posted 5 years ago

Multi-Million Pound Investment To Reduce Congestion

New Local Pinch Point Fund Investment

The Government plans to tackle congestion by investing a further £80 million in road improvement schemes, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed. The money will come from the Local Pinch Point Fund that is already supporting numerous other projects. The purpose of this initiative is to remove the bottlenecks that strangle economic growth by restricting the movement of people and goods. These delays, of course, can be very frustrating. Existing projects include widening roads, strengthening bridges and enhancing the provision for buses, cyclists and pedestrians, etc. As well as improving the road network, these efforts also boost the construction industry and its suppliers. So far, £25 million of the £80 million has been allocated to fifteen projects in England. Local councils now have until October 2013 to bid for the rest. The Local Pinch Point Fund – to which the government has now committed £215 million since March 2013 – is for schemes that can be delivered short term and have an immediate, positive, impact. 

Patrick McLoughlin Discusses Local Pinch Point Fund

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin explained: “Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity. By removing local bottlenecks and improving access to local development sites and communities, these schemes will help get people to and from work and power the economy. They also have the potential to help deliver new jobs and homes.” Mr McLoughlin added: “These schemes will help alleviate key local bottlenecks around the country making life easier for the thousands of motorists and businesses.”

Local Pinch Point Fund Projects

Local Pinch Point Fund money will be spent on the Reading A4 Eastern Gateway. Work between May and September 2014 will, therefore, relieve congestion/shorten journey times. All for 1.5 million, some of which will come from the local council. Furthermore, the Dunsbury Hill Farm Roundabout in Hampshire will be enhanced to reduce congestion and improve access to the Dunsbury Hill Farm Development. Work will commence in May 2014, finish in July 2015, and cost £5.3 million. Also, the Scrubs Lane Bridge in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham will be strengthened between January and July 2015. It will then be able to support vehicles that weigh forty tonnes rather than eighteen. All for £3.3 million. There are also plans to install a signalling system at the roundabout close to the M1 Junction 37 (£2.0 million), widen the Decoy Industrial Estate Access Road in Devon (£2.65 million), and modify the M5 at Junctions 16/17 (£2.4 million).

The areas benefitting from a share of the £25 million allocated today are: 

  • Reading
  • Barnsley
  • Devon (two schemes)
  • Telford
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Hampshire
  • Torbay
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • York
  • South Gloucestershire
  • Wigan
  • Lincolnshire
  • Stockton
  • Staffordshire

I do not hold an HGV license but I would have to disagree with Willie Macrae. In my experience most HGV drivers demonstrate admirable skills. Do you realize just how much further in front of their vehicles they have to think compared to the driver of a family car, most of which can accelerate from 60mph to 80mph (which seems to be the average cruising speed on the motorways) in a few seconds and reduce speed in about a 1/4 of the distance it takes for an HGV. If an HGV driver misses a safe overtaking opportunity because of poor lane discipline by car drivers he may then be stuck behind the vehicle in front for another 10 miles adding perhaps 5 minutes to his journey time, an HGV driver's living depends on efficient use of driving time, if this happens 3 times per hour in a 3 hour journey you can see the effect this will have on his earning capacity. I would say that for about 70% of my motorway driving the left hand lane is empty, if all car drivers were forced to use the furthest left available lane this would leave the outside lane free for overtaking. Now an HGV could indicate intention to pull out to overtake and any car that this might affect could pull out into the third lane and all traffic could progress more efficiently. Spare a thought for the poor HGV driver who is forced to suffer the congestion and associated reduction of overtaking opportunities by inconsiderate car drivers who refuse to use the left hand lane!

Nathan Suttle should sit in a car on a two lane motorway and have to sit for miles behind two speed limited HGVs running neck for neck with none of them willing to lift their foot off the throttle to clear the massive tailbacks they create. The other problem Mr Suttle is that many HGV drivers, when they feel they are going to be held up will indicate and come straight out irregardless of any poor car driver who happens to be overtaking them at that moment! The standard of drivers with an HGV licence nowadays is in most cases abysmal.

I wonder, if after 40 years, they will now dual carriageway, the 29 miles of single lane on the A 302. I doubt it though. More likely that more unused cycle lanes will be imposed. On one local stretch, complete with its own signal light I have never seen a single cyclist in 10 years

I agree with john Vincent 100%. I'm an hgv driver and drive around 300 miles a day and as Hgvs are restricted to the first two lanes I am commonly trapped on the inside lane stuck behind people doing 50mph but I can't overtake safely as lane 2 is continually blocked by people who just sit in the middle lane. Inside the m25 is particularly bad as people hog lanes as they are taught to by the London instructors. I have witnessed this on numerous occasions. I have always believed that as part of the uk driving test you should HAVE to spend a half day or a day as a passenger in an hgv to see the roads from a different point of view. This would probably help reduce crashes involving cars and trucks due to cars cutting trucks upas they get to the junctions.

Before spending any money why not make drivers obey the highway code and use the correct lane on the motorway? I use the motorways extensively and a huge amount of congestion is caused by drivers hogging the middle and right hand lanes when the left hand lane is empty. These idiots are effectively wasting 1/3 of the motorway budget by reducing expensive 3 lane roads to 2 lanes! There are no such things as slow/middle/fast lanes, just lanes and you should use the furthest one left that is empty! There should never be an empty space in a lane to your left, if there is then you should be in it. Why not enforce the recently announced initiative and fine drivers for being in the wrong lane? It wouldn't take many on the spot fines of, say, £400 for leaving an empty lane to your left to see lane discipline improve markedly and thus increase the capacity of the motorways by up to 1/3 at a stroke. Furthermore this would generate revenue rather than the proposed scheme, which is going to be a cost, just as the government are striving to reduce costs! I do not condone undertaking but I do hear many drivers complaining about having been undertaken. Drivers, do not moan about being undertaken on the motorway, if it is possible for you to be undertaken then you are in the wrong lane!

Consider building double decker one way motorways at congestion points, as per Brasil and other countries. Also finish the first motorway in the U.K. the M1 of course; it stops at Newcastle going north and would take traffic away from the M6.

Used the M6/M5 in July 13 to go from Edinburgh to north Devon. Spent two hours extra stopped or crawling, then 70 mph to the next blockage. Enforce speed controls with instant fines for abusing them. Rather do steady 50 mph under controls than this mayhem.

No money for Scotland as its all gone to Alex Salmond

What abot Scotland when wil we get our roads betr ????????? Our roads r ancient potholes r as big as grave but no funds for our roads ... Why?????

How about more sensible use of overhead signs to control speed limits? Congestion is a problem but the flip side of "blanket speed reduction" hurts everyone all the time. For the sake of an hour or two each day when certain roads are busy it is crazy that over 80 percent of the time people can not travel at a more practical and economical speed.

Are there any plans to overcome the frequent congestion and closing of the M25?

These projects are great ideas but do nothing To address the problems caused by poorly co-ordinated road and infrastucture repair schemes between the public utilities. If this could be improved the savings to the economy and hence improved growth would be huge