More money for roads maintenance

The Minister for Roads has written to me and other MPs today to tell us how he intends to divide up the £420 m of money this year announced in the Budget for additional highways maintenance.

He tells me that Wokingham will receive an extra £1,177,000 and West Berkshire an extra £1,913,000. I look forward to our Councils bringing forward more schemes to fill more potholes, mean more road edges and improve surfaces. This money is on top of existing maintenance budgets.

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9 Comments

  1. Adam
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Use motorway space more safely & efficiently by keeping the fastest opposite traffic furthest apart, enabling the slow traffic to pass at 30mph with a shareable emergency lane in between. Mandatory central barriers are a redundant legacy of bad design that increases risk, congestion & waste.

    • Bloke in California
      Posted November 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      This is utter lunacy. You would have traffic entering and leaving via the fastest lane (from which HGVs are currently banned) until every motorway junction in the country is rebuilt with slip roads coming into the inside lanes.

      The “slow” traffic still travels at 50-60mph, so would be closing at up to 120mph separated only by your shareable emergency lane. You have obviously never seen a bad pileup with vehicles being catapulted in all directions, including straight across all available lanes.

      • Adam
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Bloke in California:

        You criticise only errors in your own false assumptions.

        Opposite-destined vehicles on 2-lane roads share the SAME road space facing 120 mph impact.

        A 3-lane 1-direction road avoids head-on impact.

        A typical motorway juxtaposes two 3-lane 1-direction roads, both with an emergency lane, + a metal barrier between: 9 lanes.

        Now, upgrade your existing 3-lane 1-direction road to 9 lanes. Would you set the opposite-fastest traffic closest, & build a wasteful barrier between + a doubly-wasteful emergency lane on both sides?

        Or, would you increase 6 useable lanes to 8 for 33% improvement in road space performance & safety?

        • Bloke in California
          Posted November 13, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          My apologies for not seeing your reply sooner.

          You are correct in that traffic on single carriage way roads share the same space at closing speeds of 120mph. Those roads have higher accident and fatality rates than motorways.

          Granted, your 8+1 motorway gives a 33% increase in available lanes. But consider the plight of someone broken down in the central emergency lane: they have traffic going past at speed in both directions, and they have nowhere to go. There is no safe side of the vehicle to get out and await the police/breakdown truck.

          And you still haven’t addressed the issue of slow traffic entering and leaving the motorway via the fast lanes.

          • Adam
            Posted November 14, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            The 33% increased drivable space eases flow, enabling faster progress.
            Its 4 lane speeds are 30, 40, 50 & 60mph.
            The static emergency lane is adjacent to only 30mph traffic & has wider refuge points.

            Entering & leaving the motorway is from the left.
            I recognise your perception of ‘slow traffic entering and leaving the motorway via the fast lanes’ but it does not. The efficient motorway functions simply as a 4-lane one-direction road adjacent to another in the opposite direction, but with the fastest traffic furthest apart. Each 4-lane road proceeds precisely as it needs, smooth & safely.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Adam

          I just need to get this clear in my head.

          So your scheme if you do not redesign all motorway slip and feeder roads, would have slow moving and HGV traffic entering the fastest lane at slower speeds, causing fast moving traffic to slow down at every Junction/exit, to allow that slow moving traffic to join the motorway.

          A repeat performance is also required for the same traffic on leaving.

          Sounds like chaos if I have got your plan correctly.

          Agree with Bloke in California I have only once broken down on a motorway (front tyre blow out) in 50 years, managed to get onto the hard shoulder to fix it, but believe me so called slow moving traffic on one inside lane was bad enough let alone on both sides.

          Likewise your one centre safety lane proposal would mean that the one safety lane would be two way. Accessed from each side !!!

          Rather dangerous me thinks.

          • Adam
            Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            Alan Jutson:

            The system is based on safety. Your perception seems clouded by adapting the already-complicated layouts with obstructive metal barriers.

            In the absence of diagrams, clarity in your head would be eased by envisioning the motorway as a new build.

            Start with a 4-lane one-direction North-destined road, whose slowest 30mph traffic enters & leaves it from its left. Next add an identical South-destined road on the left of the first road. Both roads can proceed unobstructed, & can share a single static central E-lane which is on each of their lefts. Design & angles on the E-lane increase available space.

            The E-lane also expands to enable directional changes, or crossing other traffic paths & provide safe refuge points. There are many advantages. The dangers you described were ghosts of misunderstanding.

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            So the rules on your motorway are to be completely different to every other road in the UK which suggests to overtake on the right.

            Likewise you now have four different speed restrictions on different lanes but on the same road, in the same location.
            That should give the police a lot of income and lead to a lot of drivers being banned.
            When your motorway goes from 4 lanes to 3 and then 2 what speed limits would then apply to those lanes.

            You start with 30mph on the so called slow lane, and then 40mph, and then 50 mph, why would anyone want to travel at that speed on a motorway, when modern cars do not work properly when in top gear at 30mph.

            At present lorries are governed at just short of 60 MPH so they presumably would block your fast lane to other traffic and you would break the law by trying to overtake them, or do you intend to govern a lorries speed to less than 40 or 50mph. when the drivers will then run out of driving time on their tachographs.

            I think your idea has rather too many idealist judgements to succeed.

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    This is welcome news at last, but pray tell me John, why do Wokingham insist on spreading coloured resin, which wears off after 18-24 months, all over new tarmac in so many areas of our borough, the cost must be huge.

    The A329 is just being resurfaced to the west of the Town at the moment, at I guess great expense, as the job looks like it is being done properly.
    But just after the new quiet smooth surface has been put down, we will have coloured resin both red and green spread all over it to indicate the approach to traffic lights, and the presence of a cycle path, both of which are already clearly marked with white lines.

    Apart from making the place look like Toytown, why put down a surface which will require additional spending in following years, because as it peels off, as it does, the road surface then becomes more dangerous with loose resin all over the road. !

    No wonder cyclists still use the road and avoid the cycle paths.

    Reply Good questions to put to Councillors

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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