Regional Boards > International Highways

UK Roads Thread

<< < (10/10)


--- Quote from: Scott5114 on June 01, 2021, 07:16:30 PM ---Thanks for the explanation. Although I've done a fair bit of reading about UK roads, they do have a tendency to hurt my head at times. :spin: It makes sense that the road would retain the motorway restrictions since there's no place to go but to a road with motorway restrictions, but to roadgeeks on this side of the pond, it can be a little hard to grasp that what makes a road a "motorway" isn't the design standards of the road itself, but things like minimum speed limits and the banning of non-motorised vehicles.

Theoretically, could you have a road that was to western-US "expressway" standards (divided road with at-grade intersections but no other direct access, i.e. from private driveways) carry an M number if whichever agency is responsible for enacting motorway restrictions chose to do so? (Are motorway restrictions enacted by Parliament or through the actions of Highways England and/or local councils?)

--- End quote ---

Yes, the first thing anyone wanting to understand UK motorways is whilst there are design standards, these do not need to be followed to qualify for a motorway designation as it's the legal paperwork that determines what is and isn't a motorway. There simply isn't someone sat at a desk going "hang on buddy, you've not provided x, y, and z, so you can't have funding" in the same way the FHWA and AASHTO have.

The other thing is those in charge of sorting out the paperwork for such things are now generally consultants from all over the world and don't know (or don't care about) the ins and outs of the Special Roads legislation governing motorways, hence why we only ever seem to build new routes as A-roads - someone tried to get the new A14 converted to A14(M) (when M14 would have been far better, mind) but this fell flat so we now have the stupid situation of a road that is a motorway being signed as an A road with the exact same prohibitions as a motorway.

It would be entirely legally possible to have an at-grade motorway, provided classes of traffic banned from motorways can cross it - this is why the A1077(M) has appeared. I suppose the nearest analogy is Wyoming's I-180, but you'd have to pretend cyclists and pedestrians were banned from each individual block between signals.

One of my roles as a traffic engineer over here is helping out clients with legal orders - they usually get basics like parking restrictions wrong so this stuff involving moving traffic just causes meltdowns in my experience.

The oft proposed fixed link between Northern Ireland and Scotland was supported by British PM Boris Johnson. A month ago the project was canceled. Still, I feel like this is one of those projects thatíll eventually get done.

Turns out that the UK's signage for diversions (detours) happens to resemble the symbols from Squid Game:

--- Quote ---A police force has joked that a sign on a motorway will not direct drivers to the Netflix sensation Squid Game.

The sign, at Junction 5 of the M4 near Slough, has an uncanny resemblance to symbols that appear in the show.

But Thames Valley Road Policing posted on Twitter: "It's just directions for diversion routes during the road works. Phew!"

--- End quote ---

A colleague referred me to the Pathetic Motorways site (new to me, but not to many of you), and the editorial tone seems to be just right.

Example for A61(M) in Sheffield:

--- Quote ---Where is it?

No, it's not. There's no A61(M) there.
OK, OK. It was meant to be in Sheffield...

Ah, right - another unbuilt motorway.
Yes, that's right.

What's the story then?
The scheme was developed by Sheffield City Engineers Department, and was then inherited by South Yorkshire County Council in 1974, where some of the less ambitious elements continued through...

--- End quote ---

That would've been quite the bridge to see, but alas, there will be no bridge linking Scotland with Northern Ireland. My guess is that the bridge and/or tunnel would have been at least 30 miles across.


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version