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Old November 4th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #161
Pickle33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
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.
So at what point do you stop building motorways and increasing capacity more generally on local roads? You are assuming that we will reach a point when enough roads will be built to accomodate demand. However demand is going up as car ownership rises and population growth in the UK is increasing. You either 1) stop trying to meet demand and try something different or 2) you introduce draconian laws to restrict car use and ownership as they do in Singapore and/ or you introduce immigration restrictions and laws to stabilise or reduce population growth, as in China. Take your pick!?

The fact is that on the whole we have big fancy motorways and interchanges all over the UK....there is no novelty or particular engineering challenge or political propagander motivation to carry on building motorways. Its boring and destructive and if other countries want to pursue a policy of tearing up the countryside in some endless battle to create road space to meet an exponential demand, then that's their choice . No offence, but from my perspective in a Western European context that atitude just isn't very enlightened.

Urban sprawl isn't a serious issue in the UK because we have had green belts around our cities since 1947 and in general British cities have a much smaller urban footprint than cities with comparative populations elsewhere in the world. In some respects this has made the situation worse since housing development has leapt the green belts into towns and cities further away and encouraged longer distance commutes. Sprawl or no sprawl, I don't think it makes much difference in the grand scheme of things. Its growth vs space that is the issue. Growth (population and economic) is theoretically exponential, wheras land is a finite resource...this basic fact cannot be argued away....at some point you have to give up building motorways and more roads and rethink what "quality of life" really means.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #162
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Quote:
1) stop trying to meet demand and try something different
We stopped that 2 decades ago. We invests more money in public transportation then road, however it handles 10 times less traffic. We did (almost) nothing to accomodate more traffic. A non-motorway network alternative is virtually inexistent. We build our neighborhoods in a pedestrian, bicycle-friendly way, and we give buses righ-of-way everywhere.

What happened? The traffic jams are growing with 10 - 15% annually, pollution from those traffic jams grows, economic damage grows (in the billions annually in our small country), the economic competition of our mainports, the foundation of our country and economy is detoriating. However there is almost 0 population growth! Project these things in a country where population IS growing. They would be much worse.

Doing nothing is clearly not a solution here. I don't say we should just add more motorways everywhere.

You can try to meet the transportation demand with mass transit. Have you any idea how expensive this is? It already costs 2 times the road budget, however it carries 10 times less travelled miles. What if you try to cut that in half, 5 times less travelled miles. To achieve that, you need a whole new transportation, because the current trains cannot transport that much people, it's overcrowded already. 5 times less travelled miles, means the Public transportation ridership will grow with over 500%! Do you know how much trouble we are getting through to reach a 10% growth?

It will be so expensive, you will never be able to pay for that with current taxes. Wouldn't it be much cheaper to add some new lanes to a motorway? Or build a flyover? Or even a whole new motorway?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 03:04 AM   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickle33 View Post
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.
I see you agree that UK need new motorway serving NE

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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.
Where you want to build new houses for example in London? Residents often oppose increasing density of housing (recently there are stories in news about residents opposing building up some garden plots)
It's all the same struggle between those who have house and want to pretend they live in countryside and those who don't have them.
Anyway it's not so simple just to build new houses in centers of towns.

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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.
New Orlean and cities of southern California are just build in wrong place.
And Kathrina could hit without global warming. In fact there is no connection between Kathrina and global warming.
Don't understand me wrong. I don’t deny global warming. It’s here and it’s problem.
I just don’t agree with all this judgement day stories. It’s change, probably impossible to stop already, we have to adjust to it and accommodate.
And I strongly believe that answer is in technology (new power sources like nuclear fusion for example), no in recycling or going back of all society to walking, horse riding and using transatlantics instead of planes.
I hope we will drive electric car in near future.
And we needs roads for them.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #164
Jonesy55
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Hi, interesting thread, here's my views on UK motorways.

The quality is generally pretty good in my experience, not universally good though, the surface on the M11 from London to Stansted airport for example is horrible.

People have pointed out potentially unsafe features such as heavy concrete pillars but the safety record of the UK road network overall is very good, almost the best in Europe for the number of deaths per million passenger Kms so it can't be that bad, maybe we are all just very good drivers .

What we do lack is capacity, I would like to see most of the busier 2x3 motorways widened to 2x4 and many of the 2x2 expressways upgraded to 2x3 with full motorway status. If you add some strategic new links into the network like improving motorway provision from Newcastle to Edinburgh for example, we could have a much better network without having to cut lots of big new roads through pristine, untouched countryside.

I'm suprised that so many people don't like the signage, i've never had a problem with it, even in areas of the country that I don't know well, maybe it's just because i'm used to it though

The reason why there are not many motorways or expressways in Scotland, especially north of Glasgow and Edinburgh is that a) It is very sparsely populated, with only Aberdeen and Dundee on the East Coast of any significant size and b) it is on the edge of Europe, no transit traffic means low demand.

Last edited by Jonesy55; November 5th, 2007 at 05:03 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I'm suprised that so many people don't like the signage, i've never had a problem with it, even in areas of the country that I don't know well, maybe it's just because i'm used to it though
I agree with you, signage is OK. Even when I came first time to UK I never had problem with finding my way.
Maybe because I always look on map before going somwhere?
And then use signs as help not as basics for my navigation.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #166
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Here's an interesting feature of the M62 between Manchester and Leeds

When the motorway was built in the 1960s, one farmer refused to sell his 18th century farmhouse to the government and so they just built three lanes around one side of it and three lanes around the other side. To reach the outside world, he has a tunnel under the carriageway which leads eventually to a local road.





Around this point in the motorway also happens to be the highest the UK network gets above sea level, 439m
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #167
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It's a nice story, but not actually true. If the engineers had wanted to go through the farmhouse, they would have - the chief engineer on the contract confirmed this. It was just easier to build the m'way as it is due to the characteristics of that area of land. There is a similar section on the M6 in Cumbria, but no farmhouse there.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #168
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Also, a new scheme to use the hard shoulder existing on many UK motorways has been a great success, with accidents and pollution down significantly and traffic jams also down, the scheme will now be introduced gradually on many motorway across the UK.

Link.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7061188.stm
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #169
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I thought we (the Netherlands) invented it. However, i only see it as a temporarily solution until real widening can be done. If a breakdown or accident occurs, it can be dangerous until the lane gets closed, with potential dangerous situations. It is also a problem for emergency vehicles to reach the site of an accident, because all lanes including the emergency lane will be jammed. This can cost lives.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #170
geogregor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
Here's an interesting feature of the M62 between Manchester and Leeds

When the motorway was built in the 1960s, one farmer refused to sell his 18th century farmhouse to the government and so they just built three lanes around one side of it and three lanes around the other side. To reach the outside world, he has a tunnel under the carriageway which leads eventually to a local road.





Around this point in the motorway also happens to be the highest the UK network gets above sea level, 439m
Cool picture
Twol carriageways far apart are quite common in USA but they have far more land to use for road building.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #171
Nephasto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post
There is a similar section on the M6 in Cumbria, but no farmhouse there.

I have some photos of that (taken from the car...), but I'm too lazy to post them right now.
__________________
Long live rail freight!!
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Old November 7th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #172
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Great info guys, I'd love to visit the UK sometime.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #173
Jeroen669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle33
So at what point do you stop building motorways and increasing capacity more generally on local roads?
You don't. As long as the economy AND the size of the population grows you need to create more houses, more work and that simply results in more traffic. For each way of transportation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle33
at some point you have to give up building motorways and more roads and rethink what "quality of life" really means.
Well, I'm curious about your interpretation of 'quality of life'. A father with can't see his children anymore because he's half of the day stuck in traffic, that is also quality of life, isn't it...?

Sure, jammed roads are causing more pollution. But cars are getting cleaner each year, and I'm sure with alternative fuels that problem will be gone in the (far) future. Untill then we can do what we can with things like big fences (also for reducing sound), by-passes, tunnels etc.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen669 View Post
You don't. As long as the economy AND the size of the population grows you need to create more houses, more work and that simply results in more traffic. For each way of transportation.
Who says that by stopping building motorways the economy would stop growing? Where is the evdience for this? The UK economy has grown much quicker than the majority of mainland Europe since 1996...coincidentally around the same time as the UK road building programme was scrapped.

We can build more houses at higher densities with less land take, but higher density development does not favour car based transport. car based transport relies one lower densities which necessitates american style suburban growth.

The idea that in a country like the UK (especially the SE) or the Netherlands that you can carry on taking land to accomodate car based growth is ludicrous and harks back to the 1960s which left us with a terrible town planning legacy.

Quote:
Well, I'm curious about your interpretation of 'quality of life'. A father with can't see his children anymore because he's half of the day stuck in traffic, that is also quality of life, isn't it...?

Sure, jammed roads are causing more pollution. But cars are getting cleaner each year, and I'm sure with alternative fuels that problem will be gone in the (far) future. Untill then we can do what we can with things like big fences (also for reducing sound), by-passes, tunnels etc.
Yes seeing your children/family contributes to your quality of life, but perhaps that father has to commute many KMs from home to work because his office is located in a business park next to a motorway junction because when his company decided to relocate they wanted to be next to the motorway because the government failed to invest in mass transit to make the city centre more accessible. This scenario is actually happening in the US right now.

Your argument is based on the premise that its only a matter of creating road space when in fact the real issue is how we plan our cities and what we spend our taxes on. We should be trying to reduce the need to travel by locating homes, shops and offices closer to each other so people don't have to get in their cars unless absolutely necessary. I'm not saying stop building motorways altogether, but to not just build them to meet and fuel demand at the expesne of other transport choices which are less sustainable.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #175
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"Who says that by stopping building motorways the economy would stop growing? Where is the evidence for this? The UK economy has grown much quicker than the majority of mainland Europe since 1996...coincidentally around the same time as the UK road building programme was scrapped."

->German economists declare the British miracle a sham [based on debt and inflated real estate]
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:51 PM   #176
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People are very confused between the difference of SIZE and DENSITY. You would think that France, being roughly double the size of the UK, would have much more roads (total length of road network). This is the point made by the environmentalist every time a comparison with another country is attempted. This argument is completely flawed when density statistics are used. For example, Germany has a density of 234.8 vs 238.9 for the UK. The difference in road network AND public transport are extreme. The UK should be ashamed and I completely understand why some member of this forum compare its network to third world/ eastern Europe. Just take 2 Michelin maps at the SAME SCALE of UK and Germany and you'll see what I mean.

A good explanation for UK's deplorable road network is its economy and geographic position. No major manufacturing and therefore exports unlike Germany for example. No transit traffic from other EU nations unlike France for example. HOWEVER, what about the Netherlands or Italy or Spain? Take the Netherlands. Its geography, economy, pop. density are soooo similar I can't help to compare it to the UK. The Netherlands has a great road network esp. motorway , UK does not.

BTW anyone want to compare the Netherlands modern freight ports to over-capacity ports those of the UK?
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Old November 13th, 2007, 11:55 PM   #177
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Quote:
The Netherlands has a great road network esp. motorway , UK does not.
The network is okay, but the capacity is not... even in the Randstad, a lot of motorways are only 2x2 lanes. Some people compare it to a dirt track.

Today, the delay between Schiphol and Almere (25 - 30km) was over 100 minutes. That's just madness.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #178
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Chris, where is your proud for our nation? You only keep talking about our bad road capacity while there are so many good things here too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUMBO
Its geography, economy, pop. density are soooo similar I can't help to compare it to the UK.
In a way the Netherlands and UK seems quite simular. But our density is far higher, I thought about 400 inhabitants/km2. Not really because of very high city densities or populations, but because of the huge amount of small(er) cities which cause an extremely amount of commuters.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #179
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I saw Dutch average population density is actually higher than metropolitan Atlanta....
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Old November 14th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #180
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The population density of England (rather than the whole UK) is also about 400/km2. Scotland, Wales, NI and even some peripheries of England are relatively empty. It's the core population regions of England that really need more capacity - roughly a rectangle London-Bristol-Liverpool-Leeds.
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