M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

The study of British and Irish roads - their construction, numbering, history, mapping, past and future official roads proposals and general roads musings.

There is a separate forum for Street Furniture (traffic lights, street lights, road signs etc).

Registered users get access to other forums including discussions about other forms of transport, driving, fantasy roads and wishlists, and roads quizzes.

Moderator: Site Management Team

Post Reply
fras
Member
Posts: 2837
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 18:34

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by fras » Wed Jul 28, 2021 13:41

Maybe I've missed something, but it's not very cycling-friendly is it, (although neither is the present layout !) ? Three roundabouts to negotiate on the proposed new Jn 1 M54 to keep to the old road. Then there is the absolutely horrendous roundabout proposal for Jn 11 M6 !
The new Jn 11 M6 involves the complete demolition of the existing bridges, and installation of two new ones on a larger diameter roundabout. Surely this must cost almost the same as putting in at least a part-free flow junction ? Can it be the same designer who was responsible for the dreadful Switch Island up near Liverpool !

Its yet another spatchcock, but a very expensive one !

User avatar
Patrick Harper
Member
Posts: 3027
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 14:41
Location: Wiltshire
Contact:

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Patrick Harper » Thu Jul 29, 2021 21:31

Well the current roundabout is only two lanes wide + footpaths, if the plan for the new roundabout is for a wider circular carriageway plus filter lanes then that's still an improvement, and a less disruptive one than full freeflow would be to the area. Assuming they've setup their traffic modelling software correctly and they're choosing a design with regards to the stats generated from that, it's probably fine.

Looks like the M54 J1 design separates trunk from local traffic so cycling around it should be less daunting despite making the journey three small roundabouts instead of one big one. These sorts of schemes tend to make the footpaths shared use as well for those who are really scared.
YouTubeYouTube (music)Vimeo | Formerly: Paspie (2010–2015) • Paianni (2015–2018) • Skye (2018–2020)

User avatar
jackal
Member
Posts: 6544
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 23:33
Location: M6

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by jackal » Fri Jul 30, 2021 08:00

Patrick Harper wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 21:31
Well the current roundabout is only two lanes wide + footpaths, if the plan for the new roundabout is for a wider circular carriageway plus filter lanes then that's still an improvement, and a less disruptive one than full freeflow would be to the area. Assuming they've setup their traffic modelling software correctly and they're choosing a design with regards to the stats generated from that, it's probably fine.
The freeflow design bypassed the existing roundabout (see plan I posted on previous page). It would have been much less disruptive than the selected design, which requires demolition of the existing junction.

Remarkably there are not even any freeflow filter lanes in the selected design, nor any potential for any as they've put the old A460 between the link road and north facing onslip.

You have a lot of faith in the software. It's not an objective judge but a slave to the selected parameters and inputs. Usually the target is to keep the junction within 'capacity' at peak times. This is defined so it can be (and with this design, is bound to be) achieved with substantial queues. Furthermore, offpeak and interpeak journey times are usually treated as a 'don't care'. See HE's own metastudy of dozens of pinchpoint schemes, which found that average journey times usually increased. The modelling is basically rigged to deliver this dire outcome of a massively wide, fully signalized roundabout.

User avatar
Chris5156
Member
Posts: 14970
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2001 21:50
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Chris5156 » Fri Jul 30, 2021 08:15

Patrick Harper wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 21:31
These sorts of schemes tend to make the footpaths shared use as well for those who are really scared.
This is true, but not good enough any more, IMO. Shared footpaths that are used for cyclists are a terrible compromise. HE has a vast budget and even dedicated spending for improvements to NMU provision; they should be working towards dedicated cycle facilities on all their schemes. That applies more than anywhere else in a situation like this where you’re going to see a whole junction ripped up and rebuilt - it’s an opportunity to make real improvements that won’t be repeated. Fail to provide properly for NMUs now and it will be difficult to ever add provision for them later.

fras
Member
Posts: 2837
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 18:34

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by fras » Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:40

Let's be honest, and say that the proposals are not very good at all. The link should be motorway only and then NMC can be catered-for in a decent manner.

Micro The Maniac
Member
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 13:14
Location: B3272/A325/A331

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Micro The Maniac » Fri Jul 30, 2021 21:10

Steven wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 13:09
And I see they've also finally decided to make the link an all-purpose road.
What is it with DfT and their reluctance to designate new motorways?

A link between two moorways is, err, an APDC?

fras
Member
Posts: 2837
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 18:34

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by fras » Fri Jul 30, 2021 21:40

fras wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:40
Let's be honest, and say that the proposals are not very good at all. The link should be motorway only and then NMC can be catered-for in a decent manner.
Sorry, I meant "Non-Motorway Traffic" or NMT

Phil
Member
Posts: 1868
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 18:03
Location: Burgess Hill,W Sussex, UK

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Phil » Sat Jul 31, 2021 00:08

Chris5156 wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 08:15
Patrick Harper wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 21:31
These sorts of schemes tend to make the footpaths shared use as well for those who are really scared.
This is true, but not good enough any more, IMO. Shared footpaths that are used for cyclists are a terrible compromise. HE has a vast budget and even dedicated spending for improvements to NMU provision; they should be working towards dedicated cycle facilities on all their schemes. That applies more than anywhere else in a situation like this where you’re going to see a whole junction ripped up and rebuilt - it’s an opportunity to make real improvements that won’t be repeated. Fail to provide properly for NMUs now and it will be difficult to ever add provision for them later.
If HE budget was that vast we wouldn't have an at grade solution being pushed in the first place.

The simple truth is, like most things in this country, the Government tries to do things on a shoestring (so it can claim to keep taxes low) while simultaneously diverting huge chunks of valuable taxpayers cash (which could be spent actually doing things) down the trousers of their outsourcing friends by stripping Government bodies of all expertise to do things in house.

HE have effectively been reduced to an uninformed commissioning agent with precious little engineering talent or vision within. They say to a contractor "this is the budget - go and give me a solution which can be built within it (with minimal landtake so we can minimise trouble from the neighbours / protest lobby)". Back comes the contractor with an at grade design festooned with traffic lights (and which they will claim makes the design NMU friendly) and some computer models which say it will just about work and the HE PR machine goes into overdrive about how wonderful they (HE) are for coming up with such a excellent design.

User avatar
jackal
Member
Posts: 6544
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 23:33
Location: M6

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by jackal » Fri Oct 22, 2021 09:03

"The Secretary of State received the examining authority’s report on 21 July 2020 and the current deadline for a decision was 21 October 2021. The deadline is now extended to 21 April 2022."

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... ing-update

User avatar
ChrisH
Member
Posts: 3888
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 11:29

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by ChrisH » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:03

jackal wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 09:03
"The Secretary of State received the examining authority’s report on 21 July 2020 and the current deadline for a decision was 21 October 2021. The deadline is now extended to 21 April 2022."

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... ing-update
I wish I could unilaterally extend all my work deadlines by six months whenever I felt like it :laugh:

Peter Freeman
Member
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 07:52
Location: M1-Exit E9 Melbourne Australia

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Peter Freeman » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:19

We should welcome any delay to such a poorly-designed scheme, as it's an opportunity for NH to have a last-chance change of mind and to make a better decision. Similarly with M25J10's delay.

Phil
Member
Posts: 1868
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 18:03
Location: Burgess Hill,W Sussex, UK

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by Phil » Tue Oct 26, 2021 23:36

Peter Freeman wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:19
We should welcome any delay to such a poorly-designed scheme, as it's an opportunity for NH to have a last-chance change of mind and to make a better decision. Similarly with M25J10's delay.
Any bigger / more comprehensive / superior / grade separated / etc scheme will cost a lot more than the current proposal.

HM Treasury will NOT INCREASE THE ROADS BUDGET!

As such the more expensive you make this scheme, the less money there is for anything else - PLUS the BCR calculations will actually make the more expensive option look worse and thus something to be dropped completely!


As ever the REAL PROBLEM in this country is a combination is penny pinching (so as to keep taxes low) and a permanent focus on the short term / 'good enough' solutions which are just about deliverable by the current incumbents of Whitehall (and who can therefore claim the credit) rather than planning something that will function well for many decades to come.

User avatar
jackal
Member
Posts: 6544
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 23:33
Location: M6

Re: M54 Extension and M6 Toll/M42 Jct Improvements announced

Post by jackal » Wed Oct 27, 2021 09:42

Phil wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 23:36
Peter Freeman wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:19
We should welcome any delay to such a poorly-designed scheme, as it's an opportunity for NH to have a last-chance change of mind and to make a better decision. Similarly with M25J10's delay.
Any bigger / more comprehensive / superior / grade separated / etc scheme will cost a lot more than the current proposal.

HM Treasury will NOT INCREASE THE ROADS BUDGET!

As such the more expensive you make this scheme, the less money there is for anything else - PLUS the BCR calculations will actually make the more expensive option look worse and thus something to be dropped completely!


As ever the REAL PROBLEM in this country is a combination is penny pinching (so as to keep taxes low) and a permanent focus on the short term / 'good enough' solutions which are just about deliverable by the current incumbents of Whitehall (and who can therefore claim the credit) rather than planning something that will function well for many decades to come.
My one real complaint with the scheme is the design for M6 J11 - basically it's just a bigger, wider, more signalised rbt. My suggestion is that it should rather be similar to the M54 J1 design, i.e., with the major movements to/from the M6 freeflowed and three small roundabouts to connect the other movements.

It's likely that this would cost a little more than the selected design. For instance, while it similarly requires two new bridges, one of them is significantly longer. Maybe £20m extra? But that's really a very minor cost compared to the benefit of making this motorway to motorway connection freeflowing rather than festooned with traffic lights in both directions.

It's extremely unlikely that this would result in the scheme getting cancelled. In fact the scheme would still be below the cost range of £250m-£500m indicated in 2014 - the current projection is £175m-£200m. (Yes, this is partly because the scheme no longer provides an M6T connection, but the bulk of the scheme was always M6 to M54, which is still being built.)

As Bryn says above, some consultants just can't design junctions. We shouldn't let them get away with it by assuming their hand is forced by the budget. There's zero evidence of that in this case.

General arrangement: https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... 0Plans.pdf

Post Reply