posted 4 years ago

Managed Motorway Network Expanding In UK

What Is A Managed Motorway?

The Highways Agency is expanding the managed motorway network as it reduces congestion by enabling motorists to use the hard shoulder. But how does it work? A managed motorway relies on technology that until recent years would have been considered witchcraft. As such, the road surface incorporates loops that monitor traffic flow and this information is constantly evaluated by computer software. So, imagine a scenario: the system concludes that the volume of traffic could soon cause congestion/delays. It therefore creates more room for vehicles by temporarily opening the hard shoulder to non-emergency traffic. Furthermore, the system could impose a lower speed limit of (say) 50mph for the cars that are approaching the potential congestion. This should make time for the traffic to clear and keep the following cars moving. Drivers are kept informed via overhead signs so they know when to use the hard shoulder and how fast to travel. This set-up has other positive effects too. As such – following a pilot on the M42 – a three-year safety report concluded that “personal injury accidents” fell by 55.7%. Furthermore, there were no fatalities during this period and casualties per-billion miles travelled fell 61%. Finally, 68% of motorists said they “felt more informed” on the managed motorway network and over half welcome its expansion.

Managed Motorway Network In UK

The managed motorway network spans several key locations. These include the M6 Junction 4 to 5/8 to 10A, plus the M1 Junction 10 to 13. According to the Highways Agency, work for the latter finished in December 2012 and cost £325 million. Furthermore, work is in progress on the M62 Junction 25 to 30, the M4 Junction 19 to 20, the M5 Junction 15 to 17, the M6 Junction 5 to 8 and the M25 Junction 23 to 27. As part of these efforts the workers – as with every managed motorway in the UK - will construct emergency refuge areas for motorists that have mechanical problems. These will be wider than a traditional hard shoulder so there will be more room for breakdown personnel to repair/recover vehicles. They will also incorporate telephones that have connections to regional control centres that will be placed behind safety barriers at a height suitable for disabled road users. Phones will also incorporate several language options for foreign drivers, plus a text facility for those with hearing problems. So, it seems the traditional motorway will soon be an endangered species. Welcome to the future.

I worry, just like the breakdown operative earlier, what if a car can't make to the Refuge - at least the hard shoulder is/was always there. Also the issue of emergency vehicles when the road is static in now 4 lanes without a hard shoulder for them to drive down!

The answer to congestion and to a lot of the ills of our planet would be to "grasp the nettle" and begin a programme of social engineering. Few people should need to travel as much as they do. Providing the right encouragements so that as far as possible the maximum number live where they work or work where they live or even work from home and those that must travel should find a comprehensive integrated public transport system that is so cheap to use it is no contest. The majority of people should own cars for mostly leisure purposes. Eventually the motorways could be grubbed-up and the land put once again to the production of seasonal vegetables and other food production. Canals and rivers should be extended and modified to provide an efficient goods distribution network in a much quieter and far more fuel-efficient way than heavy goods vehicles provide. Only perishables and special orders need travel by road. Rail and canal systems also provide a low cost method of warehousing.

It is obvious that we need our major roads upgrading, and more lanes on our motorways and at bust times use of the hard shoulder is a good idea, but there should also be an enforcible minimum speed when using it, as it is unsure and nervous motorway drivers who slow down traffic flow by crawling slowly past trucks etc, instead of quickly accelerating past, which enforces progressive drivers to slow down or swap lanes. In my view there should be minimum speeds on each lane at busy times, we all realise four lanes are needed on most motorways but the government will not pay for them. What we as motorists must beware of is any sick plan to sell our motorways to foreign investors who will charge by the mile or section, the result of that well be the motorist and vehicle transport will pay through the nose, as we householders do now for our Gas and Electricity, any travel will be expensive and all goods will cost more to transport. To sucker motorists to accept such a scheme road tax may well be abolished, but do not forget the government of the day will will rise fuel tax continually, as fuel also rises.

Working for one of the main Breakdown companies the loss of the hard shoulder frightens the life out if me. This is only being done to avoid the expence of widening the roads. Im sure it wont be that long untill one of my collauges and or a family are killed by a car mistakenly using the hard shoulder when they shouldnt. These schemes are pure madness by people who dont live in the real world.

Controlled speed does not automatically result in fewer accidents. The M62 in West Yorkshire has been limited to 50mph for many months and yet the motorway has seen more serious accidents and motorway closures than it ever did when national limits prevailed. Managed motorways are purely to save expanding the motorway network whilst gaining extra revenue from motorway users. Cameras monitor speed continuously whether or not the gantry speed limits are lit. The only response the Highways Agency will give is that those travelling at excess speed are referred to the relevant police authority.They will neither confirm nor deny that those driving in excess of 70 mph are referred. So much for David Cameron's promise on assuming office that camera surveillance would reduce under his government.

I am a daily user of the M6 and before I even get onto the network I can predict the speed limit as it never seems to alter regardless of traffic or times of the day. I have travelled this route with no other cars on it and yes the speed limit of 50 mph was displayed. I am not convinced that the signs showing 40 mph when traffic is stationary is the answer to the problem and after the roadworks being in place for many years whilst the work is being carried out and the disruption ot is causing is madness. I further note that there are no repairs to the actual road surface being undertaken and this means that when it finally is complete and they stand back and say look at the traffic flowing freely because of our managed system they will then have to close it again to carry out road works. It is obvious that when the managed system is completed the traffic will flow freely as it did prior to the roadworks ever starting. Pure madness and a waste of millions of pounds

im one of the old stock i can clearly see that its not management that makes u safe or decrease traffic , its more roads and motorways that are needed to section off ppl going diffrent directions tthis plan of the governmentb sounds to me like its getting ready to fleece us the common user out of more money save my comment and in 2 years time read it again you will then agree with me throughout the years we have been PROMISED, LIED TO AND CONFUSED by the government 1 instance when the toll bridge dartford was built by the queen she said it would only chrge untill the bridge was paid the it would be free that was in the sixtys today 2013 half a century a go we not only are still paying but now it trebled from 50p to £2.oo per car per crossing from dagenham to into kent and back now costs £4.00 its an oputrage so thats why i say we need more roads and motorways instead of more management cos it dont work also for ppl that want to feel safe i have a tip for them slow down and use your god given common sense when your driving after all are you a sheep to be hearded by a dog???? enough said

what happens to someone ill, breakdown,shattered screen, sick children etc also=-mergency service in tail to tail jam etc

When congested stretches are actively managed then it is a significant improvement to traffic flow however it should not replace new road building when this is needed.

I have to agree that my infrequent journeys on the managed M42 feel safer and the traffic does seem to flow better than before. I remain to be convinced that the problems on the M4 between Junction 20 with the M5 and Junction 19 with the M32 will improve at all when the high standard of workmanship in progress there is finished shortly. Until something extraordinary is done to remove the traffic lights at the bottom of the eastbound slip road to join the M32 I fear the traffic cues will continue. It is also a shame that an overhead joining system has not been built to avoid the massive merging of M5 traffic travelling eastbound on the M4 at peak traffic times. This causes a lot of aggressive behaviour at this point.

Having experienced the benefits of these schemes first hand, I can say, yes I do feel more informed, yes the traffic flow is better. Mananging the roads more effectively beats building more roads!

If it reduces congestion and more importantly fatalities then I am all for it. I use the M62 , and it makes your journey more enjoyable if the traffic keeps moving.