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Old August 31st, 2010, 11:27 PM   #1481
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http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20100831/...h-45dbed5.html

This was also the headline news on ITV Central News. There was actually a live link from a bridge over the M6 Toll showing very few traffic below.

Too short (length) for too much (GBP5 for private cars)? Or just environmentalist lobbying?
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Old August 31st, 2010, 11:59 PM   #1482
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MEL, who run the M6 Toll, seem to have a policy of "we're going to make a loss, lets try and make it so that we spend the least amount possible - lets price it so that few cars use it and we don't need as many toll collectors or maintainance). If it was £2 it would see more traffic, though not a huge amount. Part of the problem is that quite a lot of the traffic on the M6 is heading to Birmingham and the Black County (rather than past it) or the M5 (for which the M6T is useless). The poor link with the M54 doesn't help either, nor does it's being longer than the old M6.

Lichfield, Brownhills and Cannock aren't the largest of places either, but if it was a free motorway, you'd be seeing quite a bit of local traffic on it, on top of a reasonable amount of Warwick/Coventry - Stafford (and beyond each way) traffic. It won't be a busy D3M, but it would be far busier than today.

The BBC kept on having Stephen Joseph, of the Campaign for Better Transport (which is basically the public transport employees/employers lobbying group) on, telling us that rather than new roads, we should keep the ones we have in good condition (by far the most pro-roads comment I've seen him make) and invest in public transport (surprise, surprise - it's his job to say that!).
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Old September 1st, 2010, 12:41 AM   #1483
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I do not find any particular issue with British rest places, apart from one thing. There is not enough of them and if they are, are too massive for me. They lack, I do not know, kind of atmosphere. Car parks are usually fulled up, there is a bit too much rubbish and not enough benches around. I just can't relax there. For that reason, I really prefer peaceful rest areas by 'A' roads which consist of everything what is missing in those by motorways.

I like to stop in a simple lay-by hidden in wood where I can eat and drink my own food (I obey some feeding rules). They can be seen anywhere alongside European motorways but England's.
Fortunately, they can be found in more than reasonable number by dual carriageways' 'A' roads.
Unfortunately they are completely commercialised (McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Starbucks, M&S, Tescos etc etc etc) and charge a fortune for everything they sell which is usually substandard
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Old September 1st, 2010, 01:27 AM   #1484
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Unfortunately they are completely commercialised (McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Starbucks, M&S, Tescos etc etc etc) and charge a fortune for everything they sell which is usually substandard
Having driven across motorways from several European countries, what you say applies to most rest areas in most countries. Insanely expensive, poor service. Even petrol is more expensive on rest areas, from the same companies you can find anywhere else.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 12:14 PM   #1485
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Yes, the food at motorway service stations is poor quality and overpriced, which is why I don't use them. I'd rather drive a mile or two off a junction to go to somewhere nicer and more reasonably priced.

A roads are much better for places to stop, rest areas, country pubs etc
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Old September 1st, 2010, 05:26 PM   #1486
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Surely nobody in their right minds would use British service stations except out of desperation. The last time I drove to Scotland with an Aussie friend showing her the sights, we got off the M40 at Oxford, drove into town, found a nice sandwich shop and had a delicious relaxing lunch by the water meadows before rejoining the motorway and continuing our journey.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 07:26 PM   #1487
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There's more to services than just food (though I have used them for food from time to time - if in a rush, not knowing the locality, if in a group, or if I felt like fast food) - the loos are the most popular feature, and many of the services up north are nicely located to have a picnic outside if it's not raining. Leicester Forest East is fun to have a cup of tea looking out at the passing traffic below. Beaconsfield services is the destination for sixth formers and college students for miles around at lunch time, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

Most Motorway Service Areas are pleasant enough, and do a specific thing - they provide toilets, and guaranteed food at not too high a price. I remember going to a gastro-pub in Chieveley (Village near the M4 services of the same name at the A34 junction) with some mates - one look at the menu and prices and we walked out - it was very pricey and if you didn't like fish, there were just two very expensive options - the "stop in some village pub" idea backfired.

As for A roads, the last distinctly A road services I used were the Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum (A82/A85) - dark, crowded, tacky, not great - I used a much better one on US101 near SLO that was trying to do the same thing (semi-tourist trap, semi-services), but it was light, airy, has enough facilities for the people there and so on.

I've used a French service area - it was rubbish in comparison to our services - overcrowded, poor choice, not great facilities and stuck of the "French countryside" (why does so much of the French countryside smell so strongly agricultural? In England it's small areas near some farms, in France it's pretty much everywhere I've ever stopped on the autoroute). France does do rest areas, whereas we have just the one on the M6 - we do need some more.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 07:53 PM   #1488
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I've used a French service area - it was rubbish in comparison to our services - overcrowded, poor choice, not great facilities and stuck of the "French countryside" (why does so much of the French countryside smell so strongly agricultural? In England it's small areas near some farms, in France it's pretty much everywhere I've ever stopped on the autoroute). France does do rest areas, whereas we have just the one on the M6 - we do need some more.
i totally disagree about your view about french rest areas. I have used them many times when i was in france and they were excellent, clean, perfect food, nice landscaping and to be exact i found many scenic service areas on the A6 on my way to Cot D'Azur
I didnt found only the british rest areas dull ( or depressing) but also the rest of the UK , if you except Cornwall or the south coast cities like Brighton or Weymouth
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:24 PM   #1489
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This picture is coming from SABRE.

I think this picture is interesting. That's the end of the dual carriageway in Morpeth. From London to Morpeth all of the A1 is at least dual carriageway and the road is motorway, or only dual carriageway, but similar to motorway. But from Morpeth it's the end of the dual carriageway. Look at the traffic on the road. The road should be rebuilt to at least dual carriageway. Do they have any plans to do it? And when are they going to rebuild this road? I hope they do it very soon.

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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:07 PM   #1490
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i totally disagree about your view about french rest areas.
What, you don't think that they are a good idea and are great, despite the smell (and often a lack of sit-down toilets, but this is going back a few years)?

I didn't like the one French service area I used one bit. It outweighs all my negative experiences in UK service areas combined (though, as far as I can recall, the worst MSA experience I have had was being rather annoyed that Burger King's triple bacon cheeseburger was about the same size as, if not slightly smaller than, the double bacon cheeseburger, but more expensive!). It was rammed, the food choices were poor, there was no scenery (though you can't help that - some places are just bland) and it stunk to high heaven as we sat and ate our picnic (which we thankfully had beforehand) outside, squashed into a small space on the verge where there wasn't people. I far more enjoyed sitting 20m from the M74 at Hamilton services (which really isn't anything special - it's an MSA on the edge of an urban area with little scenery), eating a picnic of food I had brought at the scenic Tebay mid-morning.

The only annoyances I have with MSAs (motorway service areas) is that Hilton Park is a dump, that there aren't enough of them (though MRAs (motorway rest areas) will suffice when plugging the gaps, so you have something every 10 miles as planned). Some of them are too far away from the actual motorway, but other than that, I can't see what's wrong with them - there's room for improvement, and better places to eat, but MSAs aren't meant to be high-culture and most of the objections in this thread are nothing but snobbery.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:20 PM   #1491
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Quote:
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i totally disagree about your view about french rest areas. I have used them many times when i was in france and they were excellent, clean, perfect food, nice landscaping and to be exact i found many scenic service areas on the A6 on my way to Cot D'Azur
I didnt found only the british rest areas dull ( or depressing) but also the rest of the UK , if you except Cornwall or the south coast cities like Brighton or Weymouth
I guess you're not a music fan then Angelos as I've found the music festival and gig scene second to none in Europe.

Funny what you say about Cornwall; it may well be my least favourite part of the UK as I found the people so unfriendly (and I really did want to like it).
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:21 PM   #1492
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Quote:
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i totally disagree about your view about french rest areas. I have used them many times when i was in france and they were excellent, clean, perfect food, nice landscaping and to be exact i found many scenic service areas on the A6 on my way to Cot D'Azur
I didnt found only the british rest areas dull ( or depressing) but also the rest of the UK , if you except Cornwall or the south coast cities like Brighton or Weymouth
I've been to some very good service areas in France - much better than most of ours - but I've also been to some which were at least as bad as any here.

If you just don't like the UK in general then that's fine, you are entitled to your opinion but if you think that weymouth is the most exciting and interesting place in the country then you probably didn't visit most of it, weymouth is nice enough but hardly the jewel in the british crown, there are many many other interesting, attractive and vibrant places to visit and pleasant places to live.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:24 PM   #1493
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If you just don't like the UK in general then that's fine, you are entitled to your opinion but if you think that weymouth is the most exciting and interesting place in the country then you probably didn't visit most of it, weymouth is nice enough but hardly the jewel in the british crown, there are many many other interesting, attractive and vibrant places to visit and pleasant places to live.
I hesitated from saying this in my last post, but I have to agree. Many British people I've known who've only been to coastal Normandy think that the whole of France is dull. Many who've only been to Paris think the whole of France is like Paris. I lived in Kent for 18 years and people from neighbouring London were convinced that all it had to offer were channel ports. I lived in an idyllic village in the North Downs. Friends of mine were amazed that such a place existed once I'd convinced them that it was nice there and should visit!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:04 PM   #1494
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I think this picture is interesting. That's the end of the dual carriageway in Morpeth. From London to Morpeth all of the A1 is at least dual carriageway and the road is motorway, or only dual carriageway, but similar to motorway. But from Morpeth it's the end of the dual carriageway. Look at the traffic on the road. The road should be rebuilt to at least dual carriageway. Do they have any plans to do it? And when are they going to rebuild this road? I hope they do it very soon.
That's not that much traffic, although it should be a dual carriageway, as population, thus traffic will rise.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 11:23 PM   #1495
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The French (and I'm sure Continental in general) idea of having rest areas every 10-20 miles is a great idea, especially when on a motorway/autoroute that doesn't have many junctions along it. The issue I have with the French MRAs is that the slip road lengths are comparable to laybys seen on most D2 A roads in the UK. If a driver is expected to slow from 120kph down to 50kph in the space of some 50-75m then it doesn't set a very good safety precedent, especially when the car parks are situated right on those slip roads. The concept though is a great one, something that the UK really should have considered.

Back to the points Angelos made on the previous page, if I'm cruising along on a motorway where the speed limit is 120kph, I don't expect to come across hairpin bends with a speed limit of 80kph. That isn't the point of a motorway, which is to provide a safe, consistent travelling environment for the motorist to reach his destination in comfort and at the best speed possible.

And as for the cutbacks in the 70s, yes there were a lot of cancelled projects (like for example the M64 which would be doing the M6Toll's job, only much more effectively), also the M67, Strensham-Solihull, etc, etc. For a comprehensive list see Pathetic Motorways but the motorways that were built, by and large function as desired, and the extensive network of D2 A roads around them provide enough links. Of course there are deficiences, but every network has them and to imagine that any road network is free of jams and congestion is crazy.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 05:30 PM   #1496
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:27 PM   #1497
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I saw that from an airplane when I was going to UK 2 days ago. Really weird..
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:41 PM   #1498
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I saw that from an airplane when I was going to UK 2 days ago. Really weird..
I presume this was a cheaper option than a four-level stack because it only has two levels.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 10:48 PM   #1499
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You want bad rest areas? Come to the Netherlands. None of them are suited for long-distance travel. I can't think of a single one which has a children playground and many rest areas are just basic parking lots with a few benches, gas station with small shop and dirty toilets.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:15 PM   #1500
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MEL, who run the M6 Toll, seem to have a policy of "we're going to make a loss, lets try and make it so that we spend the least amount possible - lets price it so that few cars use it and we don't need as many toll collectors or maintainance). If it was £2 it would see more traffic, though not a huge amount. Part of the problem is that quite a lot of the traffic on the M6 is heading to Birmingham and the Black County (rather than past it) or the M5 (for which the M6T is useless). The poor link with the M54 doesn't help either, nor does it's being longer than the old M6.
Its £5 for a normal car to use it....no way would I pay that much! I would pay £3.50 max to use it...
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