Anyone who regularly travels up and down the UK road is likely to have a similar opinion, that the ability to get from A to B is seriously affected due to road works and compounded traffic levels. A recent journey from the South of Spain to the North across the ferry and then up from South England to the North East of England gave an opportunity to compare where we stand against elsewhere in Europe. First of all the difference in the network, is that roads in Spain are much newer, do not have typical restrictions such as farmland and buildings when being laid, so the lanes tend to be wider and many are 3 lanes rather than 2, here in England. The older roads of England call for more maintenance not to mention harsher weather and more vehicles per mile.
More Comparison Of The Road System
The conclusion was that the 880km drive up to Madrid and then up to Santander was fast, no traffic and arrival was ahead of schedule. The Journey from Portsmouth was different at the 30 mile mark, where the first set of cones to the dual carriageway down to a single lane, with a high density of lorries slowing the average speed even more. It would be wrong not to mention the convoy of lorries that are constantly on UK roads 24/7. The demand for cheaper good and commerce, means the network of UK roads are also the business highway for trade and the convoy of lorries who deliver the goods and products we expect and need. But narrow roads and lane closures really slow down the flow increasing driving time.
More Road Closures
But the most interesting aspect of the through the night drive was the road closures. First the A43 (Silverstone) was completely closed and the diversion took drivers south and through country roads and village that added 40 minutes on to the journey. The second closure was on the MI junction 40 and then the A1m, right at the turn off for the A19. Clearly we understand why the roads are closed at night rather than through rush hours, but understanding why we wait until there needs to a full road closure is something most driver do not understand.
Speed Limits Through The Cones
The first 2 areas of the M1 that went down from 3 lanes down to a single lane occurred going North form Northampton. None of the 2 coned off areas had any speed limit, so vehicles were hitting these areas at 70mph into a single lane. Then the next roadwork area, had workmen working on the service road not the main motorway, leaving all 3 lanes operating, yet had speed limit of 50mph and cameras, where is the logic. Single lane not peed restrictions, 3 lanes down to 50mph on the same road. It i alo fair to say that the first 2 sets of cones, not one worker was seen and had no noticable reason for being there.
The UK Is Pothole Mad
The RAC has reported that claims to insurance relating to potholes has risen by 24% and the money allocated of over £10b is just not enough.
It all needs to be better. Clearly we need to maintain, but ensuring we keep traffic moving is an essential part of the process.