'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

I'm hoping that measurements at 20 mph limit spots also show similar.

As from tomorrow, the speed limit on all urban two way single lane roads will be reduced to 30 kph as from tomorrow. 30 effin' k! That's 18 mph. Up until now it was 50kph and only 30kph around schools and at pedestrian crossings painted in red and white (instead of black and white) but 30kph everywhere in towns is going to be ridiculous.

Even dual carriageways are going to be reduced to 50kph in towns. Got a feeling the traffic queues are going to get bigger which will, of course, reduce the amount of crap being pumped out (yeah, right).

They also had a rule that you could exceed the speed limit to overtake on motorways and national roads but that gets scrapped tomorrow as well. Great if you're following a truck doing 70kph in an 80kph speed limit.

Going to be interesting to see if they manage to change all the speed signs by then or if my satnav registers the new limits.
 
As from tomorrow, the speed limit on all urban two way single lane roads will be reduced to 30 kph as from tomorrow. 30 effin' k! That's 18 mph. Up until now it was 50kph and only 30kph around schools and at pedestrian crossings painted in red and white (instead of black and white) but 30kph everywhere in towns is going to be ridiculous.

Even dual carriageways are going to be reduced to 50kph in towns. Got a feeling the traffic queues are going to get bigger which will, of course, reduce the amount of crap being pumped out (yeah, right).

They also had a rule that you could exceed the speed limit to overtake on motorways and national roads but that gets scrapped tomorrow as well. Great if you're following a truck doing 70kph in an 80kph speed limit.

Going to be interesting to see if they manage to change all the speed signs by then or if my satnav registers the new limits.

Where?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
A real problem is what they were supposed to do, and how they were subsequently used.

The idea was that the hard shoulder would remain a hard shoulder until peak periods, when it would be opened to provide more capacity. So, the hard shoulder would still exist most of the time.

The hard shoulder would be used, therefore, when traffic was crawling along. There wouldn't be the opportunity for high-speed rear-end shunts. If a car had a problem in the running lanes, things might back up a bit as other cars went round but there wouldn't a 70+mph shunt with all that that entails.

The real problem came when it was decided to move over to all-lane running all of the time - whether the extra capacity was needed or not. If you've already got three lanes running with minimal traffic, why bother opening a fourth?

In all honesty, and the camera technology exists to do it, we could solve a lot of capacity issues by hammering the lane hogs. We should in fact, for reasons of safety as well as capacity.

The 'solution' to increase safety hasn't been to run Smart Motorways as they were going to be run but to keep the hard shoulder as a hard shoulder at peak times. That makes no sense whatsoever as you then end up with an empty lane and traffic crawling along as it always did.

A waste of money and time.
 
A real problem is what they were supposed to do, and how they were subsequently used.

The idea was that the hard shoulder would remain a hard shoulder until peak periods, when it would be opened to provide more capacity. So, the hard shoulder would still exist most of the time.

The hard shoulder would be used, therefore, when traffic was crawling along. There wouldn't be the opportunity for high-speed rear-end shunts. If a car had a problem in the running lanes, things might back up a bit as other cars went round but there wouldn't a 70+mph shunt with all that that entails.

The real problem came when it was decided to move over to all-lane running all of the time - whether the extra capacity was needed or not. If you've already got three lanes running with minimal traffic, why bother opening a fourth?
What he said... they were meant to provide extra capacity when needed, not an extra lane to undertake the lane hoggers
The 'Red Cross' is too infrequently used when it should be on most of the time
Red_X_Poster_A4_-_July-2015.jpg
 
What he said... they were meant to provide extra capacity when needed, not an extra lane to undertake the lane hoggers
The 'Red Cross' is too infrequently used when it should be on most of the time
Red_X_Poster_A4_-_July-2015.jpg
Ready Brek car?
 

anglo

LE
A real problem is what they were supposed to do, and how they were subsequently used.

The idea was that the hard shoulder would remain a hard shoulder until peak periods, when it would be opened to provide more capacity. So, the hard shoulder would still exist most of the time.

The hard shoulder would be used, therefore, when traffic was crawling along. There wouldn't be the opportunity for high-speed rear-end shunts. If a car had a problem in the running lanes, things might back up a bit as other cars went round but there wouldn't a 70+mph shunt with all that that entails.

The real problem came when it was decided to move over to all-lane running all of the time - whether the extra capacity was needed or not. If you've already got three lanes running with minimal traffic, why bother opening a fourth?

In all honesty, and the camera technology exists to do it, we could solve a lot of capacity issues by hammering the lane hogs. We should in fact, for reasons of safety as well as capacity.

The 'solution' to increase safety hasn't been to run Smart Motorways as they were going to be run but to keep the hard shoulder as a hard shoulder at peak times. That makes no sense whatsoever as you then end up with an empty lane and traffic crawling along as it always did.

A waste of money and time.
I have to wonder if the pratt that thought this little scheme up has ever driven a car,
That department must be full of mongs to agree with this being put into practice
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I have to wonder if the pratt that thought this little scheme up has ever driven a car,
That department must be full of mongs to agree with this being put into practice
The concept at the beginning had merit. Having to buy extra land and get through the planning stages all along the routes of our strategic road network is a 30 to 50-year undertaking and ruinously expensive.

Converting the hard shoulder kept you within existing boundaries and used land already owned.

A few things changed matters.

The original stretch on the M42 was the trial for the concept - that stretch of road as you head north past the NEC towards Birmingham was used. It had been presumed, for instance, that as drivers passed under one variable message sign they'd immediately need to see another one in order for messages to be constantly reinforced. As ever, these things get value-engineered; the M42 stretch is probably over-engineered but I think things went too far the other way in terms of distances between sanctuary areas, and so on.

The real issue, though, is them not being used in line with the original thinking.
 

anglo

LE
The concept at the beginning had merit. Having to buy extra land and get through the planning stages all along the routes of our strategic road network is a 30 to 50-year undertaking and ruinously expensive.

Converting the hard shoulder kept you within existing boundaries and used land already owned.

A few things changed matters.

The original stretch on the M42 was the trial for the concept - that stretch of road as you head north past the NEC towards Birmingham was used. It had been presumed, for instance, that as drivers passed under one variable message sign they'd immediately need to see another one in order for messages to be constantly reinforced. As ever, these things get value-engineered; the M42 stretch is probably over-engineered but I think things went too far the other way in terms of distances between sanctuary areas, and so on.

The real issue, though, is them not being used in line with the original thinking.
Removing the breakdown /safety lane is bad practice at the best of times, it was put there for a reason.
Being as it's used by the emergency vehicles as well
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Removing the breakdown /safety lane is bad practice at the best of times, it was put there for a reason.
Being as it's used by the emergency vehicles as well
Yes but it was manageable - and as noted the lane was only supposed to add more capacity when the others were crawling along. It was never originally intended to be a high-speed lane.
 

Troy

LE
Today driving home clockwise on the M25. Traffic had to slow for a queue of vehicles turning onto the M1 and backing up right into lane 1 of M25.

The overhead waring sign read: "Vehicle Fire Slow Down"

As I passed by I could easily see a class 1 HGV on the exit road's hard shoulder being attended to by an emergency/mobile Tyre van.

I have often thought that whatever M25 control room exists has been outsourced to some Indian call centre. This doesn't convince me otherwise!

Imagine if the problem had been reversed, and a Tyre van got sent out instead of a Fire engine...
 
The idea was that the hard shoulder would remain a hard shoulder until peak periods, when it would be opened to provide more capacity. So, the hard shoulder would still exist most of the time.
Yep, and what I have said, more than once up thread.

Furthermore the powers that be know that they have messed up, but don't know how to get out of the hole they have dug:
 

bob231

War Hero
Interestingly, the (eternal) roadworks on the M27 now merely say "upgrading to motorways", with four lane running apparently standard by design. There are regular refuge areas but these are about the size of a large passing place, and the gantries are very infrequent.

Ironic, given that the only bits that seemed to readily and regularly choke up were the two lane section at the M3 junction (now three lanes) and the bit between the existing four running lanes and the M275 turnoff (no change). This just seems to be extra risk as reversing the "smart motorways" decision in entirity was unpalatable.
 
Interestingly, the (eternal) roadworks on the M27 now merely say "upgrading to motorways", with four lane running apparently standard by design. There are regular refuge areas but these are about the size of a large passing place, and the gantries are very infrequent.

Ironic, given that the only bits that seemed to readily and regularly choke up were the two lane section at the M3 junction (now three lanes) and the bit between the existing four running lanes and the M275 turnoff (no change). This just seems to be extra risk as reversing the "smart motorways" decision in entirity was unpalatable.
Heading East just around Southampton Airport always chokes at teatime, for no apparent reason. Then the good ol junction 9, Segensworth queuing. Apart from what you mention above its a pretty good motorway. The roadworks are interminable though.
 
Interestingly, the (eternal) roadworks on the M27 now merely say "upgrading to motorways", with four lane running apparently standard by design. There are regular refuge areas but these are about the size of a large passing place, and the gantries are very infrequent.

Ironic, given that the only bits that seemed to readily and regularly choke up were the two lane section at the M3 junction (now three lanes) and the bit between the existing four running lanes and the M275 turnoff (no change). This just seems to be extra risk as reversing the "smart motorways" decision in entirity was unpalatable.
The M27/M275 bit is a cluster flock. The huge fuss putting in the extra lanes some years ago led to little advantage. The M27 ‘Upgrade’ stops a mile short of this, going eastbound. Then, just as lanes one and two hive off for the M275, the remaining road is down to 50, then 40 “for your safety”. For eternal barrier/bridge repairs. This is lifted just as it becomes a four-lane highway, and stops being a Motorway. When the fight for position begins (lanes one and two for A3 north, lanes three and four for A27 to Chichester).
Its worse coming off the A3, as they have altered the signs and lane width at the A2030 junction. It’s still 40 across the top of Portsmouth, though. So I give an LGV getting on at A2030 a lot of room. Almost all are not getting off immediately to Portsmouth docks. A fact not many of my fellow drivers appreciate.
Westbound saga continues: then you have the M275 join, the uphill drag, then hit the (eventually) smart bit going downhill.
I always smile at the removable bits of the signs that say “Smart Motorway delays until xxxx“ as this is now a joke.
They left the carcass of the sign: delivered 2021.
I live just north of the M27, and this shit show has gone on and on and on. Hundreds of letters advising of plans, schedules, maybes, dunnos, whatever’s. The fencing is awful, some kind of metal that will eventually not look like rusty Potsdam fencing, but in the meantime looks like Alcatraz, and the disruption has been awful from the aspect of the noise and traffic disruption.
I would like to boot the head of Highways England and the current Transport Secretary ***********.
 
Interestingly, the (eternal) roadworks on the M27 now merely say "upgrading to motorways", with four lane running apparently standard by design. There are regular refuge areas but these are about the size of a large passing place, and the gantries are very infrequent.

Ironic, given that the only bits that seemed to readily and regularly choke up were the two lane section at the M3 junction (now three lanes) and the bit between the existing four running lanes and the M275 turnoff (no change). This just seems to be extra risk as reversing the "smart motorways" decision in entirity was unpalatable.
They ballsed it up. There was no “Smart“ bit, so when the guvmit changed its mind, they paused. That pause, to meet the new requirements: who knows. See my posts below at the eternal embuggerance this causes.
 

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