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Old May 20th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #1121
HAWC1506
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As a former British citizen, i'm going to be blunt: the UK needs to build more motorways, screw the nimby's. It's a disgrace that there is no motorway link between Manchester and Sheffield or Newcastle and Edinburgh. It is a disgrace that London doesn't have an inner ring road. It is a disgrace that there is no south coast motorway. It is a disgrace that East Anglia has no motorway. It is a disgrace that people justify the fact that the UK lacks motorways by claiming that A roads do the job, when they do not (France, Germany and the Netherlands have high quality dual carriageways too). To my British friends: just build. It'll create jobs and you really need to have an integrated transport policy, which includes the car as well as good public transport. I lived in the West Midlands and I was one of the few who wanted the "Blue Route" (western orbital extension of the M42). I was so sick of the NIMBYism that I moved to a country that is the other extreme LOL.
If that "other country" is the United States, there's plenty of NIMBYism here as well, except that it's NIMBYism in that people don't want public transportation.

Like you said, what's needed is an integrated transport policy. Well, Britain looks like it doesn't focus on roads enough, while the U.S. doesn't focus on public transportation enough.

Let's all move to Germany.

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Didn't mean to sound harsh. On the flipside, the UK's motorways are of a very high standard IMO. The lanes are nice and wide, you have plenty of time to merge, the signage is clear and British drivers are among the best and safest in the world.

....I just wish there were more of them (motorways).
A lot of the motorway stretches in the UK are very nice, but a few (like the last one pictured above) have a sort of typical-American-ish feeling to it. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the rough pavement and the way they are paved. It seems like they paved it one lane at a time, so there's an overlap in the asphalt between the lanes. Over time that leads to cracks.

And also, 10 cm-wide pavement markings just isn't going to cut it. I think it's too thin. 15 cm minimum.

Last edited by HAWC1506; May 20th, 2010 at 05:58 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #1122
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Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
As a former British citizen, i'm going to be blunt: the UK needs to build more motorways, screw the nimby's. It's a disgrace that there is no motorway link between Manchester and Sheffield or Newcastle and Edinburgh. It is a disgrace that London doesn't have an inner ring road. It is a disgrace that there is no south coast motorway. It is a disgrace that East Anglia has no motorway. It is a disgrace that people justify the fact that the UK lacks motorways by claiming that A roads do the job, when they do not (France, Germany and the Netherlands have high quality dual carriageways too). To my British friends: just build. It'll create jobs and you really need to have an integrated transport policy, which includes the car as well as good public transport. I lived in the West Midlands and I was one of the few who wanted the "Blue Route" (western orbital extension of the M42). I was so sick of the NIMBYism that I moved to a country that is the other extreme LOL.
The danger of ignoring public opinion is that Joe Public in the UK can get pretty angry when sufficiently riled. Many anti-roads protests there were due to the planned roads going though environmentally sensitive areas.

Take the M40. When they planned to extend it north from Oxford to Birmingham, they planned to build it across Otmoor, a rare wildlife habitat. A very clever and successful plan to stop the motorway was enacted and the government had to eventually capitulate after spending millions in the courts. The road got build by diverting it around the site. The site remained undamaged, and the motorists and the government got their road. A similar thing happened in France where they had to divert the A83 Niort bypass around the north of the town to avoid a similar site to the west. It only takes one such site on a route of planned new road for this to happen.

Whenever the government decides they want a new road they need to think about the route very carefully in order to avoid damaging such sites. I love wildlife, but I also accept the reality of the need for new roads when necessary. So you can have your cake and eat it (and of course your road) if sufficient forward planning and environmental mitigation measures are put in place, otherwise you will have a sh*tfight on your hands from protesters who will do everything in their power to stop the road. With the current disillusionment in the UK with the powers that be, not listening now would be political suicide.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #1123
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The public opinion as being "anti-motorway" is severely overrated. They say the same in the Netherlands, yet on major motorway projects of 10 - 20 miles, usually about 50 - 150 official objections are sent to the road authority. These NIMBY's and anti-motorway guys get in the media all the time, but it doesn't mean they represent a large proportion of the population.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 07:36 PM   #1124
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The public opinion as being "anti-motorway" is severely overrated. They say the same in the Netherlands, yet on major motorway projects of 10 - 20 miles, usually about 50 - 150 official objections are sent to the road authority. These NIMBY's and anti-motorway guys get in the media all the time, but it doesn't mean they represent a large proportion of the population.
I'd agree, but in the UK, they have been very well organised in the past. The Otmoor anti-roads lobby bought land the motorway was due to cross and sold it by the square metre to thousands of people throughout the world. The cost and time involved tracing the owners to compulsorily purchase the land wasn't worth the effort, hence they diverted the road and saved themselves a lot of trouble in the process.

Having done my first degree in Environmental Studies, I knew that the level of objections was substantial in some cases. Many protestors will simply take direct action instead of making an 'official' protest. As I said before, it is often just one site on the proposed route that can stop a scheme. The UK is very crowded and needs many of these roads, but they need to plan the route very carefully. Some lengthy schemes have been built in the UK with more intelligent planning and relatively little protest. You can keep both sides happy with a bit of forward planning.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #1125
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I took a couple of photos on the M27 near Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago

Note the number plate of that Audi A5
image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnas/...7623950942267/
I guess the right lane is the fastet lange and the left the slowest?

Do the british drivers follow the drive left rule? The opposite of driving right and left only for overtaking.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:26 AM   #1126
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My biggest problem with those in the UK who are against motorway building for "environmental" reasons are often somewhat hypocritical. What's more damaging to the environment? A few new motorways, or clogged 'A' Roads, with severe traffic, generating awful exhaust fumes? Vehicles actually kick out more fumes and use more gasoline during "stop start" driving than they do on an open highway. Does anyone honesly believe that building maybe no more than 6 major motorways in the UK to plug the gaps and connect all major cities would somehow wreck the vast English countryside?

The UK even needs to build motorways in urban areas to aleviate congestion. Glasgow is one British city that has a real urban motorway (the M8). In my opinion, the M8 is actually a positive part of Glasgow's urbanity. Without the M8, Glasgow may not have been as appealing (contrary to those who say it ruined and divided the city). Manchester has a great network of motorways surrounding it; a proper semi-urban ringway and several motorways leading out of it. Other UK cities fair far worse though.

Integrated transport is the way to go. You need
motorways and a good mass transit system. Germany, France and the Netherlands have this, the UK does not. You cannot force people to use public transport, especially if it's ineffective (you need both).

I am going to compile a map and post it here to show how I feel tha the UK motorway network should look. It will include:

- an M27 running from Folkestone to Plymouth (the South Coast Highway I have always dreamed of)

- A34 between Winchester and M40 upgraded to motorway standard

- A1 completely converted to motorway from London to Edinburgh

- M42 made into a complete orbital motorway, beginning with the Western Orbital route first planned in the 80's

- New motorway from Manchester to Sheffield, carefully landscaped to blend in with the Peak District

- M23 extended to Brighton

- M11 extended eastwards as far as Norwich

- A semi-orbital motorway connecting the M4 at Reading to the M40 at High Wyconbe to the M1 at Luton to the M11 at Harlow, finally ending at Ipswich (this would ease congestion on the M25).

Last edited by Comfortably Numb; May 21st, 2010 at 01:34 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:28 AM   #1127
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I guess the right lane is the fastet lange and the left the slowest?

Do the british drivers follow the drive left rule? The opposite of driving right and left only for overtaking.
They do indeed and they are among the most disciplined and safest drivers on earth
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:45 AM   #1128
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Its a disgrace the A1 has not been upgraded to motorway yet between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Fair enough there is a train line but road infrastructure is needed also to connect two big cities together.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:54 AM   #1129
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Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
My biggest problem with those in the UK who are against motorway building for "environmental" reasons are often somewhat hypocritical. What's more damaging to the environment? A few new motorways, or clogged 'A' Roads, with severe traffic, generating awful exhaust fumes? Vehicles actually kick out more fumes and use more gasoline during "stop start" driving than they do on an open highway. Does anyone honesly believe that building maybe no more than 6 major motorways in the UK to plug the gaps and connect all major cities would somehow wreck the vast English countryside?

The UK even needs to build motorways in urban areas to aleviate congestion. Glasgow is one British city that has a real urban motorway (the M8). In my opinion, the M8 is actually a positive part of Glasgow's urbanity. Without the M8, Glasgow may not have been as appealing (contrary to those who say it ruined and divided the city). Manchester has a great network of motorways surrounding it; a proper semi-urban ringway and several motorways leading out of it. Other UK cities fair far worse though.

Integrated transport is the way to go. You need
motorways and a good mass transit system. Germany, France and the Netherlands have this, the UK does not. You cannot force people to use public transport, especially if it's ineffective (you need both).

I am going to compile a map and post it here to show how I feel tha the UK motorway network should look. It will include:

- an M27 running from Folkestone to Plymouth (the South Coast Highway I have always dreamed of)

- A34 between Winchester and M40 upgraded to motorway standard

- A1 completely converted to motorway from London to Edinburgh

- M42 made into a complete orbital motorway, beginning with the Western Orbital route first planned in the 80's

- New motorway from Manchester to Sheffield, carefully landscaped to blend in with the Peak District

- M23 extended to Brighton

- M11 extended eastwards as far as Norwich

- A semi-orbital motorway connecting the M4 at Reading to the M40 at High Wyconbe to the M1 at Luton to the M11 at Harlow, finally ending at Ipswich (this would ease congestion on the M25).

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Old May 21st, 2010, 03:27 AM   #1130
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Just curious, would you rather have a motorway run through the city or around it (like a beltway)?
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Old May 21st, 2010, 03:37 AM   #1131
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Just curious, would you rather have a motorway run through the city or around it (like a beltway)?
Depends on the city. In Glasgow's case, the M8 works well and they're actually upgrading the M77 too. In other cities such as London, an inner city motorway is now probably just a pipe dream, although I would have loved to have seen London build a ring road (kind of like the one in Paris) many years ago. Such roads do not necessarily destroy a city and often will actually enhance it.

Anyway, this is my god-awful UK motorway expansion plan (sorry for the awful quality but I'd rather try to just make a point instead of being artistic LOL):

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Old May 21st, 2010, 06:46 AM   #1132
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A few of these are already pretty high standard A roads. The A34 is continuous for most of the length you highlighted, turning it into motorway would be difficult as there are quite a few villages that are only connected to that road.

The A38 is also like that from where the M5 ends and past Plymouth, I think the road is to hilly though to be upgraded and it does a reasonably good job as it is.

I do think something has to be done on the south coast though, I have driven Southampton to Plymouth and it takes ages, I remember getting confused around Ringwood thinking this can't be the main route. However Dorset is quite a rural place and any road building would have massive opposition.

A few small things seem to get a lot of opposition though. My hometown of Bristol had massive opposition to its ringroad but now you couldn't live without it, what it needs though is a tiny link road to attach it directly to the M4 in the east as at one point it is parallel to the motorway and a lot of traffic has to go on a massive detour to join the motorway.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 01:32 AM   #1133
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I guess the right lane is the fastet lange and the left the slowest?

Do the british drivers follow the drive left rule? The opposite of driving right and left only for overtaking.
Yeah, but a hell of a lot of them sit in the middle lane at 60mph even when the inside lane is empty
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 01:52 AM   #1134
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Yeah, but a hell of a lot of them sit in the middle lane at 60mph even when the inside lane is empty
I gues this is because virtually all (or at least all main ones) of British motorways are 3+3. Elsewhere in Europe many motorways are 2+2 including the "ultimate" example Germany. It is natural that those who are more used to drive on a 2+2 motorway will tend to keep on the right lane even on a 3+3 or a 4+4 road while those who have only driven on 3+3 may unconsciously assume that it's ok to drive in the middle lane as long as they're not blocking the way for those on the fastest lane. It's not ok, of course. I very much disapprove and disrespect such behaviour. Faster lanes, no matter the middle one or the right one, should be used only to overtake an obstacle and for that purpose only. It's not rocket science really.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #1135
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A few small things seem to get a lot of opposition though. My hometown of Bristol had massive opposition to its ringroad but now you couldn't live without it, what it needs though is a tiny link road to attach it directly to the M4 in the east as at one point it is parallel to the motorway and a lot of traffic has to go on a massive detour to join the motorway.
Yes, f*** all those NIMBYs who have brought the South Bristol Ring Road to its knees, because of them I have had heavy freight and traffic moving up and down my road for the past several years and will most probably still have that in the future. A high quality, 2+2 grade separated motorway is needed from at least Bristol International, up to the M32/M4 junction and then onto Patchway and down to Long Ashton. Problem is in the West of the city there isn't really a lot of room, but the East and Southern side could at least be completed. The existing A4174 can provide for much of that route.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #1136
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Depends on the city. In Glasgow's case, the M8 works well and they're actually upgrading the M77 too. In other cities such as London, an inner city motorway is now probably just a pipe dream, although I would have loved to have seen London build a ring road (kind of like the one in Paris) many years ago. Such roads do not necessarily destroy a city and often will actually enhance it.

Anyway, this is my god-awful UK motorway expansion plan (sorry for the awful quality but I'd rather try to just make a point instead of being artistic LOL):

Just a few thoughts:

Why not continue the A1(M) northwards across the Forth Road Bridge to Dundee (population: 155,000) or even Aberdeen (200,000). Neither are currently connected to a motorway. If it went to Aberdeen it would force something to be done about the Bridge of Dee bottleneck.

The M2 does need extending in both directions either London to Dover or London to Margate. If the latter option is taken then the M20 should be extended the 8 miles to reach Dover. Either way London-Dover needs to be connected by a continuous motorway.

I would be tempted to make the M11 branch off at Cambridge and go directly to Norwich rather than dog-leg via King's Lynn. Then have a separate motorway (the M47 perhaps) running from Great Yarmouth via Norwich and King's Lynn and joining up with the A1(M) at Peterborough or the M1/M69 at Leicester.

The A14 does need at least widening to 3 lanes each way for its entire length. Also it needs to be the through-route on its junctions with the M11 and A1(M)

I never figured out why the M23 and M42 were not completed all the way to their obvious termination points either.

The Manchester to Sheffield Motorway A57(M) is a good idea but it will never be built because the Peak District National Park is in the way.

The North Wales Motorway A55(M) should be extended all the way to the port at Holyhead.

If an A65(M) was built between Leeds and Cumbria then why not have the existing M65 connect to it as well?

Arguably the South Coast Motorway should be extended all the way to Penzance. Anyone who has ever been to Cornwall during a bank holiday knows what I'm talking about. The traffic is bumper-to-bumper. It would make more sense (and be cheaper) if the SCM connected to the M5 at Exeter and then the M5 was extended south and west to Torquay, Plymouth and Penzance rather than 2 separate but parallel roads which is what it looks like on the map.

And a few of extra suggestions:

An M4 extention to either Pembroke Dock or Fishguard (or both), hopefully bringing a much needed economic boost to a deprived area.

Extend the M9 to Perth and the M90 to at least to Dundee.

Extend the M50 north to Hereford or south to Newport so that it stops being Britain's most pointless motorway.

Extend the M54 to Shrewsbury.

Extend the M62 to Hull.

An A64(M) going from A1(M) to Scarborough via York.

Extend the M180 to Grimsby.

An M406 Inner London Ringroad.

Connect the 2 sections of the M8 and extend west to Greenock.

Connect the 2 sections of the M80.

Those are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #1137
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Extend the M54 to Shrewsbury.
I actually prefer the road when it becomes the A5 after the motorway ends. The M54 is a 2+2 anyway so there is no loss of capacity when it turns into the A5, the A5 is better surfaced, nice and straight, usually fairly quiet and there are no roundabouts or junctions until you get to the shrewsbury bypass. You can easily cruise the whole way from the end of the M54 to shrewsbury at a constant 85mph.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 03:10 AM   #1138
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^I like the A5 after Shrewsbury, up to Oswestry. When I'm going home from Cardiff to North Wales I look forward to that bit, it's fast and wide with plenty of places to overtake, as well as the new bypass section. It's great after the horrible, slow A49 along the borders.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #1139
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They do indeed and they are among the most disciplined and safest drivers on earth
There are way too many middle lane cruisers -slowing everyone down.

so annoying. many drivers are just oblivious to the huge tailback they are causing by hogging the middle lane, or even the fast lane. we need motorway driving to be put into the driving test somehow.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 04:16 AM   #1140
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There are way too many middle lane cruisers -slowing everyone down.

so annoying. many drivers are just oblivious to the huge tailback they are causing by hogging the middle lane, or even the fast lane. we need motorway driving to be put into the driving test somehow.
That's a problem over here too. Drivers even hog the far outside lane, which should be the fast lane (people overtake from all lanes here). It's actually quite dangerous, especially if you're trying to legitimately change lanes.
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