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Old August 3rd, 2010, 12:14 AM   #1321
Jeroen669
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I took the ferry Dover - Dunkirk (in both directions), so yes I've driven through the south of England as well. But remember it was just my first impression, maybe I'd think a little differently if I'd live there.

Quote:
Perhaps mainland Europe gives a lot less detail on it's signs - AFAICS, the sign sets we use are pretty much the same, and European countries often use plates, like we do, to give further info.
I mean that sometimes the message can be given on a easier way. Some examples: "Stop here when light shows red" (that's obvious, and even if it isn't a solid line is clear enough), the huge graphical sign to show a truck overtaking ban (can be much simplier), the "keep clear" markings (a big cross shows enough). Just some small things, though.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:10 AM   #1322
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The 'take a break' 'tiredness kills' etc. signs are standard on motorways...maybe he was referring to those? plenty on the m6 towards glasgow for example

anyway yes signage can be too regional....you need to reach around Birmingham before seeing signs for London when travelling down the M6 from say Manchester or Liverpool.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:53 AM   #1323
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Originally Posted by niterider View Post
The 'take a break' 'tiredness kills' etc. signs are standard on motorways...maybe he was referring to those? plenty on the m6 towards glasgow for example

anyway yes signage can be too regional....you need to reach around Birmingham before seeing signs for London when travelling down the M6 from say Manchester or Liverpool.
They're regional because the UK is an island and most people automatically know how to get to bigger cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow or Liverpool. In other words, you don't need a sign on the M62 in Liverpool showing you the direction to London. People just know. Signage tends to point to smaller towns and cities because people who aren't familiar with the particular area may not know where to exit for Wigan, Northampton, Luton or Reading. The M6 through urban Birmingham/West Midlands will direct you towards places like Wednesbury, Wolverhampton, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, for example...far more useful.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 07:35 PM   #1324
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Hi all,

Been busy, haven't had a chance to post anything here in a couple months, it's good to be back.

Was having a conversation with something recently, and I told them that in 2007, I purchased a UK car and drove it to Norway and back(yes, I had insurance)on my US driver's license(California). He told me that what I did was illegal. I could have rented a car in London and drove it to France, but in no way was I allowed to purchase a British car and drive it to Europe.

I have no idea where else to post this question, so sorry if it's in the wrong area. Anyone know if I was truly in the wrong or does this guy not know what I he's talking about.

If I had been stopped by the police, say in France or The Netherlands, and presented my California license yet with proof that I owned the British car, what would they have possibly done? I am now living in the UK, and have a UK licence, so this wouldn't be an issue for me anymore, but I never gave it any thought until recently!

Thanks for info, I am curious as to whether I broke the law or not! :-) I'll post this question in the French or Dutch motorways as well and see what people say.

Last edited by JeremyCastle; August 3rd, 2010 at 07:36 PM. Reason: I'm a bad speller!
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:32 PM   #1325
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I don't know for sure but I find it difficult to see what the problem would be, so long as you produced the relevant documentation.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:41 PM   #1326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
... the UK is an island and most people automatically know how to get to bigger cities ...
An interesting point of view, not sure if I entirely know what you are on about.

What Jeroen was talking about were are so-called control cities. I had a look at the British spec (www.dft.gov.uk) and I can see why Jeroen was aghast and bemused - his expectations were simply different. Here is how a typical British motorway exit (junction) is signed:

[A] Advance direction sign - at 1m and 1/2 m you get your destination cities, like so:


Note that there are no control cities above the main arrow, nor do you get the motorway number above the main arrow, which is what a typical Continental European would expect.


[B] Direction sign - then, at the beginning of the deceleration lane (slip road) you get this:

Here you get the works, apart from the motorway number.


[C] Confirmation/reassurance sign - finally, at the end of the slip road, where the slip road physically splits off from the main carriageway, you get a reassurance sign with the number of your destination road:



To the average Continental this is a little back to front, shall we say. The expected sequence would be:
- at 1 mile and 1/2 mile, sign [B]
- beginning of slip road, something like sign [A]
- end of slip road, something like sign [C] but with 'Uit' for a Dutchman


On the Continent you are typically given all of the information up front so you can make early decisions and plan ahead. This is followed by 1-3 repeat/reassurance signs that you have made the correct decisions. In Britain I guess the motivation behind this kind of approach to signage is to reduce the amount of information on the signs, particularly since the road numbers are so large and domineering.

For comparison, here is the new Dutch spec:




---------------------------


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyCastle
... He told me that what I did was illegal. ...
Let me get this right:
- you are the legal owner of the car
- you are insured to drive outside the UK and have a valid green card for countries you wish to visit
- you have a valid US driving licence
- you are not in trouble with the law


I can't see what the issue can be. As far as I know, 'greater' EU and US have reciprocal arrangements recognising each other's driving licences. The rest is just paperwork that anyone can arrange via routine channels.
Beats me!

Ask your friend to be crystal clear exactly where he sees a problem.


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Old August 5th, 2010, 02:45 AM   #1327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyCastle View Post
Hi all,

Been busy, haven't had a chance to post anything here in a couple months, it's good to be back.

Was having a conversation with something recently, and I told them that in 2007, I purchased a UK car and drove it to Norway and back(yes, I had insurance)on my US driver's license(California). He told me that what I did was illegal. I could have rented a car in London and drove it to France, but in no way was I allowed to purchase a British car and drive it to Europe.

I have no idea where else to post this question, so sorry if it's in the wrong area. Anyone know if I was truly in the wrong or does this guy not know what I he's talking about.

If I had been stopped by the police, say in France or The Netherlands, and presented my California license yet with proof that I owned the British car, what would they have possibly done? I am now living in the UK, and have a UK licence, so this wouldn't be an issue for me anymore, but I never gave it any thought until recently!

Thanks for info, I am curious as to whether I broke the law or not! :-) I'll post this question in the French or Dutch motorways as well and see what people say.
Hilariously, something similar to this was on an episode of Parking Wars on A&E. In that episode, a guy from Israel came to the US for three months and rather than rent a car, he purchased one. He had it registered correctly and everything, but during a routine traffic stop, the cop told him that it was illegal to own and register a car in the US and have a foreign driver's license. The car was immediately impounded (hence its inclusion on PW). Now, if he had just driving a car he had rented, it would have been fine. But apparently it is illegal to purchase and register a car with a foreign driver's license. In the end, he had to get a friend to come get his card out for him.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #1328
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The M4/M25 motorway junction, near Heathrow Airport

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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #1329
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Must be the busiest junction in the country right?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #1330
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Yes, the M25 south of M4 is the busiest motorway section in the country; 210,000 vehicles per day.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:02 AM   #1331
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Thanks, that number is certainly greatly boosted by the presence of the nearby London Heathrow Airport.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #1332
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Yes, the M25 south of M4 is the busiest motorway section in the country; 210,000 vehicles per day.
I wonder what the quietest section of motorway in the country is? The M50?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #1333
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M45: 9,500 vehicles per day near Rugby.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #1334
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The UK's motorways are generally good and well-maintained. The main problem is that it isn't really extensive enough with no significant development since the early 1990s. The last I think was the completion of the M3 through Twyford Down, which caused such protests that things ground to a halt after that.

My main gripe is the signage - it's often cluttered, a little confusing and aesthetically bland on ugly gantries.

Compare the signage approaching the M4/M5 Almondsbury Interchange just north of Bristol, UK with that approaching the N2/N3 E.B. Cloete Interchange in South Africa. They are comparable in my opinion as they are both four-level stack interchanges where two major routes cross.

Almondsbury:

image hosted on flickr



E.B. Cloete:

image hosted on flickr



The other thing that I find a little annoying is that roads just a few hundred metres long get motorway designations and numbers when a simple name would surely suffice.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #1335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed110220 View Post
The UK's motorways are generally good and well-maintained. The main problem is that it isn't really extensive enough with no significant development since the early 1990s. The last I think was the completion of the M3 through Twyford Down, which caused such protests that things ground to a halt after that.
Not so long ago I would have also considered that a problem but now I view it as a good thing. Here in Australia we extensive motorways but they are not as well maintained as UK motorways and often go right through city centres, destroying the very heart of the city. The UK could do with i bit road widening in places but no new motorway please.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #1336
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Originally Posted by mtj73 View Post
Not so long ago I would have also considered that a problem but now I view it as a good thing. Here in Australia we extensive motorways but they are not as well maintained as UK motorways and often go right through city centres, destroying the very heart of the city. The UK could do with i bit road widening in places but no new motorway please.
UK needs quite few missing links. For example all A1 and A1(M) from London to Edinburgh should be a motorway. I think this should be priority.

Then Bornmouth - Brighton should also be motorway (with such density of population and traffic it would be motorway in Germany probably 20-30 years ago)

Manchester - Sheffied is dificult but not impossible (tunnel?)

In general UK has quite short motorway network per capita comparing with Germany or France.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #1337
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In general UK has quite short motorway network per capita comparing with Germany or France.
Well motorways length goes with people but also with area. France and Germany are very wide countries, Italy and UK are not: France, Italy and UK have more or less the same population, but France is twice bigger than Italy and has twice its highway mileage; Italy is 1/3 larger than UK and has twice its highway mileage, but population in UK is much more condensed (Greater London).
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #1338
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
UK needs quite few missing links. For example all A1 and A1(M) from London to Edinburgh should be a motorway. I think this should be priority.

Then Bornmouth - Brighton should also be motorway (with such density of population and traffic it would be motorway in Germany probably 20-30 years ago)

Manchester - Sheffied is dificult but not impossible (tunnel?)

In general UK has quite short motorway network per capita comparing with Germany or France.
A south coast motorway is needed imo, and a few short linking sections, but we also have a large network of 2+2 non-motorway roads which are often pretty good.

Upgrading junctions etc on these roads and widening motorways to 4+4 (nearly all are already 3+3) is more of a priority I think than big expansion of new motorway routes.

We will never have as many network kms as France or Germany due to being geographically smaller, having a population concentrated in the southern half of the country and lack of through-traffic as we are an island.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #1339
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A south coast motorway is needed imo, and a few short linking sections, but we also have a large network of 2+2 non-motorway roads which are often pretty good.

Upgrading junctions etc on these roads and widening motorways to 4+4 (nearly all are already 3+3) is more of a priority I think than big expansion of new motorway routes.

We will never have as many network kms as France or Germany due to being geographically smaller, having a population concentrated in the southern half of the country and lack of through-traffic as we are an island.
Cannot agree more... anyone who's driven on the A27 would probably agree.

Also I have noticed that many motorways in the UK have such weird intersections: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&...,0.045447&z=15

It doesn't look like it's a good idea because essentialy this is a one level junction and it's not something that should be connecting two motorways. I have noticed there are quite a few of those all across the UK.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #1340
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Originally Posted by ed110220 View Post
The UK's motorways are generally good and well-maintained. The main problem is that it isn't really extensive enough with no significant development since the early 1990s. The last I think was the completion of the M3 through Twyford Down, which caused such protests that things ground to a halt after that.
Regarding the UK having "no significant development since the early 1990s", you may be confusing the UK for England.

Things are different in Scotland as transport is devolved and we have seen the extension of the M77 in the mid 2000's.

In addition, both the M74 and M80 are currently undergoing completion. The A8 upgrade section of the M8 is on hold though until funds allow.
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