practically the same thing. It's all in the packaging and labelling.

Interestingly, Scotland appears to be the exception. There, quite a few proper motorways have appeared in the last couple of decades. They're building a few other extensions as I type this. Any Scottish posters wish to enlighten us as to why this should be?
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 05:20 AM   #1091
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Old May 4th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #1092
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Does anyone have any idea why primary dual carriages(expressways) have the same speed limit as motorways if, they are not quite up to the same safety standards such as raised kerbs(curbs), lack of hard shoulder, shorter entrance ramps, etc...?

I would assume that if the safety standards are not quite as high as motorways, the speed limit would be a bit lower, such as 65 or something.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #1093
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The speed limit for dual carriageways in the UK is the same as that for motorways, i.e. 70 mph (unless sign posted otherwise).
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #1094
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyCastle View Post
Does anyone have any idea why primary dual carriages(expressways) have the same speed limit as motorways if, they are not quite up to the same safety standards such as raised kerbs(curbs), lack of hard shoulder, shorter entrance ramps, etc...?

I would assume that if the safety standards are not quite as high as motorways, the speed limit would be a bit lower, such as 65 or something.
I think the ****-up is the other way round on British motorways, namely, the motorway speed limit is too low and should be raised to 75 mph or 80 mph.

Remember, 70 mph is a mere 112.7 km/h, which is a typical speed limit for a well-designed dual carriageway in continental Europe.
In most EU countries you'll find that the motorway speed limit is 120 km/h or 130 km/h, which is 74.6 mph or 80.8 mph, respectively, while dual carriageway speed limits are more or less in line with the British 70 mph.

So if a copper stops you doing 80 mph on the M1 just reassure him that it is perfectly safe and that you were just keeping up with your continental cousins.



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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #1095
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I think simplicity is also a factor. It's much easier to have one rule for 'national speed limit' than to have separate speed limits. Not always, but generally, lower traffic volumes on dual-carriageways warrant the same speed limit even though design standards are lower than motorways. The argument that motorway speed limit is too low is I suppose valid to an extent - people do travel at 80mph in the 2nd and 3rd lanes and that's pretty much accepted.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #1096
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I think simplicity is also a factor. It's much easier to have one rule for 'national speed limit' than to have separate speed limits. Not always, but generally, lower traffic volumes on dual-carriageways warrant the same speed limit even though design standards are lower than motorways. The argument that motorway speed limit is too low is I suppose valid to an extent - people do travel at 80mph in the 2nd and 3rd lanes and that's pretty much accepted.
Unless things have changed since I left, going over 70mph is no big deal. My average speed on the motorway was 85-90 and I never once got pulled over by the police. In fact, I've done well over 100mph and never been pulled (when it was safe to do so, of course).
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #1097
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Unless things have changed since I left, going over 70mph is no big deal. My average speed on the motorway was 85-90 and I never once got pulled over by the police. In fact, I've done well over 100mph and never been pulled (when it was safe to do so, of course).
The police are not actually interested in you travelling at 90mph on a motorway because the marginal risk is minimal. Where the marginal risk is high is around the 30mph area where there's a lot of pedestrian interaction as the boundary between life and death upon impact is around the 30mph mark.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #1098
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The police are not actually interested in you travelling at 90mph on a motorway because the marginal risk is minimal. Where the marginal risk is high is around the 30mph area where there's a lot of pedestrian interaction as the boundary between life and death upon impact is around the 30mph mark.
That's a very optimistic point of view - I see a lot more camera vans on the M4 then I ever do anywhere else, indeed the M4 is where I got caught doing 90 (3 points and a £60 fine). You'd think they would patrol around schools and accident blackspots, but of course you'll raise a lot more revenue on the motorways because there is more traffic, and generally it's assumed a safer place to speed. Camera vans in this country have a lot less to do with road safety than they do with revenue generation.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #1099
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There are two types of enforcement; static enforcement with fixed speed cameras or mobile speed camera teams, or (undercover) police that is patrolling the roads. The latter may not be interested in you if you're doing 80, but the first will capture your plate and send you a bill.

Unfortunately, the first is the best in terms of revenue, the second the best in traffic safety (pulling the guys over who are actually driving dangerous).
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #1100
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Call me wild, but I have also always felt that London always needed its motorways to go into the semi-heart of London, ending at an inner ring road, much like Paris's Peripherique.
You do know that something like that was planned during the 60's/70's, right?

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/ringways/
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