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Old October 22nd, 2007, 11:18 PM   #141
Verso
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That's just great, a3c4! I'd love to drive on all London's motorways and expressways. What else do you have?
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Old October 26th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #142
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A406 North Circular London

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Old October 26th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #143
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As usual I see a lot of platitudinous and entirely subjective comments made about something British in SSC.

For those who are not British there are good reasons for many of the things mentioned here.

Firstly, the reason why seemingly unimportant places are mentioned on motorway signs is because a vast amount of commuter traffic comes in and out of villages. With no room for American style suburban sprawl, the motorways spurred an expanding middle class that wished to move from the cities to find homes in the many old villages around the country. Thanks to relatively small distances and the high speed of motorways people who worked in cities moved to the outlying villages. Signs have to now accommodate this.

Secondly, the reason why some of you don't like the signage of our motorways is because YOU ARE NOT USED TO IT. I , like many, think they are actually very good examples of competent design. Which in fact set the norms used in many other countries road signs, in terms of colour shape, size etc. Yes, many places could be more rationally sign posted, but that's hardly and insurmountable problem.

There are also very good reasons why motorway building became unpopular. A handful of people on SSC who are motorway mad do not match the majority of people in Britain who have come to detest the ugliness, sound, destruction of an all ready dwindling natural habitat, the prosaic towns, business parks and industrial estates that come with motorways. Not to mention the pollution and and the wholesale destruction of urban areas that had motorways ploughed through them.

Rampant road building is not only wasteful and damaging, as any road built just fills up necessitating the construction of more, but sophisticated road monitoring and congestion managing systems can do a good job ameliorating the effects of congestion instead. The original part of the M1 now handles 16 times the amount of traffic it was meant to, but still works well.

This moribund belief that paving over a country is the answer to all it's problems is ridiculous. We don't want it so don't tell us to do it.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PresidentBjork View Post
Firstly, the reason why seemingly unimportant places are mentioned on motorway signs is because a vast amount of commuter traffic comes in and out of villages. With no room for American style suburban sprawl, the motorways spurred an expanding middle class that wished to move from the cities to find homes in the many old villages around the country. Thanks to relatively small distances and the high speed of motorways people who worked in cities moved to the outlying villages. Signs have to now accommodate this.
So you are signing for daily traffic, in other words, for people known to the motorway and area. That's not what signage is ment for. Signage is ment to those who are unknown to the area, in other words, the not daily traffic. Daily traffic flows aren't shifting because of signage.

Quote:
Secondly, the reason why some of you don't like the signage of our motorways is because YOU ARE NOT USED TO IT.
It's not just a question whether you are used to it or not. Few signage is completely 100% okay, but some are worse than another. Look at Belgian signage, Austrian signage or Spanish/French urban signage. A lot of people find the British signage inconvenient. Again, signage is ment for those who are unknown, so it has to be as clear as possible. German, Swiss, Danish, Czech and Dutch motorway signage do a good job there.

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There are also very good reasons why motorway building became unpopular. A handful of people on SSC who are motorway mad do not match the majority of people in Britain who have come to detest the ugliness, sound, destruction of an all ready dwindling natural habitat, the prosaic towns, business parks and industrial estates that come with motorways. Not to mention the pollution and and the wholesale destruction of urban areas that had motorways ploughed through them.
You make it sound worser then it is. Sound is a problem that can be solved with soundbarriers with greenery on it, the air quality improved drastically in the last 20 years, and destruction of neighborhoods, i don't know if you do that in the UK, but most motorways aren't constructed in existing neighborhoods here.

Quote:
Rampant road building is not only wasteful and damaging, as any road built just fills up necessitating the construction of more
You think people go drive 3 times to work a day? No, expanding a motorway means traffic shifts from other congested roads through towns and villages. However i do believe the decision to build large neighborhoods along motorways, while most work is still in the city centers is wrong. It deliberatly creates huge traffic flows towards the city center, which can't be all done with mass transit.
A funny thing to know is that mass transit takes much more space per travelled mile as roads. Travelling with public transportation is often inefficient. The only efficient modes of transport is the subway, or city-center-to-city-center travels with trains. My drive to work is 3 times faster as the fastest public transportation trip, even if i'm stuck in traffic jams. This applies to a lot of people. You have to think in macro, not in micro.

Quote:
The original part of the M1 now handles 16 times the amount of traffic it was meant to, but still works well.
Which section? 16 times is very unlikely. A 2x3 motorway is designed for maximum of 132.000 vehicles a day, i dont think it has 132.000 x 16 = 2.112.000 vehicles a day now. Pleasy explain this, i'm interested.

Quote:
This moribund belief that paving over a country is the answer to all it's problems is ridiculous. We don't want it so don't tell us to do it.
"Paving over a country" is a popular leftist sentence when it comes to roads, but it isn't anywhere NEAR the truth. The Dutch motorway network, which is in terms of traffic volumes very like the British, covers 0,017% of the total land area. However, your term of "paving over a country" is used here too by environmentalists and green parties, however it's nothing more as complete bullshit.
When it comes to rail, the land usage of the railnetwork is even bigger as the motorwaynetwork, however it carries only 1/5th of the travelled kilometers of the motorway travelled kilometers. So the sentence "railing over a country" would be more true as "paving over a country". Though, it is never used. Why not? Because both sentences are complete bullshit.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #145
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Some countries have huge problem with right balance.
Take USA. They completely neglected public transport in favour of road building.
Nobody seems to think that it’s right.
Some other countries, like UK (or rather especially UK) went completely other way off balance. It means no more new motorways at all, even if they are needed in some regions, just public transport investment (which is in very poor shape anyway – vide overcrowded commuter cattle trains)
Why UK don’t want to take more balanced approach like for example Germany where they invest in public transport but also build new motorways where they are needed?
No ones know.
It’s right to blame USA or any other countries for bad decisions about transportation network, but if someone say something about British policies and roads it is like attack on queen, country and god.
Ridiculous.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 02:32 AM   #146
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Yeah, Germany has done a pretty good deal with their balance. The traffic jams in the Ruhr area for instance, are much less then those in the Dutch Randstad region.

But the best is still Madrid, i haven't seen any European city with such a great transportation network, whether we're talking about mass transit or motorways.

Some people think public transportation solves all traffic needs. Well, maybe for a part, but not all. Public transportation and automobiles are 2 different modes, sometimes people forget that. Some trips can better be done with PT, others can better be done with a car. Look at cities with a huge PT network like London, Paris or New York City. Their subway network is very extensive, yet there are still a lot of traffic jams. It's indeed all about balance.

It's crazy to invest 2 times more in public transportation, while it handles 8 times less of the miles travelled in the Netherlands. If you are talking about shifting the limited transportation budget a little more balanced towards roads, you're immediatly accused of not being "social". Why should only Public Transportation be "social"? Like all drivers on the road aren't "social people"?
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Old October 27th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PresidentBjork View Post
As usual I see a lot of platitudinous and entirely subjective comments made about something British in SSC.
That's because we don't like you.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #148
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The UK motorways are apparently the safest in 16 European countries researched.

Link.
UK motorways are comparatively safe ones
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Old November 4th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #149
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Interesting stuff.

I think Dutch motorways could do better, they have only a slightly lower AADT then the British ones, but the British ones are almost everywhere 2x3 lanes, where the Dutch motorways are almost everywhere 2x2 lanes, making ours more overcrowded with a higher chance for accidents

Good job, Britain!
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Old November 4th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #150
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I think the UK motorway network should be completed by building an east coast motorway London to Aberdeen via Newcastle and Edinburgh and some more east-west motorways eg between Carlisle to Newcsatle and from Birmingham to Norwich, and perhaps a south coast motorway from Plymouth to Dover via Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton and Eurotunnel.

Once these strategic connections are made I see no good case for simply building motorways to meet demand. This would be an environmental disaster for the UK and would be impossible to sustain as well as blighting thousands of towns, cities and villages. We really value our countryside and don't want to destroy it more than we need to.

We are an island nation and do not need to plan for millions of international car journeys. If there is money to spare it should be spent on subways, LRTs and other mass transit measures within and between our cities. In 20 years time the population of the UK could be reaching 70-75 million at current growth rates....this smallish island cannot provide space for all these people to own and run cars unless we destroy the very thing which makes this an attractive place for people to want to live. I don't want to live in a country where the rights of the individuals are swept aside to build roads that do not solve our congestion problems but just add to them in the medium to long term.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 04:33 PM   #151
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But those major motorways you refered are very important!
They really should be built.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #152
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Well the east coast has the A1 and A1(M) which is to a large extent 2x2 and 2x3 and with further upgrades that are very likely going to happen this route will be mostly dual carriageway 2x2 or 2x3 up to Alnwick. Though it should be all the way to Edinburgh in my opinion and it really should be all 2x3 and be given a M designation.

A1(M)


Alnwick
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Old November 4th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #153
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Current larger building programmes in the UK.

Under construction

-> Upgrade of a ca. 10 kilometre A1 section to A1(M) standard to connect to large A1(M) sections

-> Construction of dual two lane 3 mile road from M1 Junction 45 to Leeds

-> Single Carriage way dual lane Forth Crossing

-> 57 miles of M1 widening to 2x4

-> 6 miles of M25 widening to 2x4

-> Upgrade of 6 miles of A74 to A74(M) standard with 2x3

-> 8 miles of M4 widening to 2x3
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Old November 4th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #154
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Well, it could be 2x2 as long as it had motorway caracteristics and not the typical british dual carriegeway with roundabouts and without emergency lane...

PS: This was to your first post.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #155
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Yes M1 should go all the way to Edinburgh (it could be 2x2 from Newcastle north)
But problem is that it's not "trendy" now. Every politician try to be greener than green party.
In this country nobody care about drivers.
"Driving is sin!!!!! You go to hell drivers!!!" this is quite common message in British media (BBC especially).
I remember once in TV, trendy young professor from Oxford claiming that he is cycling every day to university, buying fresh local product on local market etc. He was talkin how we should all stop driving.
You could almost hear: "ban driving"
Well, he can afford it because he earn much more than average Briton, so he can afford house in cycling distance to his work place. he can also afford paying double price for "green" food.
No every one is so lucky. Some people can afford houses only miles from work place. And some even save on food.
With all this craziness about global warming, and ideas that UK should give example to the world (I already see Chinese officials looking to UK for example and decide to stop building coal power station every week ) there are no chance for any significant road project in near future.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto View Post
But those major motorways you refered are very important!
They really should be built.
I think key strategic road links are important to complete the network and try to spread growth more evenly in the UK, further the north. It is senseless and futile to build more and more motorways just for commuters to fill them up in the SE of England...this will not make us more competative.

We're not the US or Canada...or even Spain or France, we have far less land to play with. The Netherlands and Belgium are the crossroads of Europe as far as road and rail are concerned and they are less constrained in terms of their physical geography. The idea that we will be left behind unless we add more congested motorways is rediculous. The more miles of motorway way you build in existing congested areas, the more congestion you create. Its a fact that is well documented. The UK needs to look beyond the age of the car to solve its transport needs.

Since the road building programme was all but scrapped in the UK in the 1990s train travel has grown exponentially, despite being the most expensive in Europe and at times being very unreliable. This has forced the government to invest heavily in rail infrastructure and improve reliability in the last few years....despite all the b1tching and moaning you hear about rail in the UK.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #157
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The more miles of motorway way you build in existing congested areas, the more congestion you create. Its a fact that is well documented.
You hear that all the time, but it's not true. Like i said above;

Quote:
You think people go drive 3 times to work a day? No, expanding a motorway means traffic shifts from other congested roads through towns and villages. However i do believe the decision to build large neighborhoods along motorways, while most work is still in the city centers is wrong. It deliberatly creates huge traffic flows towards the city center, which can't be all done with mass transit.
A funny thing to know is that mass transit takes much more space per travelled mile as roads. Travelling with public transportation is often inefficient. The only efficient modes of transport is the subway, or city-center-to-city-center travels with trains. My drive to work is 3 times faster as the fastest public transportation trip, even if i'm stuck in traffic jams. This applies to a lot of people. You have to think in macro, not in micro.
Please show me at least one of that "well documented" issue. If you say it enough, people are gonna believe it. That doesn't mean it's true. It's all the same old song here in the Netherlands too.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
Yes M1 should go all the way to Edinburgh (it could be 2x2 from Newcastle north)
But problem is that it's not "trendy" now. Every politician try to be greener than green party.
In this country nobody care about drivers.
"Driving is sin!!!!! You go to hell drivers!!!" this is quite common message in British media (BBC especially).
I remember once in TV, trendy young professor from Oxford claiming that he is cycling every day to university, buying fresh local product on local market etc. He was talkin how we should all stop driving.
You could almost hear: "ban driving"
Well, he can afford it because he earn much more than average Briton, so he can afford house in cycling distance to his work place. he can also afford paying double price for "green" food.
No every one is so lucky. Some people can afford houses only miles from work place. And some even save on food.
With all this craziness about global warming, and ideas that UK should give example to the world (I already see Chinese officials looking to UK for example and decide to stop building coal power station every week ) there are no chance for any significant road project in near future.
The M1 serves Yorkshire and the East Midlands, not the North in ts truest sense. An additional motorway is needed by completing the A1 to motorway standard from London to Edinburgh and probably to Aberdeen to serve the oil industry.

Newcastle and NE of England is one of the most deprived regions in the UK and yet it is barely served by the national motorawy network. How is that region expected to attract investment when you can see from the national motorway network that it is isolated from the rest of the UK by motorway. Motorways should be used to spread growth and investment, not just to shore up areas which are overheating economically and in terms of population growth.

The price of housing is high al over the UK and many people cannot afford to live near their work but that is not an excuse to build more roads. That is a reason to build more housing and create jobs in areas which can accommodate them....ie not the SE of England.

I really don't see how you can refer to global warming as crazy when the evidence of it is plain to see. How much is it costing the US tax payer to rebuild New Orleans, or to rebuild burnt out towns in southern california? I'd like to see where your money for new roads is going to come from in future when the real costs of global warming are factored in and your having to pay Russia and the Middle East princes trillions of $ to get oil so that they can build 3000 ft towers and man made islands.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
You hear that all the time, but it's not true. Like i said above;



Please show me at least one of that "well documented" issue. If you say it enough, people are gonna believe it. That doesn't mean it's true. It's all the same old song here in the Netherlands too.
Well I've just done a simple Google and come up with reaserach in the New Scientist which says that new roads just add to congestion in congested areas.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6922.html
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Old November 4th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #160
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Well I've just done a simple Google and come up with reaserach in the New Scientist which says that new roads just add to congestion in congested areas.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6922.html
Some simple calulating:

You have 3 roads leading to the city center. one of them is a motorway, 2 of them are local roads. All three roads are clogged during rushhour.

We add a motorway to the existing motorway, which partially replaces the old local road, which was, remember, unlivable because of the traffic jams.

The first motorway, which was at it's peak capacity, can't take that traffic, from the old local road. However, this is only a shift of traffic from one route to another.

You can't let a motorway merge to another motorway which is already at peak capacity. In that way, you are right about building a new motorway adds to congestion.

However, remember that local road. A lot of traffic was there because, it was trying to bypass the traffic jam on the motorway. When a motorway reaches full capacity, people tend to search for alternate routes. In this case a local road, which isn't meant for this much traffic.

This is often the problem. A motorway is congested, and traffic detours. When you add a new motorway, traffic returnes to it's old route. It is, in fact, a rising number of traffic on that motorway, but not an overall rise. That only happens if the government gets the "wise" idea to allow more urban sprawl along the corridors. That solves nothing.

You build housing, you also have to adjust the infrastructure, whether we're talking about road or rail. That is often "forgotten", because the (local) government likes the real estate revenues, but don't like the costs of building new infrastructure.
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