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10th February 2008
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Apologies if this has already been posted, but can't find it. Doesn't seem to be a thread about it either.

Quite a substantial project.

Contractor appointed for Greater Manchester’s smart motorway

From:Highways Agency and Robert Goodwill MP History:published 19 June 2014 Part of:Managing, improving and investing in the road network, Transport and UK economy ...

A major project to cut congestion and improve journey times on parts of the M60 and M62 around Greater Manchester is on track to start next month, following the appointment of the main contractor.

M60 M62 smart motorways map



The Highways Agency has signed a £184 million deal with infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty to oversee the smart motorway scheme on a 17 mile stretch of the network between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

The latest technology will be installed to monitor traffic levels, provide traffic information to road users, and ease congestion by using variable speed limits on overhead message signs.

The hard shoulder will also be permanently converted into an extra lane on a five mile stretch of the M62 between Junctions 18 and 20 to provide extra capacity on the part of the motorway which links the North West to Yorkshire.

Balfour Beatty will lead the project, overseeing the work of three other delivery partners – Costain, Carillion and a BAM Morgan Sindall Joint Venture.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“This £208 million scheme is part of the record £24 billion investment we are making in the road network over this Parliament and the next to support economic growth. It will tackle the congestion and unpredictable journey times that users of the M60 and M62 experience every day, which costs the economy some £2 billion a year. It is also good news for the construction industry as more than a thousand jobs will be created to help deliver these vital improvements.”

Balfour Beatty Executive Chairman, Steve Marshall said:

“We have been working with the Highways Agency for twenty years and look forward to building on that successful relationship. This scheme will benefit the 180,000 road users that pass through this section of the motorway network every day. We are committed to lead this project in a collaborative way with our partners, employing local people and businesses in our supply chain.”



Work is due to get underway next month. Once completed, in autumn 2017, more than 200 new electronic signs on the M60 and M62 will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures, and incidents ahead.

Around 24 new CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor traffic levels from the Highways Agency’s Regional Control Centre at Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside.

Emergency refuge areas will be created on this section of motorway with overhead signs used to alert motorists of lane closures and incidents ahead, clearing lanes to allow emergency vehicles to get through.

To stay up to date with the latest developments, visit the scheme Facebook page or the Highways Agency’s website where you can register to be kept informed about the news on the scheme.

https://www.facebook.com/smartmotorwaysmanchester
Plenty of information and graphics. Click on PDF link below.



https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...vember_final_061113_1030_doc__attachment_.pdf
 

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TBH, we've got a smart motorway system around Bristol now (M4/M5) and I can't say I've seen a noticeable improvement. Maybe time will tell?
 

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Smart motorway me arse.

All this represents is a way for fascist road civil servants backed up with SS consultants doing their best to constrain the freedoms of the highways that we have already paid for.

Where this bullshit has already been introduced, in the West Midlands and in Bristol as Berty has said, it makes absolutely no fuckin' difference whatsoever except everyone gets inconvenienced, threatened with fines and the 'state' gets to tell everyone to 'Remember to wear your seat belts'.
And the nation is 100s of millions of squids worse off.....money that could otherwise be spent on something useful and economically productive like better public transport.

Come the revolution, the first people lined up against the wall are self-proclaimed traffic management specialists. All a bunch of self important twats trying to save us (in their minds) from our own stupidity.

What a waste of the nation's limited resources.
Why do we put up with this shit?
 

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As I fly along the M62 eastwards to Oldham in the morning I pass a pitying glance at the stationary traffic going (or not) west.
Can't see smart motorways making much difference there.
Good advert for HS3 though...
PS a few box junctions on the Simister roundabout; now that would be transformational!
 

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I had a laugh at Lookin Up's post, but I have to say I concur. IMHO an awful lot of money has been wasted on roads doing things like replacing central reservations. And in my experience a "smart" motorway is just a slow motorway.
 

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I use the M62 quite frequently. Its definately an added benefit the hard shoulder gets opened, but the variable speed limits are total rubbish. Quite frequently it will be 50 on one board, 40 on the next then back to 50 straight after that in a distance not really long enough for traffic congestion to change. But at least there are cameras on the 40 board...
 

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I had a laugh at Lookin Up's post, but I have to say I concur. IMHO an awful lot of money has been wasted on roads doing things like replacing central reservations. And in my experience a "smart" motorway is just a slow motorway.
Anthing that increases motorway capacity while reducing motorway top speeds has to be a good thing. It may well be a moot point how well smart motorways work in this - and indeed whether this particular proposal is smart enough. But the basic point is a good one. Motorways represent a major component of shared community investment; primarily they carry large volumes of goods, and have secondary economic benefits for bus and car traffic. All of which is maximised if they are full to capacity, and if traffic moves along them at a safe, constant, average speed that is as high as is
consistent with optimal traffic flow.

That in turn implies that motorway users cannot any longer be permitted a simple speed free-for-all within an excessive 70 mph maximum llimit. Minimum speeds have to be raised, and maximum speeds curtailed, and lane discipline (especially entering and leaving the motorway) has to be rigorously enforced.

The traffic speeds implied by this are (I think) reasonably well established from many empirical studies and tests. Maximum capacity in periods of high congestion is optimised by consistent 50 mpk(80 kph) travel. Any faster, and capacity drops due to increased concertina effects of braking and cutting in.

Where traffic congestion is less, then average speeds will be improved by allowing a higher maximum; but this cannot be higher than the maximum for HGVs, or the objective of everyone travelling at the same speed becomes impossible. Which leads to the conclusion that no motorway should permit speeds greater than 60 mph for any traffic; except when flows are very low indeed.

But the key point is not to build any extra roads, unless we are making the maximum possible use of the existing roads. If Smart motorway technology achieves this it gets my vote.


Or how otherwise would you porpose to apply reduced maximum speeds acrsaoss the motorway system?
 

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Never understood why a 'smart motorway' limits the fast lane speed to 50mph and enforces it with speed cameras when it's quiet. I struggle to see why the speed cameras are even needed at all. Nothing 'smart' about that part of it. Stinks of over government control and money making.
 

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Never understood why a 'smart motorway' limits the fast lane speed to 50mph and enforces it with speed cameras when it's quiet. I struggle to see why the speed cameras are even needed at all. Nothing 'smart' about that part of it. Stinks of over government control and money making.
Smart motorways come from the fact that when it's busy, you can increase the carrying capacity of a piece of road by reducing the speed of the traffic, and just as importantly, keeping it flowing smoothly. At lower speeds, you need less stopping distance, so it's safe to drive closer together. More cars fit on the road, and if you can keep it moving at an even speed, the capacity actually goes up. Speed cameras are needed to enforce this, because it is counter-intuitive to say that going slower speeds everyone up and some drivers would just refuse to believe it.

You'll see a similar effect on a normal motorway when it jams up. Lane 1 often keeps moving, because of the tendency of HGVs to stay in it. It's a pain to speed up and slow down in them, so their drivers are good at evening out their speed. Match it in your car and you may find yourself overtaking the other lanes. Works for me.

I have never seen a reduced limit on a smart motorway when the traffic was light. You may be thinking of the reduced speeds that are posted on the matrix signs on regular motorways, which are just advisory (but if you ignore them and cause a crash you would be on thin ice legally and with your insurance claim). They generally warn of problems ahead, but because they are set by human beings in control rooms, they are sometimes wrong, or left in place after the problem has gone away. Smart motorways are computer-controlled, limits set based on the number and speed of vehicles passing.

As for whether it will help on this particular bit of motorway? Maybe, but that will be as much from the hard shoulder running as the smartness. Personally I try never to be anywhere hear this bit of the M60 when it's busy.
 

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Smart motorways come from the fact that when it's busy, you can increase the carrying capacity of a piece of road by reducing the speed of the traffic, and just as importantly, keeping it flowing smoothly. At lower speeds, you need less stopping distance, so it's safe to drive closer together. More cars fit on the road, and if you can keep it moving at an even speed, the capacity actually goes up. Speed cameras are needed to enforce this, because it is counter-intuitive to say that going slower speeds everyone up and some drivers would just refuse to believe it.

You'll see a similar effect on a normal motorway when it jams up. Lane 1 often keeps moving, because of the tendency of HGVs to stay in it. It's a pain to speed up and slow down in them, so their drivers are good at evening out their speed. Match it in your car and you may find yourself overtaking the other lanes. Works for me.

I have never seen a reduced limit on a smart motorway when the traffic was light. You may be thinking of the reduced speeds that are posted on the matrix signs on regular motorways, which are just advisory (but if you ignore them and cause a crash you would be on thin ice legally and with your insurance claim). They generally warn of problems ahead, but because they are set by human beings in control rooms, they are sometimes wrong, or left in place after the problem has gone away. Smart motorways are computer-controlled, limits set based on the number and speed of vehicles passing.

As for whether it will help on this particular bit of motorway? Maybe, but that will be as much from the hard shoulder running as the smartness. Personally I try never to be anywhere hear this bit of the M60 when it's busy.
There will be no hard shoulder running on the M60 only the M62 bit. Hard shoulder running on the M60 or part of it was dropped and for that reason I doubt the full benefit, if there is one will be felt
 

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Anthing that increases motorway capacity while reducing motorway top speeds has to be a good thing.
No it doesn't. The government are talking about spending big big money on HS2 to shave half an hour off journey times, so spending money on reducing motorway speeds doesn't make sense. I say spend the money on widening the road. That will increase capacity. Not doing that and spending megabucks to make everybody do 40mph really doesn't help. You're on the road for twice as long, it causes congestion.

It may well be a moot point how well smart motorways work in this - and indeed whether this particular proposal is smart enough.
The moot point is that it's a stupid waste of money that should go into widening the road.

But the basic point is a good one. Motorways represent a major component of shared community investment; primarily they carry large volumes of goods, and have secondary economic benefits for bus and car traffic. All of which is maximised if they are full to capacity, and if traffic moves along them at a safe, constant, average speed that is as high as is consistent with optimal traffic flow.
I don't think anybody would argue with that. The issue is whether this ideal is realised. I say it isn't.

That in turn implies that motorway users cannot any longer be permitted a simple speed free-for-all within an excessive 70 mph maximum limit. Minimum speeds have to be raised, and maximum speeds curtailed...
We're into control freak territory with this. I think the speed limit should go up to 80mph like it was going to, and that roads should be widened. After that then we can talk about "smart" motorways.

and lane discipline (especially entering and leaving the motorway) has to be rigorously enforced.
You bet. In my experience a lot of congestion is caused by smartass drivers turning off a slow motorway at a junction then going straight over the roundabout and back on.

The traffic speeds implied by this are (I think) reasonably well established from many empirical studies and tests. Maximum capacity in periods of high congestion is optimised by consistent 50 mpk(80 kph) travel. Any faster, and capacity drops due to increased concertina effects of braking and cutting in.
That's what they say, but I don't believe it.

Where traffic congestion is less, then average speeds will be improved by allowing a higher maximum; but this cannot be higher than the maximum for HGVs, or the objective of everyone travelling at the same speed becomes impossible. Which leads to the conclusion that no motorway should permit speeds greater than 60 mph for any traffic; except when flows are very low indeed.
Bollocks to that. HGVs should be confined to the inside lane doing 60mph. No pulling out to overtake at 60.01mph.

But the key point is not to build any extra roads, unless we are making the maximum possible use of the existing roads. If Smart motorway technology achieves this it gets my vote.
The key point is to rob you blind via tax and NI and VAT and various ripoff wheezes, then spend it on the bureaucracy. Fat salaries, jobs for the boys, and gold-plated pensions.

nerd said:
Or how otherwise would you propose to apply reduced maximum speeds acrsaoss the motorway system?
I don't. I propose this: **** off out of my lane if you can't do 80mph.
 

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There will be no hard shoulder running on the M60 only the M62 bit. Hard shoulder running on the M60 or part of it was dropped and for that reason I doubt the full benefit, if there is one will be felt
If the road isn't widened there won't be any benefit. This "smart motorway" stuff is just a scam. Have a read of this about the M1. What makes thing better is a wider road, because drivers are using the hard shoulder.
 

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If the road isn't widened there won't be any benefit. This "smart motorway" stuff is just a scam. Have a read of this about the M1. What makes thing better is a wider road, because drivers are using the hard shoulder.
Strange, Farsight.

Nothing in that article challenges the basic point that reducing top speeds in itself will increase the capacity of roads carrying motorway traffic streams. Which is the point that air1970 was making - as I did too. Can you provide any evidence for your assertion that it is the use of the hard shoulder, more than the regulation of traffic speed, that generates 'smart motorway' benefits? This is a genuine request, as I am well aware that the whole issue is a contested one.

I would have thought the basic principles are not disputed though; and I would like to hear which, if any, you would take issue with.

- Motorways are not public rights of way; all motorway users are quite reasonably expected to surrender claims to freedom to drive how and where they want, if they wish to share the benefits of motorway use. If you are not willing to conform to common optimal road behaviours, you shuldn't be on the motorway in the first place.

- The bulk of community economic benefit from motoway provision is generated by transport of goods and services. Time value benefits from private car usage generate considerably lower total community value. OK; this finding is substantially determined by the way that the DfT models value time; for instance commuting is valued as 'private' rasther than 'work' time - but the point is substantially made nevertheless. Our economy cannot function now without road transport of goods and services; and motorways are the means that does this quickest and safest.

- HGV traffic does not function efficiently at motorway speeds above 60mph. I confess that my evidence on this is largely negative; the Road Haulage Association is actively campaigning against lower speed limits on single carreageway roads - but makes no case for raising the Motorway limit. However, all the economic evidence points to the importance of uniform steady speed operation as best for HGVs, and empirically that is much more difficult to achieve at higher speeds

- Traffic streams function best as convoys, where all vehicles in all lanes travel at the same speed and there is no differentiation into slow, medium and 'overtaking' streams. Again I am appealing here to common experience; but I would be interested to see whether any studies challenge it. My own experience is consistently of under-used left-hand lane space on motorways, as car users are unwilling to be 'stuck' behind HGVs. If no traffic is allowed to travel above the HGV limit (and this is enforced by speed cameras) the problem goes away and everybody gains.

Widening motorways is a horrendously expensive activity; typically it seems that something in the region of £50m per mile cost - surely we need to sort out less than optimal use of existing carriageways before adding more?

Building completely new roads is even more expensive - with the added disadvantage that even a relatively short stretch of new road (see the A556 and Airport Relief Road threads) cannot be completed with less than decades of pre-planning and option appraisal.

Whereas the 'smart motorway' option seems to offer an improvement in a relatively short time frame. Isn't that better?

Without being personal, you do rasther undermine your arguments by suggesting that the Tory propsoal to raise speed limits to 80 mph moight be other than a catastrophically mistaken bit of populist posturing, best buried as soon as possible. This is the traffic economics of Jeremy Clarkson.
 

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Anecdotally, my journeys through Birmingham and Leeds have become more reliable since managed motorways. I've only seen the systems on when the traffic levels have warranted it.

I've also seen it work very well when there have been accidents, by slowing traffic well in advance of the incident, and closing the effected lane it help to prevent sudden bunching and keeps the traffic flowing.

The signage also encourages drivers to stay in lane when the limits are lit, and this always improves flow when it is busy. The hard shoulder is often designated as the lane for the next exit only, so traffic leaving the road is out of the main flow sooner.

I'm yet to hear of anyone getting a ticket from the cameras, so they are either impeccably observed or are rather forgiving.
 

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Anecdotally, my journeys through Birmingham and Leeds have become more reliable since managed motorways. I've only seen the systems on when the traffic levels have warranted it.

I've also seen it work very well when there have been accidents, by slowing traffic well in advance of the incident, and closing the effected lane it help to prevent sudden bunching and keeps the traffic flowing.

The signage also encourages drivers to stay in lane when the limits are lit, and this always improves flow when it is busy. The hard shoulder is often designated as the lane for the next exit only, so traffic leaving the road is out of the main flow sooner.

I'm yet to hear of anyone getting a ticket from the cameras, so they are either impeccably observed or are rather forgiving.
My experience too architecty.

It does suggest that 'smart' motoways are primarily about creating 'smart' motorists - and encouraging efficent use motorway provision, by promoting drivers who choose moderate their driving according to the information provided by the system.

But that depends on drivers wanting to be 'smart'. My experience is that the bulk do so; but clearly there are those who value the freedom to be stupid; and that is also a consistent narrative of a response to smart motorways. Some people do want to be allowed drive faster than the bulk of the traffic on the motorway, and object to being prevented from doing so, however stupid, anti-social and counter-productive that might be.
 

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Smart motorways identify the potential jams and cause changes in the flashing speed signs just as the current roads do.

The current system (without speed cameras) may even cause people to speed up as they attempt to offset the delay time by speeding towards it. Hand on heart, when the 40 or 50 signs flash has anyone ever seen half of the drivers adhere to those speeds?

The huge differences are the hard shoulder running and speed cameras. Open up the hard shoulder at/ahead of the potential jam to allow traffic to flow from it and reduce the speed before it and you've minimised the chance of the jam even happening in the first place.

It makes complete sense.
 

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I still don't get how the benefits of going to 80mph speed limit outweight the dangers. People seem to always state that cars are safer, but drivers are still idiots and they are the danger, not the speed.
 
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