Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

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Chris Bertram
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Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:21

Steven is probably best placed to answer this, but the Wolverhampton RR is currently operating with a 30 limit. The 40 signs and repeaters have been grey-painted, and VMS signs are advising of the new limit.

Question - is this a "temporary"* measure for CoViD-19, or a trial of a proposed permanent reduction? If the latter, what are the stated reasons for the reduction? Does it not work well at 40, being dualled throughout?

* Pardon the scare quotes, but I'm just a cynical so-and-so where these things are concerned.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Steven » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:27

It's temporary, for "active travel" reasons. There's been quite a number of changes in the city centre to encourage cycling etc.

I'm not entirely convinced that the IRR is actually the best suited route for NMU on the carriageway - it would probably be advantageous to spend further money improving cycling provision on the radials and the city centre, and using the IRR to separate out motorised vehicles by further looking at vehicle movements within the city centre, minimising the time spent inside the IRR to access parking areas. For example, Waterloo Road could have further discouragement for car traffic, with access to the main large car parks in the city centre being made via Salop Street instead; and that way cycling traffic could be encouraged to use the routes via the city centre rather than the IRR.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:50

Steven wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:27
It's temporary, for "active travel" reasons. There's been quite a number of changes in the city centre to encourage cycling etc.

I'm not entirely convinced that the IRR is actually the best suited route for NMU on the carriageway - it would probably be advantageous to spend further money improving cycling provision on the radials and the city centre, and using the IRR to separate out motorised vehicles by further looking at vehicle movements within the city centre, minimising the time spent inside the IRR to access parking areas. For example, Waterloo Road could have further discouragement for car traffic, with access to the main large car parks in the city centre being made via Salop Street instead; and that way cycling traffic could be encouraged to use the routes via the city centre rather than the IRR.
The big problem with just dropping a speed limit is it doesn't remove the reason people aren't cycling - which is the fact you're still stuck in a lane with other cars. The A4150 is not really a suitable road for cycling - and really if Wolverhampton City Council are serious about improving active travel they'd improve the direct routes across the city centre and look at sorting out the signal junctions that turn the ring road into a moat if you're a pedestrian or cyclist.

There's a similar argument for reducing the A673 between Bolton and Horwich to 30 as a temporary cycle lane scheme is being installed - the argument being "the wand segregation isn't designed for 40" - no, but the existing advisory painted lanes apparently are. The 40 limit is academic anyway as traffic is held up at numerous junctions (all of which have an appalling Stats 19 record).

There's a mad scramble to get "lots and lots and lots" in, but the emphasis needs to be on safety and utility - it is better to spend money on the junctions that are the bigger barriers. Slapping lanes down between junctions increases mileage but the endemic safety problems at junctions remain unaltered.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Truvelo » Fri Sep 18, 2020 21:26

I suspect Waterloo Road is busy because it forms the obvious route for A449 through traffic. Who in their right mind will drive from the western side of the ring road to Stafford Road via the official route when Waterloo Road is more direct and misses out some traffic lights. If the council want to stop this then just ban the turns between north and west.

Seriously though, if they really want to improve NMU use of the ring road then there's acres of grassland in the median which could be put to better use. The northwest side has some squiggly footpaths which could be adapted for cycles. The rest could have cycleways added which carefully avoid the trees.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Steven » Fri Sep 18, 2020 21:47

Truvelo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 21:26
I suspect Waterloo Road is busy because it forms the obvious route for A449 through traffic. Who in their right mind will drive from the western side of the ring road to Stafford Road via the official route when Waterloo Road is more direct and misses out some traffic lights. If the council want to stop this then just ban the turns between north and west.
I was talking about the section of Waterloo Road inside the IRR rather than the section to the north, but actually, it's often surprisingly quicker to travel from Waterloo Road Junction to the Dunstall Park version of Five Ways via A449 Stafford Street - it's further, but there's actually no more traffic lights via Elephant and Castle (which only have a short red time compared with the Waterloo Road/Newhampton Road junction) as there's a filter lane at Stafford Street Junction that misses out the lights there entirely, plus the northernmost section Waterloo Road tends to be quite slow; and there's no need to negotiate the fairly busy roundabout at Jack Hayward Way.

Waterloo Road at Molineux is also closed for a couple of hours either side of Wolves home games to allow for improved pedestrian safety.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by IAN » Fri Nov 26, 2021 21:33

Chris Bertram wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:21
Steven is probably best placed to answer this, but the Wolverhampton RR is currently operating with a 30 limit. The 40 signs and repeaters have been grey-painted, and VMS signs are advising of the new limit.

Question - is this a "temporary"* measure for CoViD-19, or a trial of a proposed permanent reduction?
Unsurprisingly the 'temporary' 30 linit will become permanent. https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/news/r ... ity-centre
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Steven » Fri Nov 26, 2021 21:42

IAN wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 21:33
Chris Bertram wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:21
Steven is probably best placed to answer this, but the Wolverhampton RR is currently operating with a 30 limit. The 40 signs and repeaters have been grey-painted, and VMS signs are advising of the new limit.

Question - is this a "temporary"* measure for CoViD-19, or a trial of a proposed permanent reduction?
Unsurprisingly the 'temporary' 30 linit will become permanent. https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/news/r ... ity-centre
It is looking that way, yes.

However, in reality the limit change has made very little difference to travel times around the IRR, with the difference from one side to the other being around 30 seconds between 30mph and 40mph.

In practice of course, it's actually much less than 30 seconds difference as there's four major junctions on the furthest sensible journey, and so most of the time will be spent negotiating junctions and not travelling at the speed limit.

I find it very difficult to get excited about what in reality is at most 15 seconds extra.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Nov 26, 2021 22:02

It's as much to do with what it says about the function of the road as anything. I have this old-fashioned idea that major arterial roads, including ring roads, should, where possible, have their function and their importance signalled not just by signage but by a higher speed limit. This will quite likely be 40mph, or occasionally 50 or more for roads of exceptionally high standard. Admittedly the roads leading out from Wolverhampton don't immediately justify a higher limit, but the ring road is fully dualled and has operated successfully with a 40 limit since completion. The danger is now that with a 30 limit, slow speed campaigners will loudly demand that it be actively enforced, leaving the police with the issue of whether to do this or justify inaction. It's not a position they should be put in.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Truvelo » Sat Nov 27, 2021 14:29

I have wondered if it was fully GSJ'd as planned whether the limit would be as high as 50.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by IAN » Sat Nov 27, 2021 15:24

Truvelo wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 14:29
I have wondered if it was fully GSJ'd as planned whether the limit would be as high as 50.
Using that criterium, is the limit for the Coventry ring road 50?
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Bryn666 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 15:30

IAN wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 15:24
Truvelo wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 14:29
I have wondered if it was fully GSJ'd as planned whether the limit would be as high as 50.
Using that criterium, is the limit for the Coventry ring road 50?
No, it's very sensibly 40.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Chris Bertram » Sat Nov 27, 2021 18:45

IAN wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 15:24
Truvelo wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 14:29
I have wondered if it was fully GSJ'd as planned whether the limit would be as high as 50.
Using that criterion, is the limit for the Coventry ring road 50?
The exits would be too close in either case.
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Re: Wolverhampton Ring Road - 30 limit

Post by Steven » Sat Nov 27, 2021 18:54

Truvelo wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 14:29
I have wondered if it was fully GSJ'd as planned whether the limit would be as high as 50.
No, the design speed is 40mph.
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