Smart Motorways

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Jobbo
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Smart Motorways

Post by Jobbo »

The purpose of smart motorways is to increase capacity, most useful at peak times, by allowing all lane running. There have been enough accidents to cause a bit of a U-turn in policy on them, but now traffic is getting back towards pre-Covid levels, I've noticed something else fucking stupid about them. I use sections of the M6 and M5 each day which are now 4-lane without hard shoulder, controlled by overhead gantries to close a lane or lanes if required.

Basically, as soon as anyone breaks down/has a puncture/runs out of fuel a lane has to be closed. Previously they could simply pull up on the hard shoulder. There's an immediate loss of a lane which is normally open. It seems to me this has more of an impact on capacity than leaving the hard shoulder closed to running traffic at all times; the slightest incident causes far more in the way of jams and tailbacks than it would have before. It's all very well having dynamic traffic info from Google Maps et al, but if the motorway comes to a halt with 6 miles of queuing traffic that theoretical extra capacity is futile.

Yes, I'm currently sitting in the office still, waiting for the idiot who has crashed near southbound J10 of the M6 to be cleared up. Somebody did the same on the northbound carriageway around J10 this morning too, fucking up my journey to work. Bring on autonomous vehicles.
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Mito Man
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by Mito Man »

Usually in Kent they seem to add a red X on 2 of the lanes whenever there’s a breakdown, thus closing an extra lane usually during the busiest period of the day :roll:

Also if a car has broken down 6 miles away why do they place the red X 6 miles before the incident and until about 2 miles after it.
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duncs500
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by duncs500 »

Those red Xs are a nightmare: they put them on a few miles before the incident, great in theory, give traffic plenty of time to merge and keep everything moving.

In reality a number of cars pull out of the lane, thus clearing the way for a number of unscrupulous motorists to fly down the now clear lane and cut in at the scene of the accident, thus creating huge queues in the other open lanes as everyone else has to slow down and let them in.
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nuttinnew
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by nuttinnew »

Jobbo wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:39 pm Priti Patel
I was going to suggest foolish driving is the cause of the motorway's woes but I'll go with that.
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Jobbo
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by Jobbo »

Mito Man wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:13 pm Usually in Kent they seem to add a red X on 2 of the lanes whenever there’s a breakdown, thus closing an extra lane usually during the busiest period of the day :roll:

Also if a car has broken down 6 miles away why do they place the red X 6 miles before the incident and until about 2 miles after it.
Yeah, I get the same thing on the M5 on the section which is all-lane running (Bromsgrove to Worcester) - particularly later in the evening when there's no traffic, they cut it down to one or two lanes open and a 40 limit for miles and miles, just to cone off a short section of one lane for maintenance.

Seems to be the case that traffic flows are not prioritised on the roads any more.
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GG.
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by GG. »

Jobbo wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:55 pm Yes, I'm currently sitting in the office still, waiting for the idiot who has crashed near southbound J10 of the M6 to be cleared up. Somebody did the same on the northbound carriageway around J10 this morning too, fucking up my journey to work. Bring on autonomous vehicles.
Man - what I'd give to be trapped in the office until only 6pm and then get to drive home! :lol:

Please stop with these humblebrag posts Simon ;)
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scotta
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by scotta »

I linked a thread to this programme a while back.

It is seriously scary shit. They discover that most of the perceived tech that monitors the "Smart" motorway is ancient, shit and largely broken.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dtqv

The daily mail (Yes i know but in fairness this is worth a read) had an undercover reporter work in the control centre for a story also. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... rator.html
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Jobbo
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by Jobbo »

GG. wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:30 am
Jobbo wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:55 pm Yes, I'm currently sitting in the office still, waiting for the idiot who has crashed near southbound J10 of the M6 to be cleared up. Somebody did the same on the northbound carriageway around J10 this morning too, fucking up my journey to work. Bring on autonomous vehicles.
Man - what I'd give to be trapped in the office until only 6pm and then get to drive home! :lol:

Please stop with these humblebrag posts Simon ;)
:lol: I even left one of my employees in the office when I departed...
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nuttinnew
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Re: Smart Motorways

Post by nuttinnew »

Not sure where to post;
https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/new ... sh-258060/
I don't know why (experience?) but it's nagging away at me that this was caused by someone joining the motorway and pulling straight out into another lane - despite the slip road becoming the inside lane. It was either a van on its own or a van swerving out from behind someone because mgif, wiping out the motorcyclist and just carrying on continuing to ngaf. I don't know, I just have a feeling the rider was proficient and doing nowt wrong :? It happened at about eleven, the motorway is still closed now.
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