British Roads

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British Roads

Post by bristol170kj on Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:22 am

So, onto the M20 at Folkstone.
We didnt get chance to have a coffee before getting the train, so quick stop at Stop 24.  The sign as you enter says "2 hours free".  Presumably you pay for more hours.  We havent seen a sign like that for 2months throughout Spain and France.
Back on the motorway after coffee I cant describe, it was so bad. And not long before road works and 50mph limit.  Then mile after mile of No-Road work being carried out except 3 men and one spade and a little further up and 5 men and one drill.
And I wonder which bright spark decided it was a great idea to build the M25 from concrete with a 2 inch gap between slabs.  After a while inside the camper was like a giant was hitting it with a mallet.
GREAT TO BE BACK......
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Re: British Roads

Post by Les W on Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:53 am

Horrendous isn't it...
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Re: British Roads

Post by bikeralw on Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:06 am

We say much the same thing every time we return from an extended trip on the continent. This time it was the M25 Dartford crossing. Over two hours to cover 6 miles! Since they've ditched the pay barriers there shouldn't be any hold up at all. When we eventually got to the crossing the bridge and all bores of the crossing were open. I can only assume it's the sheer volume of traffic joining in the last few junctions.
Regarding the 2 hour stay at the services, I think it applies to every motorway services in England. After one particular long haul from Paris, we took the matrix advice on the M1 and had a 3 hour nap. A week later a hefty fine dropped on the mat.
Welcome home indeed...
Al.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Askit on Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:10 pm

The solution is in your own hands...........

..........stop going abroad and you’ll have nothing to compare our roads and services with  snigger

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Re: British Roads

Post by pstallwood on Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:56 pm

I use the M20 quite regularly to visit mother. On it today and agree that the 50mph area is a real pain at the moment. They are building a new junction and that meant a short bit of 50 mph and reasonable width lanes. They have now decided to add extra road works on the north bound carriageway with one normal and one narrow lane. I guess that as the extra bit does not have average speed cameras on it is not going to be a long term project like the other bit. You will be pleased to learn that they were some men working there today - more than I had seen for a while.

The road surface on the left hand lane around Ashford has been awful for ages - so bad that I am often a middle lane hogger there. Agree about the concrete bit going from Ashford to near Maidstone - the thump thump thump as you cross the joins and the road roar is very wearing.

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Re: British Roads

Post by Quilter on Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:00 pm

Lots of French and German motorways were originally built of concrete. We lived in France then and travelled often to Germany and were told it was because this was cheaper and longer lasting than tarmac and did not ridge when used continuously by heavy lorries. It was noisy for people living nearby and the continual thump, thump, thump of the expansion joints as you travel over them is one that always brings back my childhood.

I also understand that tarmac cures more quickly than concrete so that roads covered with it can be reopened the next day while concrete takes a week or more to set properly.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Gromit on Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:18 pm

Quilter wrote:I also understand that tarmac cures more quickly than concrete so that roads covered with it can be reopened the next day while concrete takes a week or more to set properly.
Not a problem Quilter.

It takes at least that long for the traffic lights and road restrictions to be taken in after any workmen who actually turned up have finished the job.  Whistle1 shrugg

The most recent excavations outside our house were a good example of this kind of joined up thinking.  shrugg

The traffic lights arrived and the 20 yards of single lane was established.

Exactly one week later a couple of workmen arrived, spent two hours digging a small hole in the pavement, well clear of the road, filled it in again and left.

Ten days after that the traffic lights were collected.

17 days of disruption for two hours of work.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. The hole was at the centre of our drive, so pedestrian traffic could have easily detoured slightly into the drive to avoid the workmen - for the two hours that they were there - working well clear of the road, and perfectly safe without any lane closure!!  rolleyes

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Re: British Roads

Post by Quilter on Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:26 pm

[quote="Gromit"]
Quilter wrote:


The traffic lights arrived and the 20 yards of single lane was established.

Exactly one week later a couple of workmen arrived, spent two hours digging a small hole in the pavement,

:

Why do they do this ? I understand the need for workmen to be kept safe and so on but so often miles of cones are put up to make single carriageways round what turns out to be a few metres of roadworks. Very often in Europe they manage well, seemingly without carnage, with a warning vehicle or two either side of the roadworks. Roadworks and warning vehicles can move along as necessary without too much disruption to traffic.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Gromit on Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:37 pm

Wish I could answer your question.

The French are very sensible. One huge lorry to protect the workmen with a 40 ton concrete block on the back, and a massive and very bright flashing arrow.

Their philosophy seems to be that if anyone is daft enough to smear themselves on the back of the concrete block, they have only themselves to blame.

Mr Darwin would have agreed with them!!

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Re: British Roads

Post by Askit on Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:58 pm

Don't know for sure but I expect it's a health and safety issue, employers won't risk the implications of not ensuring their employees have maximum protection to keep them safe (and to save the mployers from any possible litigation). We regularly have road closures to allow for resurfacing work, in the old days it would have been one side of the carriageway done, then the other, to allow traffic to continue to flow. Now roads, even main thoroughfares, are shut for a week at a time. We even have one side of a local 4 mile long dual carriageway shut for a day every fortnight to allow for grass verges to be cut, except in winter of course biggrin

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Re: British Roads

Post by nuevoboy on Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:34 pm

It's not the employers who are doing this out of choice, it's all down to legislation in the Roads and Street Works Act (I can't recall now whether this was a European Directive - probably not by the sound of it).
The amount of guarding required is covered in the extensive handbooks and let me tell you, the training for all this is fairly comprehensive.
Our council highways inspectors were really rigorous in checking the utility companies and there were severe fines that could be implemented.
I have to say though, that from my experience, the councils themselves weren't covered by the same guidelines. 
In the above case I would suggest that it was a council job the repair the pavement and it was their own traffic management put into place. Had that been a utility company doing the work, they wouldn't have left the traffic lights in place that long - they would have cost a fortune from the supplying traffic management company.  

nuevoboy (now thankfully retired).
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Re: British Roads

Post by HairyFool on Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:23 am

Recently had to go to Gatwick via M25/M23.

On the slip between the two the outer lane was closed (red cross above the lane, don't mention the drivers that ignored it). This was done to achieve the required lane restrictions distance before the works on the M23. Half way through the restriction the on slip reduces to one lane anyway. Absolutely no need to put in the 1st lane restriction.

Had to go through the Dartford crossing both ways. Miles of queues both ways but at no time was the traffic flowing fast enough to reach the mandatory variable limit. The object of these is to slow the traffic enough to let it flow through the restrictions.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Askit on Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:43 pm

I certainly understand your point of view but sometimes other road users (none of us of course Whistle1 ) need a little persuasion to get in line. Last Monday we were travelling back on the A66 when everything ground to a halt on a dual carriageway section. We expected some road works or a bump of some sort but it seems the only problem was the bun fight to get onto a bit of single lane road. I could not believe the numbers who tried to jump the queue, when it's obvious that you can't progress any faster than the vehicle in front of you on that road.

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Re: British Roads

Post by RML on Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:14 pm

Just back from a break in France and leaving Poole got cut up twice by BMWs neither was anything to do with me. I hate the aggression displayed by British drivers. 
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Re: British Roads

Post by rgermain on Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:41 pm

Have you ever seen how the French fill in the cracks in the road. Amazing seeing loads of black tar which look like a big slug has been crawling about and the repair is almost smooth.

You know when you leave the Euro Tunnel, bump bump then the M25 joints, not to mention the constant convoy in the fast lane.
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Re: British Roads

Post by HairyFool on Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:23 am

About 8 miles yesterday sat behind two HGV playing silly bees. Up a slope one would creep forward but not enough to pull in then down the other side the inside one would catch up.

No point in new regulations to stop it, no police on the road to catch them

The sooner the railways work properly and get the damned things off the road the better
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Re: British Roads

Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:05 am

HairyFool wrote:About 8 miles yesterday sat behind two HGV playing silly bees. Up a slope one would creep forward but not enough to pull in then down the other side the inside one would catch up.

No point in new regulations to stop it, no police on the road to catch them

The sooner the railways work properly and get the damned things off the road the better
It will never happen Hairy. Dr Beeching saw to that, and now many, if not most of the branch lines have been built on and developed - so no chance of ever re-opening them.

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Re: British Roads

Post by Quilter on Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:51 am

Gromit wrote:
It will never happen Hairy. Dr Beeching saw to that, and now many, if not most of the branch lines have been built on and developed - so no chance of ever re-opening them.

The East- West rail link ( aka the Varsity line) is coming on nicely and is the biggest railway development in UK since Victorian times. Already many branches off it have services and the whole thing is scheduled for completion in 2030 , only 12 years away. Worth googling...
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Re: British Roads

Post by bikeralw on Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:14 am

The best way to sort out the one truck overtaking another scenario, and taking ten miles to do it, is to restrict heavy goods to the inside lane on motorways, especially when there are only two lanes.
Many motorways in Germany and other continental countries are only two lanes wide, and with the  heavy goods restricted to the inside one, the traffic flow is far better than many of our four lane wide M'ways.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Quilter on Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:19 am

bikeralw wrote:The best way to sort out the one truck overtaking another scenario, and taking ten miles to do it, is to restrict heavy goods to the inside lane on motorways, especially when there are only two lanes.
Many motorways in Germany and other continental countries are only two lanes wide, and with the  heavy goods restricted to the inside one, the traffic flow is far better than many of our four lane wide M'ways.
Al.


The 2 lane A34 round East Ilsey ( a motorway in all but infrastructure) has a section where this happens. It is supposed to be "experimental" and has been for some years. No-one has told us whether the experiment works and whether it will be rolled out in other stretches or made permanent where it is currently. There are huge numbers of stoppages and accidents daily in that stretch so I wonder if it does work ? It always holds us up in the van as it is on a long slope and we can't overtake lorries so have to go at their pace.
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Re: British Roads

Post by HairyFool on Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:55 pm

They tried the single HGV lane on the M11 for a while. The biggest problem was it just ended arbitrarily and when it did more HGV ended up in the right lane as stayed in the left undoing most of the benefit.
If used they need to feed into 3 lane sections so the drivers can go back to being idiots and still leave a lane clear.
I could understand the behaviour if it mattered but with few exceptions the small speed differences will make it a matter of a few minutes in the arrival time.
Unfortunately the same does apply to some car drivers. There is about 300yds derestricted between the town and our village 30mph limits yet nutters blast between the two.
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Re: British Roads

Post by RML on Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:03 pm

You're wasting your time wishing. London gets all the transport money. The Heathrow Link, the Jubilee Line extension, Crossrail, HS2 etc...it's all about workers leaving our (festering) capital as quickly as possible while I can't get a bus to a village 3 miles away.
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Re: British Roads

Post by Quilter on Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:07 pm

RML wrote:You're wasting your time wishing. London gets all the transport money. The Heathrow Link, the Jubilee Line extension, Crossrail, HS2 etc...it's all about workers leaving our (festering) capital as quickly as possible while I can't get a bus to a village 3 miles away.
Rich..


See above Rich..my post about the East-West rail link which is well under way. Soon to be joined by the road Expressway. Not London, rather the opposite as it will mean many of us can avoid going into London at all and go direct.
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Re: British Roads

Post by pstallwood on Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 pm

They have reintroduced the lorry restriction on the M11 again. The restriction only works for a short length but there are other parts that could benefit from it.

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Re: British Roads

Post by groundhog on Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:32 pm

Someone who is extremely close to me has just started working for a Government agency which is not Highways but extremely closely related. In the private sector before this person is flabbergasted by the sheer incompetence, laziness and work ethic of colleagues.

Barely believable but was told to start at 07.30 everyday to get the overtime although all they do is sit in the depot until gone 09.00 having breakfast and a look at the papers. Work every Friday, usually a day off and you can increase your earnings by £7k even though there is nothing to do.

Yesterday ALL this person did was to go WITH TWO OTHERS to photograph a road sign. That is it for the whole day, not even allowed to sweep up if it is not on a worksheet and got told off for "being too keen to work"

The supervisor has explained how he sits in the truck in the afternoons, ties himself to the seat with a ratchet strap, puts a map on his lap and his hat on then goes to sleep and he doesn't fall over so looks like he is working!! His superiors condone this!!!

Places to park up "without the neighbours snitching" and have a kip are well known

I hear GENUINE stories about THREE people going to do the job of one then if they see another job that needs doing they just ignore it as it is not on the work sheet.

Thousands of pounds are being spent sending this person on training courses when they already have qualifications way in advance of the courses designation. It is a joke and where the British taxpayers money is going.

I could go on and on....

What I hear is without doubt true, this person has only been there two weeks and of course if he says anything would be sacked or worse feels potentially physically threatened because the management are as bad as the neanderthals doing (or not doing) the job.

It is little wonder that the roads in the UK are so bad if this is the way all these Government bodies work.

The person concerned doesn't know what to do and I don't know what advice to give. Perhaps you have?

And you wonder why the infrastructure in the UK is a mess.
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