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Upgrading To Smart Motorway

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10ClarionSt | 15:24 Sat 20th Dec 2014 | Motoring
20 Answers
The title is a blatant exercise in self congratulations. At the moment, the M60 has 17 miles of road works because of "upgrading" that will take 3 years. What this means is that the government will slow down the traffic. What's "smart" about that? So-called improvements always involve slowing down the traffic. There is never a plan to speed up traffic is there?


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So what do you suggest Clarion?
There's no gain without (initial) pain.

Lots of Info here, Gosh it's going to be great, eventually!
Ditto M3 - currently miles and miles of 50mph limit and running on badly finished hard shoulder.
.....and on the M1, M5 and M6. a journey from London to Manchester is likely to be blighted by these works for at least the next ten years.
I hate to disagree, but my experience says that once it's done it's great - ask people who use the original "smart motorway" (the M42 between the M6 and the M40).

The use of the hard shoulder and the (rigorously appled) variable speed limits have transformed this stretch of road from a permanent traffic jam (with endless bunching and compressions) into a free flowing urban motorway - it may often be at 50mph not 70mph - but it's better than 0mph.
Agreed, it does work in the end.
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If HGV's were allowed in the outside lane it would slow down even more traffic.
101. Undoubtedly what you describe about HGVs happens, but I put it to you that it is not the primary reason behind you original question.
Your OP relates to lack of lanes to handle the sheer weight of traffic at peak times.
Note also, the USA is not short of land to build massive roads zillions of lanes wide. Around Dallas this summer, carriageway widening close to the airport was causing massive traffic problems.
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10....the traffic is limited to between 50 and 65 on the 'I' roads....and the state troopers enforce it with venom.
//Authorities in this country will not widen the roads.//

the M1 was widened between 24A and 28 comparatively recently, and between the M25 and Luton only a year or two before that, so they will widen where necessary. but for environmental reasons a lot of widenings will not be countenanced while the technology exists to make better use of the existing space.
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10 ...80mph is the exception ...not the norm.Across all states the max interstate average is around 60mph ...and lower at night.
"Smart motorways deliver similar benefits to conventional widening but at a significantly lower cost and with less impact on the environment during construction. A smart motorway scheme can be delivered in less time that conventional widening"

"Implementing smart motorways on the M60 in Greater Manchester will reduce congestion and make journeys more reliable. This in turn creates economic benefits for the region and the country as a whole.

We already have evidence of the benefits that a smart motorway scheme can bring. The first smart motorway scheme (known then as a managed motorway) opened to traffic on the M42 motorway in 2006. Recent analysis of the data gathered since opening has found that journey reliability improved by 22 per cent.

In addition, personal injury accidents have reduced by more than half since hard shoulder running was introduced. There was also an overall reduction in the severity of accidents with zero fatalities and fewer seriously injured"

That all sounds sensible enough to me!
Ive got to admit that when I first heard they were going to use variable speed limits on the M25 I was very scathing - I just couldn't see it working. How can slowing everybody down speed up the traffic? But it does. In the same way I thought that "managed Motorways" would be dangerous and not effective. My experience of both is limited but I do find that both systems, to me, work very well and achieve the desired objective.
Stuff the EU Ruling & return the HGVs to 60mph, you never seen the Bunching then as I know, I was one of them, Coaches were allowed in the 3rd lane and travel the same speed as the HGVs, again no problem until some idiot in the EU Had a bright Spark Idiotic Idea, I expect some to start on about Road Safety regards the HGVs, If a HGV has a brake Air loss the Vehicle WILL come to a stop, if a car looses Fluid, I will let you answer the rest.
Managed motorways and smart motorways are not the same thing.

Managed motorways work well, but smart motorways are a cheaper dangerous copy.

The managed motorways that Sunny Dave praises have a hard shoulder that can be put into use as a live lane, and emergency refuges. Crucially the authorities can cancel the use of the hard shoulder as soon as there is an incident. I agree that they work well.

Smart motorways are simply motorways without a hard shoulder but with the emergency refuges. They also appear to have far less cameras for the Highways Agency to monitor them.

If someone breaks down in lane 1 they are at great risk. Eventually the Agency put up signs to say the lane is closed, but loads of idiots ignore the signs and hammer along the now lightly used lane. That is probably why the matrix signs now keep showing the slogan "Red X means lane closed"

I forecast some nasty accidents on the smart motorways until the authorities spend the money to convert them to managed motorways.

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