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Post by Bobskate on Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:57 pm

Worryingly I have decided I am very much at home in The Grumpy Old Men’s Club.

I went down to the coast yesterday.....a nice day trip in the van.

Travelling along the M25 I turned left onto the M23 heading south. I was aware that for around the past 12 months there have been major road works on then M23 for a stretch of 15 miles. Upgrading to a Smart Motorway. I had an idea they had been competed particularly as there were no signs indicating there was any potential problem. 

How wrong I was. As soon as I arrived on the M23 I had “Road Works  Ahead” “50 mph limit” “Average Speed Checks” “Free Breakdown Recovery” “Sign not in use”. That being so, and being a responsible motorist, I stuck to the speed limit, as one does, and in fairness most others did. However in the next 15 miles there was absolutely nothing happening. No road works whatsoever. No vehicles, plant, equipment, or men working is day glow jackets, simply no activity. It was like the Marie Celeste. 

Can somebody explain how this can be.....other than a jobsworth saying “I can’t be bothered to do anything yet...I’ll get round to it when I can” in some traffic control centre tucked away in Birmingham (sorry Birmingham I picked a place out of a hat) and totally unaccountable. I felt like phoning up somewhere to complain. However I really did not want to get involved in some endless automated phone answering system....life is too short.

That’s it....I feel better now.

hugegrins
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Post by groundhog on Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:09 pm

I have decide the public sector is run by the Government to keep unemployment down not for the efficiency of what it does. I do volunteer work for one of the services involved in traffic management and in the commercial world they would be bust in a week. confused3
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Post by Kingham on Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:55 am

Pre Covid I was providing classroom based national road safety courses and I’m currently very busy continuing the same provision online. 

I don’t know the roadworks you experienced, but part of my course content covers roadworks being frustrating, partly due to the fact that we often don’t see road workers.

H&S has classified road working on live roads as very dangerous and encourage contractors to fulfil their duty of care to employees, by doing work when the roads are quietest and safest ie. during the night.

Occasionally a legal traffic order is sought through the courts to reduce a speed limit and on the rare occasion where work is completed early, the legal speed restriction remains in place until the end date of the order is reached, even when all other signs of the work have gone.

I don’t know if either of those situations apply to your experience, but certainly a possibility.

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Post by bikeralw on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:58 am

Due to a very hard winter a 'B' road near us suffered a landslip that took half the road width away for about 100 yards. Temporary traffic lights were put up that were there for a year while the council assessed the situation. 
Eventually the temporary lights were replaced by more substantial ones that are still in place to this day, 30 years later..
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Post by Bobskate on Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:08 am

Thanks Kingham. You maybe have the answer there. Thanks.
Since you are on a roll with explanations ...how about the meaning of life?
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Post by Greyhound on Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:43 am

The frustration is when you see some road completely torn apart by earthquakes somewhere like Japan, and then it's completely fixed and in pristine condition a week later.

As with a lot of businesses, it usually the middle structure that's the problem.  Someone at the top says get it done, the guys on the ground then should do it, but we have a chain of middle management that soaks up time and money justifying their own existence that messes the whole process up.  The NHS is a great example of this.
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Post by Gromit on Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:38 am

Two things particularly hiss me off!! ("Only two" I hear you cry!!  Whistle1)

One is when someone is working right at the back of a wide grass verge, yards from the pavement and therefore even further from a wide, straight road with good visibility, but still they have the interminably slow traffic lights several hundred yards apart!!

The other is the country road which is apparently quite seriously "Closed", with barriers blocking your half of the carriageway so you have to go onto the "wrong" side of the road to get past. When you ignore the barriers and carry on through (as I usually do now, from past experience) you find . . . . absolutely nothing, until you come to the other end of the "closed" section!  censored!

Even if there is anything happening, the road is not closed at all and there's free passage through without a problem.

Is this a manifestation of the Law of Maximum Cussedness!!  rolleyes
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Post by Bad Penny on Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:49 am

I guess health and safety must have an impact during motorway work, hence the reduced speed limit. We are travelling at 70 mph plus and always in a hurry. These guys are at great risk everytime they attend work,.

I had a blowout of the offside rear tyre of my car on the M4 at 70 mph some years ago, I didn't slam my brakes on, but instanly remembered advice given by Stirling Moss, the racing driver, not to do that if having a puncture or blowout at speed. His advice was to just tap my brakes on and off gently, untill I came to a stop. I finally stopped, having crossed three lanes of the motorway. Slamming my brakes on could have turned us over. Just lucky there was no traffic alongside me. This could have killed anyone working in the vicinity at the time and taken out other vehicles had they been there.

That was one of our luckiest days, we were well looked after that day.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:14 pm

Until lockdown I went twice a week for more than one year down the M1 from J20 to J14. For a full year there was the usual road works ahead average speed limit 50 and a million and twelve cones on the hard shoulder. For the full year I saw no person doing any work, no person in hi viz clothing, no machinery, not a single cone moved and not a single bit of debris by the side of the carraigeway moved. All of a sudden as you approach J15, the speed limit is increased to 60, and there are workers and machinery, and lorries and vans crawling about all over the place. I have no explanation at all for this.
Contrast this with Holland. If they want to do any work on any A road or motorway they have to start after 11pm and be cleared away by 6 am because they realise traffic jams affect the economy. So if they are going to do anything, at 10pm a convoy of trucks assembles on the hard shoulder. At 11pm a lane is closed off and towering arc lights illuminate the surrounding 6 square miles with daylight. OK that is probably an exaggeration but you can certainly see the lights from 3 miles away. The workers have proper daylight to work in. By 6am the job is done, they have packed up and gone away. Naturally if it is a long job they have to take many nights to do it, but the traffic flow is never affected.
I just wish we had them over here to dam our estuarys and generate electricity. They are brilliant engineers.
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Post by Bobskate on Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:02 pm

Even the A roads are not immune. For some time now, at least two years, I have travelled a lot on the A12. There is a 30 mile section where every few miles you will get “Road Works” “50 mph” “For safety reasons” This is followed by the resuming the national speed limit sign.
I have never seen any roadworks whatsoever, nobody working, just a handful of cones. I should also mention these sections are never more than a few hundred yards long anyway. You then wonder why everybody ignores them.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:39 pm

In my IAM training one day I asked my observer a question. "If I see a 30mph speed limit sign and road works, then after the road works they don't have a de-restriction sign, am I legally obliged to travel the next 60 miles or whatever at 30 mph until I see some other speed limit?" Yes, he said, but you don't see that happen. I said "let's turn around and revisit that road works we have just come through at 30mph and are still doing 30 mph ten miles further on." "Oh yes you are right, he said. Well you just have to use your intelligence and resume normal driving when the road works have ended." That wouldn't stand up in court.
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Post by roli on Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:35 am

If you remember in your Advanced Training  you were also taught to "make adequate progress" in the road conditions you were on. Guess its a matter of common sense
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Post by gassygassy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:11 am

True. I was once making adequate progress in amongst three lanes of traffic all going at the same speed going into Milton Keynes and got done for doing 35 in a 30. I later scoured the area for 30 signs on the dual carriageway. One was hidden in a tree and the other was flattened in the central reservation. I've got the photos somewhere. I did the '35 in a 30 is tantamount to murder' training day. If I had wanted any evidence I would have had to go to court, pay £100 fine, lose a days pay, pay their court costs and increased insurance premiums so it's cheaper to just pay the £85 and take a day off. So far as I can tell it is the only time they can prosecute you without having to provide any evidence. Anyway here I stand totally innocent because I am innocent until proved guilty. They haven't proved me guilty, so there. Nah nah nee nah nah.
On my actual IAM test on my motorbike the route took us through a 20 in a town., then 30, then 40, then 50, then 60 zones. I thought I got it all right. When we got back the examiner said I can't give you a first because you missed one of the speed limit signs on the return route. However as it was hidden in a hedge and invisible I will let you off.
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Post by Kingham on Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:34 pm

Thank goodness times have changed. 

I got a Notice of Intended Prosecution for excessive speed a good few years back now and as a couple of us had access to my car and genuinely couldn’t remember who was using it on the day, I asked to view the evidence.
It transpired to be video evidence from a camera van and clearly showed my wife (at the time) to be driving  snigger 

Just a tip for future, if there are streetlights on your dual carriageway and no other signs to tell you otherwise, the limit is 30mph, irrespective of whether the initial signs are covered by foliage or flattened.

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Post by rogerblack on Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:52 pm

Kingham wrote: . . .
Just a tip for future, if there are streetlights on your dual carriageway and no other signs to tell you otherwise, the limit is 30mph, irrespective of whether the initial signs are covered by foliage or flattened.
 Isn't this only the case if the streetlights are less than 200 yards apart?

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Post by Kingham on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:04 pm

rogerblack wrote:
Kingham wrote: . . .
Just a tip for future, if there are streetlights on your dual carriageway and no other signs to tell you otherwise, the limit is 30mph, irrespective of whether the initial signs are covered by foliage or flattened.
 Isn't this only the case if the streetlights are less than 200 yards apart?

Many years ago there was a distance quoted, but it’s long gone.

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Post by Kingham on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:19 pm

I’m busy packing for a house move, so just had a skim read, but this article by Bennetts accurately sums up the current position...... 

https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/advice/biking-tips/what-is-the-speed-limit-in-the-uk

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Post by rogerblack on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:44 pm

Kingham wrote:
rogerblack wrote:
Kingham wrote: . . .
Just a tip for future, if there are streetlights on your dual carriageway and no other signs to tell you otherwise, the limit is 30mph, irrespective of whether the initial signs are covered by foliage or flattened.
 Isn't this only the case if the streetlights are less than 200 yards apart?

Many years ago there was a distance quoted, but it’s long gone.
Still in the relevant part (VI) of the Road Traffic Regulations (Section 82 (1) (a) & (b), see here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/part/VI

Interesting to note that Scotland appears to have gone metric!

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Post by rogerblack on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:47 pm

Kingham wrote:I’m busy packing for a house move, so just had a skim read, but this article by Bennetts accurately sums up the current position...... 

https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/advice/biking-tips/what-is-the-speed-limit-in-the-uk

This page specifically adds the motorhome / motor caravan limits (dependent on weight):

https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits

PS Good luck with the house move!  up!


Last edited by rogerblack on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:48 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Post by gassygassy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:05 pm

I did read somewhere, possibly on my 'you nearly murdered someone' training course that the distance between street lights doesn't have to be under 200 yards / metres any more. Presumably this was after people successfully challenging the prosecution having measured the distance in their case as being 203 metres / yards.
I have noticed new 50mph everywhere, breeding faster than rabbits on perfectly sound 60 roads, the best ones for motorcyclists. Now we have to seek out tiny green lanes with grass growing in the middle in order to escape the cameras. There certainly isn't any point in owning anything faster than a 350 Royal Enfield Bullet which struggles to get to 50 before the next junction.
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Post by stevewagner on Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:54 pm

groundhog wrote:I have decide the public sector is run by the Government to keep unemployment down not for the efficiency of what it does. I do volunteer work for one of the services involved in traffic management and in the commercial world they would be bust in a week. confused3
So because you volunteer that makes you an expert does it?  What a load of tosh.  Why don't you back your statement up with some facts instead of just spouting off.
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Post by bikeralw on Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:40 pm

gassygassy wrote:I have noticed new 50mph everywhere, breeding faster than rabbits on perfectly sound 60 roads, the best ones for motorcyclists. Now we have to seek out tiny green lanes with grass growing in the middle in order to escape the cameras. There certainly isn't any point in owning anything faster than a 350 Royal Enfield Bullet which struggles to get to 50 before the next junction.
50mph is now blanket on all single carriageway 'A' roads within Derbyshire, and has been for several years. Sadly in my view, as many roads don't warrant this pedestrian speed.
 On the various arrow-straight old roman roads some folk have taken it upon themselves to demolish the repeater 50 signs, which I believe have to be there every few hundred yards if the speed limit is different than the national limit.
If the lack of repeater signs would get your speeding case thrown out of a court of law I don't know...
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Post by gassygassy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:08 am

When I moved to the Isle of Man in 2002 there were very few speed limits out of town, only one or two. The feeling of being able to ride your bike without constantly taking your eyes off the road and surroundings was wonderful. Since then they have got fed up with hosing bits of English motorbike riders off the road. It once took the Police two days of searching to find a foot. It was inside the boot of a car, still wearing the rider's boot. The car and bike had collided, the car boot sprung open, the defooticated foot of the biker flew up into the air, landed in the car boot which then shut itself. The trouble with visiting motorcyclists there is they think they can ride fast. When they discover they can't, it's too late. I think there are two valid reasons for the likes of Derbyshire, and where I live, Leicestershire having 50s everywhere. One is that the Police rely heavily on fines for their income and the second is that the sign manufacturers have excellent salesmen, that is when they are not selling another 10,000 cones to highway authorities.
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Post by Kingham on Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:31 am

rogerblack wrote:
Kingham wrote:
rogerblack wrote:
 Isn't this only the case if the streetlights are less than 200 yards apart?

Many years ago there was a distance quoted, but it’s long gone.
Still in the relevant part (VI) of the Road Traffic Regulations (Section 82 (1) (a) & (b), see here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/part/VI

Interesting to note that Scotland appears to have gone metric!

Thanks Roger, I’m hoping the move goes smoothly too.  

With regard to the above, it is indeed still in the act and I can’t see that it has ever been repealed. I need to do some more digging, to see where the ‘distance removed’ information came from.

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Post by groundhog on Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:04 pm

stevewagner wrote:
groundhog wrote:I have decide the public sector is run by the Government to keep unemployment down not for the efficiency of what it does. I do volunteer work for one of the services involved in traffic management and in the commercial world they would be bust in a week. confused3
So because you volunteer that makes you an expert does it?  What a load of tosh.  Why don't you back your statement up with some facts instead of just spouting off.
Sir
Initially your post left the impression you are just another troll, however after due consideration I will give you the benefit of the doubt. May I remind you this is a friendly and informative forum and not one to insult others of whom you have no knowledge. I respect your opinion please respect mine That is all I will say on the matter, if your comments were intended to provoke an argumentative response they have I am afraid ended in abject failure.

With the OP's permission and with reference to examples of lamentable inefficiency in the public sector the following would be funny if you did not remember who was paying the bill. I assure you they are not stories but genuine incidents of which I have first hand experience.

Our local Council installed a bus lane at the cost of £30,000. Just 21 days later they scrapped it again at a cost of another £30,000, then described this as a small amount in the Council's budget!

Two men were sent to repair the sidewalk, allocated two days to do the job in South West England. Because they would be there more than one day and no toilets or facilities were within a certain distance they had to have a mobile refreshment unit with toilet facilities. Unfortunately there wasn't one available so two more men drove to NOTTINGHAM to collect a unit, a round trip of some 500 miles and of course a day's journey. The first day the men did nothing because the toilet had not arrived but on the second day it was delivered. As they lost the first day, which they spent sitting in the truck, they were allocated a further day for the job. They completed the job in half a day and didn't use the rest room unit. However as they had been allocated three days they were not allowed to do anything else so spent the next day and a half on site doing nothing. Meanwhile the other two men spent another day taking the rest room back to Nottingham. Total 10 working days and the cost of 1000 mile round trip to do a job that could be done at the cost of 1!

I could go on!!
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