Jump to content

Highways Agency Gives Up


patently
 Share

Recommended Posts

As someone who travels the motorways a lot, the number of 50 mph zones and 40 mph gantry set stretches are increasing noticeably.

 

Yesterday they even had some of the gantries on the M42 going from 70 to 40, then to 70, then to 50, then to 40 - across 3 gantries.  I see more and more of that.

 

The M1 stretch through the Midlands at the moment is a sign of times to come.  50 mph all the way for 30 miles.

 

On my trips down South now I have to go through at least 3 restricted zones.  All at 50 mph and all with average speed cameras.

 

If they set the limit at 40 mph I'll just change my mode of travel because it'll become completely unworkable.  Perhaps that is their plan.  I don't agree they'll only drop it to 60 mph.  I think they'll go straight to 50 mph.  There are now huge stretches of roads set to it anyway with no signs of them ever removing it. 

 

I did 472 miles yesterday, in 7 hours 38 minutes, with an average speed of around 62 mph.  I make my time up out of the 50 mph stretches but I'm always just in the flow of traffic.

 

If you base my average speed as a percentage of the motorway speed limit (almost all the miles are on 70 mph roads) then thats 88% of the limit. 

 

So if they dropped it to 40 mph, and my average of the speed limit remained the same, then I'd have an average speed of 35 mph.

 

Take that over my trip yesterday, and it means that instead of taking 7 hours 38 minutes, it would have been around 13.5 hours. 

 

Genius plan.  Kill the UK economy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sod the motorways, take the unrestriced country lanes, 60mph all the way!

 

If you were to try getting from North of Newcastle to, say, Wiltshire or Hertfordshire, or even just Birmingham, and do so on 60 mph country lanes - you'll find that you can't without doing around double the miles and therefore the increased speed simply doesn't work.

 

I do look at all manner of routes when doing my trips.  Then you have the fact that if you do find such roads, it is very rare you'll be able to do 60 mph on them due to the odd HGV or whatever else travelling at 40-50 mph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't get HGV's on country lanes, just the odd tractor, it does mean having to have the left side of your car polished regularly to take care of the scratches from hedges and general undergrowth, and of course, you have to hope you don't round a bend to find someone else doing 60mph towards you, as there won't be anywhere to go unless you luck into a passing bay!

I was of course, joking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting point though Tipex. I have the choice of heavily trafficked A roads and dual carriageways. Or small back roads across country, for my 22 mile commute. Both take about the same amount of time, though I do drive briskly on the back roads with the odd overtake.

A road fuel consumption. - 36mpg

Back road fuel consumption - 18mpg

I tend to go the back roads a lot :)

Edited by jimdiesel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tipex raises the real issue, though - if we carry on choking the motorways like this then people will divert off them onto smaller roads.  OK, MrMe won't, but there are plenty of people with shorter journeys who will.  Given that motorways are the safest roads to be on, this is going to mean more people are injured or killed.  

 

I've seen so often that the matrix sign flashes up CONGESTION AHEAD although you can't see any at all, then the speed limits say 60 (still no congestion) ... then 50 (still no congestion).... then 40 (still no congestion).... then NSL/clear.  WTF?  At no point was there any sign of any congestion or the after-effects of it, and the traffic density is so obviously insufficient for there to have been any.  This is actually dangerous, because half the motorway slows to 40 because the gantry says so but half carries on at 80 because they know it's all made up and (crucially) the traffic density isn't high enough for the obedient ones to force the others to slow down.

 

Can't help but wonder if this happens more towards the end of the speed camera FY :coffee:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone read the article. What they are trying to do is get as many cars through an area as possible at peak times not all the time. And as such when cars go slower and often follow closer and there is less stop start braking there is more throughput and less delay. 

 

Personally if they did this in more locations there would be less time spend stopped then speeding up to mach 1 then back down to stopped again which tends to cause more accidents and less cars get through. 

 

For the M42 and M62 where I've used it it went from appauling do I really have to go that way to being well its only a slight delay I can handle that its far better. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*reads article again*

 

No, I don't see that in the article.  I read about a Highways Agency that isn't investing in capacity that we need, knows that it isn't, but is hamstrung by Civil Service rules.  I see also that an independent assessment ranks us 24th among our peers for the quality of our roads.

 

And what I see in practice is a Highways Agency that is manipulating the gantry speed limits in order to generate revenue and create exactly this:

 

stopped then speeding up to mach 1 then back down to stopped again which tends to cause more accidents and fewer cars get through. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen so often that the matrix sign flashes up CONGESTION AHEAD although you can't see any at all, then the speed limits say 60 (still no congestion) ... then 50 (still no congestion).... then 40 (still no congestion).... then NSL/clear.  WTF?  At no point was there any sign of any congestion or the after-effects of it, and the traffic density is so obviously insufficient for there to have been any.  This is actually dangerous, because half the motorway slows to 40 because the gantry says so but half carries on at 80 because they know it's all made up and (crucially) the traffic density isn't high enough for the obedient ones to force the others to slow down.

 

One of the Swindon junctions on the M4 is always like that - there will be a dozen cars at the lights at the end of a long slip road, and the gantries will be telling people to slow for congestion.

 

Then there's the variable limit around Newport - particularly the Brynglas tunnel, which always used to be relatively free flowing until they put a 50mph limit on it - even when the road is deserted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to see all the roads they've used the 40 or 50 zones on - and the real time to pass through an area.

 

Not just the best time, but every time.

 

See, that section of the M1 I mentioned is adding 6-7 minutes to my trips to the South. 

 

Now, if traffic flowed through these sections better, I would be going through faster, yes?  But I'm not.  Not at any time of day.

 

I'm sorry, I don't believe a word the Highways Agency comes out with most of the time.  They are doing this for one reason and one reason alone - the green issue and lowering emissions.  That's the agenda that slips out all too often and this one is masked with convenience.

 

Patently is absolutely spot on.  Motorways are safer.  Back roads are not.  They will drive people to the back roads (except me, as he says).

 

I know CarMad has said he finds the flow of traffic on the M42 and M62 eases his trips.  I, conversely, don't.  I travel the full length of the M62 (from the A1/M1) many a time, and the same on the M42, and I can't see any speed improvement whatsoever.  I see a time loss.

 

I'm sorry, but I think they've got the entire strategy wrong.

 

Get the idiots off the road.  The drivers and vehicles that shouldn't be on them in the first place.  The ones that cause the fecking accidents and slow downs.  The tail gaters and the hestitant lunatics who have everyone on the edge.  Improve the standard of driving in the UK and we won't need any of this utter rubbish from the Highways Agency.

 

Test people every 2 years, or more.

 

Ban more people.

 

If someone gets caught driving an unsafe car, ban them.

 

Then, enforce bans.

 

If someone causes an accident, even if just through a moment of carelessness, make them resit their test.  Emphasise what good driving is and don't let nervous or risky drivers anywhere near the public highways.

 

Tell overseas HGV drivers that they won't be driving on British roads until they pass a British test.

 

Tell the EU to stick their all-encompassing license up their arse.  Want to drive here?  Take the test here.  Same when we go overseas.

 

Speed limits, gantries, variable zones, emissions, any other bollocks you care to mention - they're not the problem.  Drivers are, so spend the money on a system that educates them and tests they are fit to drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did that tunnel once at 70 in the 911 with the roof down, in 2nd gear on the redline :grin: :grin:

 

On a lighter note, yes, that's what tunnels are for!  :cool:

 

Le Mans tickets arrived today, bring on those tunnels through Rouen.....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, well I don't necessarily dispute that on short trips.

 

However, there is still a big disparity on long trips in a 70 mph zone and you still have the driver element.

 

It is going to be impossible on 99% of trips for me to cover 400-600 miles in a day faster at 40-50mph than at 70mph - because the distance is such that I am very unlikely to be hit by traffic disruption to the extent it would make the lower limit faster.

 

If we're talking about being near to grid-lock, then perhaps it is different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience, lowering the limit to increase the flow of traffic is horseshit. 

I challenge anyone to routinely drive along the blanket 50mph section of the A1 from the Angel of the North to Newburn bridge and convince me it helps with traffic flow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been scientifically proven that when traffic reaches a certain volume it will flow smoother and quicker if travelling at a lower, more consistent speed.

So in theory our ever expanding 'managed motorway' network could be a good thing.

If the Highways Agency weren't such complete f*cktards.

Yes, but it goes more quickly if you provide the capacity to accommodate the cars and reduce the density. Look at a road map of Europe, compare the density of their autoroutes and autobahns with our motorways.

This all goes back to Prescott and his determination to get us all into buses and trains. That worked well :coffee:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...