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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #1341
Jonesy55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
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.
The M5/M4 junction, what's wrong with that? isn't it just a regular stack interchange?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_interchange

Last edited by Jonesy55; August 12th, 2010 at 02:32 PM.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #1342
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No. I think Pansori is actually refering to the M4/M32 interchange a few miles to the south east. It's not such an issue, in my view. The M32 is really just a short stretch of road from central Bristol out to the M4. I think I may have heard in the past that the local authority there would quite like to remove its motorway status anyway and downgrade to an A road...which would probably be more appropriate anyway.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #1343
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giving a road a different number doesn't change a thing about its function. There are 32,000 vehicles per day on M32 at the M4 interchange, which should be enough to justify a full grade-separated interchange.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #1344
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I can think of plenty of non-freeflow motorway junctions in the UK that are busier than that one!
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Old August 12th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #1345
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Sure, but is that a reason to neglect this one?

It's like, "we don't need to take action for all the traffic fatalities on this road, because there are plenty more dangerous roads!"
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #1346
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Not really a reason, no. But infrastructure spending has never been taken as seriously in the UK as in many other places. It's often pointed out that there are comparatively few motorways in the UK for a population of 60+ million...but there simply does not seem to be the appetite here for further large scale construction. A few gripes here & there, yes. We need to finish off the unfinished schemes. But I don't think there are many out there who are calling for junctions such as M32/M4 to be made freeflow. It's works well enough for most of the time and is simply too far down the list of priorities to concern most people.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #1347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
giving a road a different number doesn't change a thing about its function. There are 32,000 vehicles per day on M32 at the M4 interchange, which should be enough to justify a full grade-separated interchange.
I think this is one of the problems inherent in the British system of numbering motorways by grade of road rather than by relative importance/length, that short spurs like the M32 are classed as motorways yet important long distance high quality routes that are fully grade-seperated etc that would be classed as freeways in other countries are classed as A-roads. The distinction is rather arbitrary and unclear for the average user.

But yes, the M4/M32 is insufficient for its function and is quite a bad local bottleneck that could do with a proper interchange.

It shouldn't be confused with the close-by M4/M5 Almondsbury interchange which is a fine example of a four-level stack.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #1348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed110220 View Post
I think this is one of the problems inherent in the British system of numbering motorways by grade of road rather than by relative importance/length, that short spurs like the M32 are classed as motorways yet important long distance high quality routes that are fully grade-seperated etc that would be classed as freeways in other countries are classed as A-roads. The distinction is rather arbitrary and unclear for the average user.
Indeed, there are some A-roads that have been given junction numbers (such as the A12, A14 and A55) which effectively function as motorways over quite long distances and yet other piddly little stretches of road, often in urban areas, that have full motorway status. It's very odd...
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #1349
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Ed - couldn't disagree more. Motorway status is a specific thing - prohibition of slow moving vehicles, stopping, learners, higher truck speed limit, not a right of way, etc. It's nothing to do with standard, though the overwhelming majority are grade-separated dual carraigeways with hard shoulders.

Also, as far as I can see, most of those A roads (there's a couple of exceptions - A2 near Gravesend, A27 at Portsmouth) would be considered voie express or the equivalent, at best, in other countries. We go "we've got all these A roads that would be motorways elsewhere", when most of them fail to get the motorway-esque symbol on Michelin maps. You won't get the whole A34 between the M40 and M3, or the A14 between the M1 and Felixstowe, or the A12 between the M25 and Ipswich and the non-motorway bits A1 between Peterborough and Newcastle (despite no right-turns, and grade separated junctions) have numerous side turns and driveways. It's completely fallacious to say "we have a load of roads that would be motorways elsewhere" - in Western Europe, and the USA, only by laxing the standards would you get continuous routes that would be considered motorway or the equivalent (which in the USA would be 'freeway', rather than Interstate).

Obviously, many of these dualled and mostly grade-separated roads are on important routes that in other countries they would have been built to motorway standards, and opened as motorways (which are different legal things in other countries), but they aren't at the standards that would make them motorways in France, etc. Not to mention that France has a large network of a similar size of high quality freeway N/D roads in addition to it's much bigger autoroute network (OK, it's a geographically larger country).

The distinction between motorways and non-motorway freeways is vital - they are completely different legal entities (the very few special roads excepted). The average user might not understand it, but it's far from arbitrary.

That said, there's somewhat of a justification of having an 'N' or national class of road for important trunk roads, that are numbered with the same system as the motorways. That said, it's really not worth the signage cost.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #1350
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It's a bit of a circular argument: a motorway is a motorway because it is legally defined as such with certain restrictions, but that tells us about how it is designated not anything about the road in itself or why for example the M32 is classed as a motorway but another road not. One could easily reclassify the M32 as an A-road, as was suggested above, without making any physical changes.

In most countries motoway and freeway are synonyms anyway (some use one, some use the other and some use both).
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Old August 12th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #1351
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Actually, you'd need expensive Statutory Instruments to downgrade the M32. It would cost rather a lot - the only time I can see it happening is if the road gets detrunked (which also requires a SI). In fact the HA didn't because they saw Bristol's plans for the road and thought it negligent to hand it over and let those plans happen.

Can you tell me why the M32 shouldn't be motorway? After all it's a grade-separated road, of a high standard linking the motorway network to the centre of a city with over 400k people living there.

Your argument seems to fail to grasp what a motorway is (and in many European countries they are a subset of 'freeway' or whatever the local term is, not entirely synonymous).

Cairns Tony - it's not odd at all - it's all to do with legal status and not national importance, traffic levels or standard of road. You are importing different definitions of terms and so on and saying "they should do it our way" - it's the same with the person saying the numbers on the roadsigns are too big - they are big for a reason, because we aren't the same and navigate on numbers more than destinations (to an extent). It's tragic (but not odd) that roads like the A42, A12, A14 and A55 aren't motorway (having been constructed to better standards in the first place, of course), at least in part, but it's not odd that new build city centre roads that were due to be part of a bigger network that wasn't built are motorways.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #1352
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What is the reason why so many motorway-motorway junctions are built like roundabouts / traffic circles?

Britain started relatively late with motorways. By then, the design standard of motorway-motorway junctions internationally were completely free-flowing.

The Netherlands still has some roundabout motorway-motorway junctions, for example here, here and here
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #1353
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Probably money.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #1354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Your argument seems to fail to grasp what a motorway is (and in many European countries they are a subset of 'freeway' or whatever the local term is, not entirely synonymous).
Actually that was the entire basis of my argument! I was arguing that it makes little sense in my mind to number short spurs in the same way as major routes such as the M4. Also upgrading existing routes and coming up with awkward designations like A1 (M).

Your argument emphasis the legal aspect, but to me that is subjective and circular: a motorway is a motorway because it is so legally defined. But surely we're interested in what the road is physically (ie objectively) rather than legally (ie subjectively)?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #1355
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It's not circular to say something is called x because it is x - it's like asking why a dog is called a dog - because it's a dog! It doesn't matter if it's a little terrier, or a great big Great Dane, or a German Shepherd or a Poodle - it's a dog.

I don't get at all what your point is (I do somewhat get the irritation with A1(M), but I like those designations as being rather cunning).
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Old August 13th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #1356
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Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
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.
I never said UK should have motorway network as long as in France or Germany but there are clearly missing links.
London and Edinburgh need direct link. They are rebuilding some parts of A1 south of Newcastle but I can't understand why nothing is happening north of Newcastle. Road there is just 1+1.

Unfortunately British public is very hostile to road investment. To be honest British public is hostile to any development. Even high speed rail (new green god of Europe) face opposition
I find it bizarre. People think they can live in some sort of rural, peaceful and traditional utopia. In one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. It is a joke.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #1357
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you can use M1 M6 M74 M8 to go from London to Edinburgh.

Maybe the british public is hostile to development precisely because we are so heavily populated. In siberia it doesn't matter if you build a road through some natural space, there is so much of it that it is barely noticeable. In a very densely populated area though natural open space is more precious and valued.

Of course this means practical problems of congestion etc but many british people would probably prefer to solve that through population reduction rather than building more infrastructure.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #1358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
Unfortunately British public is very hostile to road investment. To be honest British public is hostile to any development. Even high speed rail (new green god of Europe) face opposition
I find it bizarre. People think they can live in some sort of rural, peaceful and traditional utopia. In one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. It is a joke.
Anther person believing Britain = England = UK.

In Scotland we are not hostile to road building and two major motorway projects are currently mid way through with another on hold until funds allow. Also there are major public campaign and petition to dual the A9 which hopefully will also come to fruition soon.

You'll find no opposition to HSR rail either...

Also Scotland is not densely populated in fact is among some of the least densely populated countries in Europe with 65 people sq/km.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #1359
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Well England is 84% of the UK by population so if you are summarizing opinion across great britain then England will carry more weight than anywhere else.

Are you really saying that among the 5m people in scotland nobody opposes motorway building, surely you don't all have exactly the same opinions on every subject do you?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #1360
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Well England is 84% of the UK by population so if you are summarizing opinion across great britain then England will carry more weight than anywhere else.
Why not use the term England then if you are meaning England?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
Are you really saying that among the 5m people in scotland nobody opposes motorway building, surely you don't all have exactly the same opinions on every subject do you?
No, not at all what I was pointing out to the original poster that there is 2 major motorway works ongoing, one on hold awaiting funds and a major public campaign to upgrade the A9 to dual carriageway so Scotland is not hostile to road investment.

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Maybe the british public is hostile to development precisely because we are so heavily populated.
Possibly in England as it is heavily populated people are against development.

Scotland is not heavily populated, neither is Wales or Norther Ireland, and as stated there is a major public campaign for roads to be built or upgraded in Scotland.
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