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Regional Boards => International Highways => Topic started by: Kniwt on May 09, 2017, 10:47:54 PM

Title: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: Kniwt on May 09, 2017, 10:47:54 PM
Not a whole lot of history, but a lot of contemporary views. Sort of documentary-reality in the BBC mold, with crashes and cops and stuff.

Episode 1 here:
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: english si on May 10, 2017, 09:53:59 AM
For history, check out the book The Great North Road: Then and Now (https://www.amazon.com/Great-North-Road-Then-Now/dp/1870067797/), though it focuses more on recent history (post-1950s) than I'd like (but then, that's the nature of a book with lots of photos!).

I'd say that this documentary wasn't in the BBC mold. While it was aired on the BBC (as was Traffic Cops - now on Channel 5), it has more in common with what I view as Channel 5 style documentaries - as Channel 5 used to have loads of these documentaries that were more reality TV. If it was in the BBC mould it would be a travelogue stopping at various places on it to see the sites and discuss the past, or a more academic style discussing the history, looking at the impact of it, etc rather than reality TV. See A303: Highway to the Sun, or Secret Life of the Motorway. I'd imagine the BBC bought it off the production company as ITV had one in a similar vein on the M25 a couple of months ago. It's good, but it doesn't seem like Auntie Beeb's house style.
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: english si on May 10, 2017, 11:39:42 AM
Here's "Britain's Busiest Motorway". This one is very similar, though has more time with those involved with traffic management (including the control centre) and less with regular users.

Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: Joe The Dragon on May 10, 2017, 12:10:20 PM
any one have M25 - the "Road to Hell" - ITV1 Meridian/London?
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: nexus73 on May 10, 2017, 08:27:28 PM
Given that the UK has a larger population than California and that the route would be analogous to 99 from Sacramento to LA (using I-5 on the south end), I am surprised the A1 is not a 6-lane at a minimum all the way through. 

Rick
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: english si on May 11, 2017, 03:43:25 AM
In the Midlands, it's more analogous to I-5 in the Central Valley. The 6- (being upgraded to 8-) lane M1 serves the population centres while the A1 doesn't. Parts of that bit of A1 are old and not ideal, but the 4-lanes between Peterborough and the M18 are perfectly adequate now they've finished removing roundabouts. It also doesn't help that when they widened Alconbury-Peterborough to 8-lanes due to traffic, it's been consistently considered overkill. Certainly it's empty compared to other parts, but it would be very busy if 6-lanes (as they will see when the A14 works move where the traffic merges further south, but only 6-laning the difference). And if the A1(M) through Beds was built as they assumed it would when building the Hunts bit, then it would be less OTT looking.

North of the M62 it is 6-lane motorway to the NE (almost finished), but in the NE the motorway is old, and the region neglected (plus the more pressing issue of the Newcastle area, where it's an overloaded 4-lane non-motorway freeway that they have done some widening of) so it isn't 6-lane. Near the border, there's very little traffic, so the coastal S2 is only annoying if you get stuck behind a truck: it can easily cope with the traffic. And then it gets busy again in Lothian, and is 4-lane freeway to suit that.

It's worth pointing out that the old song "Take the High Road" is about the uselessness of the A1 as a fast road to Scotland - "I'll take the High Road and you take the Low Road (A1) and I'll be in Scotland before ye." I'm not sure whether the High Road is the via Scotch Corner (presumably the choice, given the name) and Carlisle route (A66-A6-A7 / A66-A6-A74), or one of the routes via Carter Bar (A696-A68 from Newcastle, or A68 from Darlington). Either way, Berwick is out of the way and so the A1 north of Newcastle is sort of a dead end.
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: bmorrill on May 14, 2017, 02:53:08 PM
For those that still have USENET access, this is available on alt.teevee. I'm recognizing people from Motorway - Life In the Fast Lane and Police Interceptors, so I guess it's produced by the same crew.
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: firefly on June 22, 2017, 07:29:55 PM
Given that the UK has a larger population than California and that the route would be analogous to 99 from Sacramento to LA (using I-5 on the south end), I am surprised the A1 is not a 6-lane at a minimum all the way through.
The difference is though, that there are other modes of transport available in Britain, but not so much in California. Parallel to the A1 runs the Great Northern Railway which carries plenty of passenger services.
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: english si on June 23, 2017, 04:13:58 AM
^^ Great Northern Railway, or really the East Coast Mainline (the name of the route, rather than the company that built it 180 years ago, or the name of one of the companies running trains on it).
Title: Re: New BBC series, "A1: Britain's Longest Road"
Post by: firefly on June 23, 2017, 10:15:26 AM
^^ Great Northern Railway, or really the East Coast Mainline (the name of the route, rather than the company that built it 180 years ago, or the name of one of the companies running trains on it).
Great Northern, indeed. I corrected that.