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Old September 13th, 2010, 05:22 AM   #1541
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Great report - I really enjoyed it!
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Old September 13th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #1542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
Have you noticed the way junctions are numbered on M23?

The map below shows that it starts with J7 ascending to the South. Where are the junctions 1 to 6 then?
There was a plan to extend the M23 into London about as far as Streatham, but it would've involved pushing it through Tory constituencies which it was perceived would've been unpopular hence it was abandoned by the then Tory government. Odd that they didn't renumber it though.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #1543
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Originally Posted by CairnsTony View Post
There was a plan to extend the M23 into London about as far as Streatham, but it would've involved pushing it through Tory constituencies which it was perceived would've been unpopular hence it was abandoned by the then Tory government. Odd that they didn't renumber it though.
Why the party political crap?

In fact it was Ringway 2 (which ran through mostly Labour consistencies) cancellation that meant that the M23 would be pretty pointless - nothing but a traffic magnet, with nowhere to go at the end.

The M23 was kind of relying on something at the far end to take traffic (the DfT were going to built Ringway 2 from the A24 to the A23, with the M23 junction, as part of the M23, but it still needed the GLC to build more Ringway 2 to not be an incredibly expensive traffic jam creator), given that didn't happen, there was not much point in extending it further in. Between J7 and J6 was to have been a big viaduct.

Unlike North London (though the Westway is unpopular to this day) where the planned motorways ran along 1930s built roads with nice wide space and a lack of winding up residential areas too much, South London had many motorways through residential areas and town centres, along railway corridors (due to there being few other corridors). The M23 was the exception, but it needed at least some of the rest of the network to actually be worth building, and that wasn't going to happen, so the M23 wasn't either. It took a bit more time for them to officially shut it down, but the colour of the MP's rosettes didn't make one jot of difference - it was expensive, it would have caused traffic mayhem in South London as there would have been nowhere for the traffic to go.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #1544
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Good new everyone...

According to our local newspaper, the government has finally upgraded the status of the A1 to a "route of national importance"

This opens up the way for it to be dualled all of the way up to Berwick from Morpeth when the funds become available.

It had no chance before as it was not considered nationally important
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Old September 14th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #1545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Why the party political crap?

In fact it was Ringway 2 (which ran through mostly Labour consistencies) cancellation that meant that the M23 would be pretty pointless - nothing but a traffic magnet, with nowhere to go at the end.

The M23 was kind of relying on something at the far end to take traffic (the DfT were going to built Ringway 2 from the A24 to the A23, with the M23 junction, as part of the M23, but it still needed the GLC to build more Ringway 2 to not be an incredibly expensive traffic jam creator), given that didn't happen, there was not much point in extending it further in. Between J7 and J6 was to have been a big viaduct.

Unlike North London (though the Westway is unpopular to this day) where the planned motorways ran along 1930s built roads with nice wide space and a lack of winding up residential areas too much, South London had many motorways through residential areas and town centres, along railway corridors (due to there being few other corridors). The M23 was the exception, but it needed at least some of the rest of the network to actually be worth building, and that wasn't going to happen, so the M23 wasn't either. It took a bit more time for them to officially shut it down, but the colour of the MP's rosettes didn't make one jot of difference - it was expensive, it would have caused traffic mayhem in South London as there would have been nowhere for the traffic to go.
There's no need to be rude.

I distinctly remember reading about the project's cancellation at the time pretty much mentioning what you said, but the article went on to suggest (convincingly) that the gov't of the day were very sensitive about upsetting their constituents due to marginal seats in the area. If I could remember where I read it, I would quote the source.

Thats' why I put it the way I did. If you don't see it that way then fine, but there are better ways of putting your view forward.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #1546
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Is it true that the entire non-motorway stretches of the A1 from Tyne & Wear to the M62 are being upgraded to full motorway standard / A1(M)? If so, that'd mean that Tyneside will finally have a full motorway link to London and the rest of the country.

....now if only they'd upgrade it all the way to Edinburgh?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #1547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
Is it true that the entire non-motorway stretches of the A1 from Tyne & Wear to the M62 are being upgraded to full motorway standard / A1(M)? If so, that'd mean that Tyneside will finally have a full motorway link to London and the rest of the country.

....now if only they'd upgrade it all the way to Edinburgh?
Yeah it's true, A1 between Dishforth and Darlington is being upgraded to motorway standard.

I wouldn't put much hope in constructing A1(M) (M1?) up to Edinburgh. No chance I'm afraid
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Old September 15th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #1548
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Does anyone have pics of that upgrade?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #1549
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Yeah it's true, A1 between Dishforth and Darlington is being upgraded to motorway standard.

I wouldn't put much hope in constructing A1(M) (M1?) up to Edinburgh. No chance I'm afraid
See my previous post...

At least it is now being considered for dualling up to Berwick

The A1 from Berwick to Edinburgh has been considered for dualling by the Scottish parliament.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #1550
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There are a number of schemes around the UK that have a fair deal of support in some quarters, but are probably being pushed back for reasons of the suppressed demand that would cease to be 'suppressed' on completion. A good example is the completion of a high quality link along the A303 corridor to provide a direct link from London to Devon and Cornwall. Much of the existing traffic on this route currently travels along the M4 and M5 and would simply shift to the 'M303', causing it to fill up on day one.

Similarly, the completion of a high quality Newcastle to Edinburgh route would shift a lot of northern England to central Scotland traffic away from the M6/M74 over to the new more easterly route. And there is very little incentive for planners to opt for this, given that the M6/M74 route north of Lancashire is possibly one of the most over-engineered routes in western Europe. (I drive it several times a year and it feels as if I frequently have it to myself.)

I am not defending the status quo. I am simply trying to explain one of the reasons why upgrading the A1 north of Newcastle is unlikely to be a high priority for transport planners - especially during a period of public spending austerity.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #1551
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So you would argue that the high number of people killed on this stretch of road does not warrant upgrading as it would alter the "balance" of traffic from the west coast to the east coast?

I would disagree, as there is a high volume of traffic flowing up the east coast already and yes I would expect more people to use the route (which would be good for local business).

The low population density of the region compared to the high cost of upgrading the road is the main reason I believe it has not been done.

Typically it's a Lib Dem stronghold and as a result it's been shunned year after year by labour and tory governments as there are not exactly many votes to be won.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #1552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
There are a number of schemes around the UK that have a fair deal of support in some quarters, but are probably being pushed back for reasons of the suppressed demand that would cease to be 'suppressed' on completion. A good example is the completion of a high quality link along the A303 corridor to provide a direct link from London to Devon and Cornwall. Much of the existing traffic on this route currently travels along the M4 and M5 and would simply shift to the 'M303', causing it to fill up on day one.

Similarly, the completion of a high quality Newcastle to Edinburgh route would shift a lot of northern England to central Scotland traffic away from the M6/M74 over to the new more easterly route. And there is very little incentive for planners to opt for this, given that the M6/M74 route north of Lancashire is possibly one of the most over-engineered routes in western Europe. (I drive it several times a year and it feels as if I frequently have it to myself.)

I am not defending the status quo. I am simply trying to explain one of the reasons why upgrading the A1 north of Newcastle is unlikely to be a high priority for transport planners - especially during a period of public spending austerity.
Harry, this is not a go at you as such, but more of a rant at the whole attitude towards roadbuilding in the UK.

The reasons as mentioned amount to using the good old fashioned ‘new roads fill up with traffic’ argument. It comes from The Book of Anti-Road/Car Chiche Phrases which the Campaign for Better Transport (as long as its public transport. F**k car drivers) and other environmental groups came up with. If this assumption was so true in all cases, the M74/A74(M) would be chokka, but it isn’t, neither is the M62 east of the A1(M), the northern end of the M6, or the A1(M), and many other routes.

It’s a very negative and defeatist way of thinking, and essentially it’s this sort of sweeping propaganda that gets churned out which provides a perfect excuse for the government to cut out or infinitely delay badly needed road schemes which should have been completed decades ago. The A1(M) between Dishforth and Barton would have been 10 years old by now had it not been abandoned from the programme back in 1995. The A1 may also have been motorway from the M25 all the way up to Ferrybridge as well by now, but it isn’t, and it’s clear that it won’t be. It’s also this type of regressive politics which has resulted in transport policy, based on the ‘New Realism’ model going in the opposite direction: cutting road space, increasing driving costs, and further cutting roadspace when traffic levels fall to ‘engineer-in’ more congestion, to justify further measures and so on, etc. In general making driving a more miserable and expensive experience for motorists.

There is one big reason why a lot of roads fill up with traffic. Any schemes that are lucky enough to make it from the drawing board to ground are badly watered down, often so that they are more politically acceptable. This is why the M74 completion project through Glasgow is 3 lanes, instead of the 4 that was originally planned. This is why the M80 completion is 2 lanes, instead of the 3 that were planned. This is also why a lot of new roads that were planned as dual carriageway and even motorway become single carriageway. If roads are lucky to be built as dual carriageway, they are now littered with horrible small roundabouts with the tightest ever deflections and traffic lights instead of proper expressway junctions. They are also poorly linked into the wider network with crappy junctions. The approach is a bit like using duct tape to hold two pieces of metal together and expect it to hold several tonnes of metal. A good example of such a bad junction is the M1/M6/A14 Catthorpe interchange. Another is how the A421 has been connected to the A1 at one of its most overloaded junctions: the Black Cat Roundabout (duuuurrrr!!!)

This is how we’re slowly ending up with a road network that is even worse than some third world countries. And some day in the future, when we realise that personal mobility isn’t going to go away soon and deserves to be integrated into a balanced mix of transport infrastructure, transport thinking will change, but then billions will have to be spent putting right the spectacular lack of forward thinking that is going on today. Maybe this period of austerity will allow transport planners to stand back, smell the coffee and design some proper schemes that will work when the money finally becomes available.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #1553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfreelancealot View Post
Another is how the A421 has been connected to the A1 at one of its most overloaded junctions: the Black Cat Roundabout (duuuurrrr!!!)
Where else would you put it? Given that the Black Cat Roundabout was only overloaded as it intersected with the A428 that the A421 bypassed - it's the same traffic flows on the roundabout, just the route to the west is a better one now. They enlarged the roundabout to cope with predicted traffic flows for the next bit, and acknowledged that it was a temporary solution, as the A428, and perhaps the A1 as well, will very likely get upgrades in the next 10 years that haven't yet been planned, and will likely be offline around there. They didn't want to build an expensive temporary junction that would get ripped down, so they made the roundabout bigger.

It also avoided the argument about which way to have the grade-separation - a good case strategically and traffic-wise could be made for the A421 - A1 N instead of A1 S - A1 N, but there's a good case for that as well.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #1554
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Originally Posted by sirfreelancealot View Post
Harry, this is not a go at you as such, but more of a rant at the whole attitude towards roadbuilding in the UK.

The reasons as mentioned amount to using the good old fashioned ‘new roads fill up with traffic’ argument. It comes from The Book of Anti-Road/Car Chiche Phrases which the Campaign for Better Transport (as long as its public transport. F**k car drivers) and other environmental groups came up with. If this assumption was so true in all cases, the M74/A74(M) would be chokka, but it isn’t, neither is the M62 east of the A1(M), the northern end of the M6, or the A1(M), and many other routes.

It’s a very negative and defeatist way of thinking, and essentially it’s this sort of sweeping propaganda that gets churned out which provides a perfect excuse for the government to cut out or infinitely delay badly needed road schemes which should have been completed decades ago. The A1(M) between Dishforth and Barton would have been 10 years old by now had it not been abandoned from the programme back in 1995. The A1 may also have been motorway from the M25 all the way up to Ferrybridge as well by now, but it isn’t, and it’s clear that it won’t be. It’s also this type of regressive politics which has resulted in transport policy, based on the ‘New Realism’ model going in the opposite direction: cutting road space, increasing driving costs, and further cutting roadspace when traffic levels fall to ‘engineer-in’ more congestion, to justify further measures and so on, etc. In general making driving a more miserable and expensive experience for motorists.

There is one big reason why a lot of roads fill up with traffic. Any schemes that are lucky enough to make it from the drawing board to ground are badly watered down, often so that they are more politically acceptable. This is why the M74 completion project through Glasgow is 3 lanes, instead of the 4 that was originally planned. This is why the M80 completion is 2 lanes, instead of the 3 that were planned. This is also why a lot of new roads that were planned as dual carriageway and even motorway become single carriageway. If roads are lucky to be built as dual carriageway, they are now littered with horrible small roundabouts with the tightest ever deflections and traffic lights instead of proper expressway junctions. They are also poorly linked into the wider network with crappy junctions. The approach is a bit like using duct tape to hold two pieces of metal together and expect it to hold several tonnes of metal. A good example of such a bad junction is the M1/M6/A14 Catthorpe interchange. Another is how the A421 has been connected to the A1 at one of its most overloaded junctions: the Black Cat Roundabout (duuuurrrr!!!)

This is how we’re slowly ending up with a road network that is even worse than some third world countries. And some day in the future, when we realise that personal mobility isn’t going to go away soon and deserves to be integrated into a balanced mix of transport infrastructure, transport thinking will change, but then billions will have to be spent putting right the spectacular lack of forward thinking that is going on today. Maybe this period of austerity will allow transport planners to stand back, smell the coffee and design some proper schemes that will work when the money finally becomes available.


This must be the best comment in this whole thread so far. I just wish everyone could think and evaluate the situation from such point of view as this.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #1555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfreelancealot View Post
Harry, this is not a go at you as such, but more of a rant at the whole attitude towards roadbuilding in the UK.
No offence taken. As it happens, I think we're broadly in agreement. I also agree that lack of investment in road infrastructure (using environmental concerns as a get out clause) will come to haunt us in the decades ahead. The point I was making regarding suppressed demand was simply an explanation as to how planners and government would find it easy to argue against one off improvements.

Using Newcastle-Edinburgh as an example once again, if improvements to HQDC or better were made along that corridor, you would also have to simulataneously have to sort out the Western Bypass section at Newcastle itself, which is already suffering from lack of capacity and would become much worse with improvements further north. So it starts getting very expensive. Assume that does happen - and then it becomes very difficult to avoid improving the lower quality sections of the A1 further south.

Completing improvements in isolation does not really work. The choice facing politicians is that they either provide funding for a lot of schemes at the same time, or they do nothing. Sadly, the latter option is often the easier path...especially when you know your job is safe for a period of no more than 5 years at a time.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #1556
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Originally Posted by sirfreelancealot View Post
The reasons as mentioned amount to using the good old fashioned ‘new roads fill up with traffic’ argument. It comes from The Book of Anti-Road/Car Chiche Phrases which the Campaign for Better Transport (as long as its public transport. F**k car drivers)
Given they are the lobbying group for the Public Transport Industry, then it's a no brainer as to why they love PT. They aren't quite as anti-road as they sound - they like good roads, but they don't like you not going down them in buses - recently having a go at the M6 Toll for not filling up with traffic and thus losing money that could have been spent maintaining the current road network, and funding better PT as well (well, duh!). Their London group's Brent Cross Light Railway plan isn't bad either. They seem to be returning to their more realistic than idealistic roots in the past couple of years.
Quote:
The A1(M) between Dishforth and Barton would have been 10 years old by now had it not been abandoned from the programme back in 1995.
We were pretty bankrupt as a country in '95 (though not as much as now), but I thought that D2B stayed in until '97 thanks to pressure from Hague, who is from that area.
Quote:
It’s also this type of regressive politics which has resulted in transport policy, based on the ‘New Realism’ model going in the opposite direction: cutting road space, increasing driving costs, and further cutting roadspace when traffic levels fall to ‘engineer-in’ more congestion, to justify further measures and so on, etc. In general making driving a more miserable and expensive experience for motorists.
Indeed the change of philosophy from "predict and provide" to "bodge and make do" (which isn't as bad as you make out) has cost us dear - odd how, while it started under Major's Tories because they couldn't afford predict and provide, 'progressive' Labour went gung ho for it (with trains as well), despite not caring about not spending more than they were getting.
Quote:
There is one big reason why a lot of roads fill up with traffic. Any schemes that are lucky enough to make it from the drawing board to ground are badly watered down, often so that they are more politically acceptable.
You forgot that they need to be busy to justify themselves to get built - that they have been watered down is really just exacerbates the situation.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #1557
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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #1558
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In response to the comments on the M23 route, here it is in full:

image hosted on flickr
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Britain's Lost Motorway Network: My Flickr set of map scans A collection of all the bits of motorway we didn't build that made it onto a map. And a few that weren't planned at all!

The rest of my Flickr photos - motorsport, roads and more!

Last edited by Map Guy; September 17th, 2010 at 07:15 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 10:15 PM   #1559
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In response to the comments on the M23 route, here it is in full:

image hosted on flickr
How old is this map? Only a few pats of M25 in this map and a little of M20. This map must be from 1970s.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #1560
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The southern section of M25 wasn't completed until 1986. (between J3 M20 and J5 M26). But considering the sections shown as "under construction", I would date this map to the mid-1970's.
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