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Topic Title: M1 congeston
Topic Summary: Is it automatic or have humans lost the plot?
Created On: 13 September 2013 08:34 PM
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 13 September 2013 08:34 PM
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normcall

Posts: 8122
Joined: 15 January 2005

I've been toddling up and down the M1 recently between Luton and Milton Keynes.
I'm beginning to wonder of the money spent provides a 'solution' to the problem.
Just this morning (13th Sept 2013) the speed limit signs started at 60 and then actually went to 40 at one stage due to weight of traffic. Another sign said the hard shoulder was only for use during periods of congestion, yet another said 'congestion ahead' - as all 3 lanes proceeded along nose to tail at about 50.
On the way back, you guessed it, 'congestion - use hard shoulder' complete with 60 signs up. Naturally 3 lanes fairly free and the hard shoulder used by the odd lorry.
There seems to be no rhyme or reason between the signage and the traffic flow/quantity.
Anyone have an idea other than the camera operators are fairly useless or the software/sensors needs a lot more work. It looks like motorists are rapidly ignoring the strange indicators on the gantry's.

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Norman
 14 September 2013 04:26 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

It looks like it may be an automatic system with manual override...

"M1 Junction 10-13 Improvements"


"Following careful assessment, the comprehensive safety study shows that the managed motorway can be operated safely without lighting. As part of any managed motorway system, CCTV cameras are installed for traffic monitoring: those on this section of the M1 will be 'low light' cameras to enhance the capability of staff in the Regional Control Centre to monitor the M1 24 hours a day."


http://www.highways.gov.uk/roa...n-10-13-improvements/

There is an email address on the above webpage if you want to contact them.

There is an FAQ section in this direct.gov.uk document on the M25 traffic control system which has a go at giving an answer to one of your questions I think.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_...alasset/dg_185830.pdf

Two wikipedia pages

"Managed Motoways"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...in_the_United_Kingdom

"Active Traffic Management"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_traffic_management

Maybe traffic management is too narrowly defined.

Perhaps non urgent car and lorry traffic can be discouraged (using tax) from travelling on managed sections in peak hour travel times. i.e. by asking car owners and lorry operators that wish to travel through managed traffic zones at peak times (morning and evening more than 4 times a week) to pay an extra fee that is added onto their yearly road tax.

Widening the roads doesn't seem to work for long as it just encourages more traffic at peak hours. According to an AA survey I can't find now quite a lot of people don't feel comfortable driving on a motorway without a hard sholder.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 14 September 2013 06:55 PM
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normcall

Posts: 8122
Joined: 15 January 2005

Just e-mailed them and I wonder if any decent reply will be forthcoming.
Not sure about the idea of an additional tax as most of the problems are frequently caused by a combination of carelessness and driving too close to the vehicle in front (usually in the outside lane - I won't mention HGV drivers driving blindly about 5 feet behind another one at 60mph or even taking a couple of miles to overtake another on doing 1mph less!!)

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Norman
 15 September 2013 03:17 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

I agree a lot of the problems in terms of congestion are with lorries overtaking other lorries very low speed differentials, and with all the cars wanting to go faster all forced into the outside lane.

I don't like the idea of new taxes either however compulsory new taxes (or no chance of future cuts in tax) will be needed to build and maintain more roads.

New taxes promoting different and less individualistic behaviour patterns could at least be designed to be avoidable (e.g. by promoting more car sharing, more company sponsored minibuses, more car pools/car rental facilities at places of work.)

Part of the traffic management problem is trying to influence when people decide to travel, how many people decide to share a car when they do travel etc. It could influence when and how freight is transported on the roads as well, and how much goes to rail.

If the cost of driving a single occupancy car is increased at rush hour periods, then other economic solutions must be considered to avoid the costs.

As a society we seem to have got ourselves locked into the view that paying tax to build ever wider motorways (or perhaps even eventually double decked motorways) is ok, but other forms of tax to promote more bottom up social cooperation in using our existing transport infrastructure are not.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 29 October 2013 01:29 PM
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idr-middridge

Posts: 1
Joined: 19 April 2002

One of the problems with widening motorways are the morons who hog lane 2 on a 3 lane motorway, seem to hog lane 3 on 4 lane motorways. Why do they do this? Either under-taking should be permitted - that should encourage people to drive in lane 1 when possible, or we need a way to discourage people from hogging outer lanes. They don't seem to have this problem in Germany. Their lane etiquette is much superior to ours. Incidentally, in spite of the lack of speed limit, did you know that the deaths per mile of motorway in Germany are broadly the same as in the UK. They have more motorways, hence more deaths. Not so much to do with speed as people assume.
How else can we discourage use of outer lanes. Have you seen the claims of accuracy for some of the forthcoming GPS systems? These could allow an in car device to know its position on the road. How about we say that use of Lane 1 is free. Use of Lane 2 and 3 are free for preset time intervals (not long enough for the 1mph differential when overtaking!) Lane 2 is charged at one rate per mile over and above the brief overtaking manoeuvres, likewise Lane 3 is slightly more expensive again. Now everyone is familiar with the existing queue of cars in Lane 3, while there are no vehicles in Lanes 1 and 2 - all because there is a lorry a mile ahead! Would you choose to sit in Lane 3 and be charged, or pull over to Lane 1, maintain the same speed, but go for free, whilst importantly leaving the outer lanes open for those who are prepared to pay to make faster progress.

There is one simple solution though that doesn't need this technology. We should simply drive like the Germans.
 29 October 2013 05:52 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Perhaps motorway driving could be added as an add-on code to the main driving licence. Once you have passed your driving test, you would have to attend an additional motorway training day course to make your licence valid for unaccompanied motorway driving.

Rather than a fine people for bad and inconsiderate driving on the motorway the police could ask them to redo and pass the motorway driving and etiquette training day course. If the driver does not have the licence add-on, and is accompanied by a front seat passenger that does, and the police stop them for bad motormay driving, then both the passenger and the driver could be asked to attend / re-attend the motorway training day, depending on the severity of the case.

If the driver has previously attended the standard day course twice and is found again to be driving improperly or discourteously on the motorway, then they should be assessed further as to whether or not a further extended training course would be of any value to them; if not they should lose their licence add-on for motorway driving.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 01 November 2013 08:10 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

the only problem with traffic is our natural tendency to be selfish and also to be egoistic; to correct these non-social attitudes it is necessary to bite the bullet! The only cures will be disagreeable to all and that unfortunately will include those egoists who are elected to rule us.

Driving, whether on or off a motorway, is a perfect setting for studying the decline of manners; make such an offence number one in the list of punishments - for example: compulsory crushing of all and any vehicle involved in unsociable behaviour whatever the outcome of the offence.

Change the tests for suitability to hold a driving licence which should include at least a nodding acquaintance with the mechanics of controlling a moving vehicle no matter the number of axles, number of road wheels and at least some idea of the behaviour of non-rigid rigs - especially under heavy braking.

Restrict the access to motorways to at least fifty miles apart; this will keep motorways only for long-distance traffic - dare I suggest that it will also reduce the number of private cars in use for non-important purposes.

Recognise that while people have access to more money than sense the imposition of fines is totally non-effective; this alone is the reason for crushing cars involved in bad manners or accidents.

Lawfully impose upon manufacturers that engines have speed regulators built-in so as to be tamper-proof but they should have a delay function which will enable short bursts of speed such as will often help in overtaking. yes, I agree that a sudden drop in power may well cause an accident but such is a controllable hazard - the imposition of good manners again.

Put a stop to the totally ridiculous practice of widening motorways and so inviting the ever increasing congestion. In my youth it was normal to walk wherever one wanted to go - you walked to the railway station and used that much more sensible method of transport; somewhere recently on this forum a young lady emphasised (in terms of broadcasting) that she and her friends WANTED certain facilities - this is a product of the nanny state and it is high time we turned it into a self-disciplinary State.

I do not need to be reminded that my recommendations are more painful than watching other people courting disaster.

Ken Green
 04 November 2013 12:12 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

For those in travelling range of Crawley there is a talk on Managed Motorways by Robin Cordell this Thursday (7th November) (doors open 6.45 pm)

http://www.theiet.org/events/l...85744.cfm?nxtId=188311

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James Arathoon
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