M11 extension back on the agenda

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KeithW
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by KeithW »

trickstat wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:59
The route for the final option will need some pretty serious improvements to be a truly viable alternative. Google suggests that taking the current A14 and M11 to the junction with the M25 takes 20 minutes longer than using the M1 and M25. While the current works on the A1 will be slowing things down what must be borne in mind is that from Catthorpe to Brampton the route travels almost due east.
The A14 is a long road as is the M25, WHERE on the A14 and the M25 are you measuring from and to ?

Note that the M25 from J20 to J27 also travels due east !

If you measure from the same start points (M25 J27) to Catthorpe this is what you get

M1/M25 to M25 J27 1 hr 25 minutes - 85 miles
A14/M11 to M25 J27 1 hr 41 minutes - 118 miles

But that is comparing Apples and Oranges

The A14 is the road from Felixstowe to the West Midlands
The M1 is the road from West London to South Yorkshire
The M6 is the road from the M1 to Birmingham, Manchester and the NW
The M11 is the road from East London to Cambridge and the A1 at Alconbury
The M11 and A14 intersect at Cambridge and currently share the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon

Going the long way round may be expected to take longer and while I would not consider driving from Watford to the M6 via the M11 I would not travel from Felixstowe to Birmingham via the M25 either.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by trickstat »

KeithW wrote: Tue Dec 04, 2018 00:16
trickstat wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:59
The route for the final option will need some pretty serious improvements to be a truly viable alternative. Google suggests that taking the current A14 and M11 to the junction with the M25 takes 20 minutes longer than using the M1 and M25. While the current works on the A1 will be slowing things down what must be borne in mind is that from Catthorpe to Brampton the route travels almost due east.
The A14 is a long road as is the M25, WHERE on the A14 and the M25 are you measuring from and to ?

Note that the M25 from J20 to J27 also travels due east !

If you measure from the same start points (M25 J27) to Catthorpe this is what you get

M1/M25 to M25 J27 1 hr 25 minutes - 85 miles
A14/M11 to M25 J27 1 hr 41 minutes - 118 miles

But that is comparing Apples and Oranges

The A14 is the road from Felixstowe to the West Midlands
The M1 is the road from West London to South Yorkshire
The M6 is the road from the M1 to Birmingham, Manchester and the NW
The M11 is the road from East London to Cambridge and the A1 at Alconbury
The M11 and A14 intersect at Cambridge and currently share the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon
To clarify my post was a response to the suggestion that extending the M11 along the line of the current A14 to Catthorpe would make it a route from the Midlands to east and southeast London. My point was that this was impractical because it is a much longer route. While the M25 does travel due east to the north of London the distance is much shorter because the M1 travels SSE to reach it.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Euan »

If you draw a straight line on a map between Catthorpe and Epping then the M1 will run roughly parallel with it to the south west for much of its length. The A14/M11 route significantly deviates from the straight line and is quite often considerably further away than J21 on the M25 is to the line, which is the widest deviation throughout the M1/M25 route. The other route to consider is the A14/A1/A1(M) route which is a very similar distance to the A14/M11 route and, at least according to Google at this moment, both routes take a similar amount of driving time to complete.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by KeithW »

trickstat wrote: Tue Dec 04, 2018 07:18
KeithW wrote: Tue Dec 04, 2018 00:16
trickstat wrote: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:59
The route for the final option will need some pretty serious improvements to be a truly viable alternative. Google suggests that taking the current A14 and M11 to the junction with the M25 takes 20 minutes longer than using the M1 and M25. While the current works on the A1 will be slowing things down what must be borne in mind is that from Catthorpe to Brampton the route travels almost due east.
The A14 is a long road as is the M25, WHERE on the A14 and the M25 are you measuring from and to ?

Note that the M25 from J20 to J27 also travels due east !

If you measure from the same start points (M25 J27) to Catthorpe this is what you get

M1/M25 to M25 J27 1 hr 25 minutes - 85 miles
A14/M11 to M25 J27 1 hr 41 minutes - 118 miles

But that is comparing Apples and Oranges

The A14 is the road from Felixstowe to the West Midlands
The M1 is the road from West London to South Yorkshire
The M6 is the road from the M1 to Birmingham, Manchester and the NW
The M11 is the road from East London to Cambridge and the A1 at Alconbury
The M11 and A14 intersect at Cambridge and currently share the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon
To clarify my post was a response to the suggestion that extending the M11 along the line of the current A14 to Catthorpe would make it a route from the Midlands to east and southeast London. My point was that this was impractical because it is a much longer route. While the M25 does travel due east to the north of London the distance is much shorter because the M1 travels SSE to reach it.
The road number and colour on the signs at the end of the day make no difference to the appropriateness of the route.

I certainly agree that at the end of the day the M11 is the WRONG designation for the route to Catthorpe as quite simply it is that part of the Strategic Road built to carry traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and the whole of that route carries the designation A14 / A14(M). Even were that not true much of the road is not easily upgradeable to motorway standard anyway so fantasies about calling it the M11 are just that.

The M11 is what it always has been since it fully opened around 38 years ago - the London to Cambridge Motorway. It has reached Cambridge - no further extension is necessary. Alternate routes from East Anglia to the East Midlands and the North need not and should not pass through the Cambridge area which heaven knows has more than enough traffic to deal with. It would be far better to send such traffic through the Norwich, Kings Lynn, Boston, Sleaford corridor from which point routes to Lincoln and the the Humber or to the A1 at Newark via an upgraded A17 are possible. My heart says A15, my head says A17, my wide eyed optimist says both. The key upgrade needed in the East of England region is of course to the A1 between Peterborough and Ferrybridge, the Doncaster bypass and the M1 around Leeds in particular have become major bottlenecks. An alternative to a D3 A1 is to ugrade the A15 to D2 which would not only improve overall capacity but provide resilience in case of a major blockage to either route.

As to the M11/A14 being the best route from East London to Catthorpe that very much depends on traffic conditions, if the western side of the M25 is doing its famous impression of a car park it might very well be quicker on the day to use either the M11/A14 or A1(M)/A14 Personally I tend to avoid the M25 wherever possible for the twin reasons of preserving my sanity and avoiding getting stuck.

Similarly when the M6 around Birmingham was having a bad day I have been know to drive back from Warrington to the Cambridge area using the A50/M1/A14 a nominally slower route.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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roadtester wrote: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:07
KeithW wrote: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:31...while the once upmarket Grand Burstin Hotel is an unloved underused budget hotel.
I stayed there last year when I had an early ferry to catch.

I was turning up at midnight and departing at six. I read the reviews and thought "how bad can it really be as a place to crash?"

Never again!
I'm making a short continental trip again this week, again with an earlyish crossing, this time on Le Shuttle.

The Grand Burstin is only £24, far cheaper than any alternative, but I'll still be giving it a wide berth!
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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KeithW wrote: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:37I certainly agree that at the end of the day the M11 is the WRONG designation for the route to Catthorpe as quite simply it is that part of the Strategic Road built to carry traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and the whole of that route carries the designation A14 / A14(M). Even were that not true much of the road is not easily upgradeable to motorway standard anyway so fantasies about calling it the M11 are just that.
There is, however, no such thing as 'motorway standard'. Giving a route blue signage and an 'M' number confers a legal status, not a quality of build. Therefore, it wouldn't take much to convert the A14 into a motorway between Catthorpe and Cambridge. It would be sensible to close turning gaps, and to eliminate the two roundabouts, but that's about it. A hard shoulder would be desirable, but not a legal requirement.

I agree that there wouldn't be much logic to using the M11 number, for precisely the reason you suggest. M14 would make more sense from Catthorpe to Godmanchester, while the Cambridge to Alconbury improvement currently being built would make more sense as M11.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by KeithW »

Owain wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 19:01

There is, however, no such thing as 'motorway standard'. Giving a route blue signage and an 'M' number confers a legal status, not a quality of build. Therefore, it wouldn't take much to convert the A14 into a motorway between Catthorpe and Cambridge. It would be sensible to close turning gaps, and to eliminate the two roundabouts, but that's about it. A hard shoulder would be desirable, but not a legal requirement.

I agree that there wouldn't be much logic to using the M11 number, for precisely the reason you suggest. M14 would make more sense from Catthorpe to Godmanchester, while the Cambridge to Alconbury improvement currently being built would make more sense as M11.
Legally perhaps but there is an expectation that a minimum quality of road will be provided which is the justification for the higher speed limits. This standard is definitely not in place for much of the A14. There is however a legal issue involved with abolishing rights of access to an existing All Purpose road without providing suitable alternatives for traffic that is not legally allowed on a motorway.

I expect that eventually the A14 will be upgraded to motorway standard but it will be neither quick nor cheap.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Owain »

KeithW wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 21:16
Owain wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 19:01

There is, however, no such thing as 'motorway standard'. Giving a route blue signage and an 'M' number confers a legal status, not a quality of build. Therefore, it wouldn't take much to convert the A14 into a motorway between Catthorpe and Cambridge. It would be sensible to close turning gaps, and to eliminate the two roundabouts, but that's about it. A hard shoulder would be desirable, but not a legal requirement.

I agree that there wouldn't be much logic to using the M11 number, for precisely the reason you suggest. M14 would make more sense from Catthorpe to Godmanchester, while the Cambridge to Alconbury improvement currently being built would make more sense as M11.
Legally perhaps but there is an expectation that a minimum quality of road will be provided which is the justification for the higher speed limits. This standard is definitely not in place for much of the A14.
In principle, that makes perfect sense, and I would agree with that principle. Like you, I do think that a motorway should be built to a higher standard than a dual carriageway, and have a higher speed limit. However, as things stand in the UK at present, that simply isn't the case.

The speed limit on the A14 between Catthorpe and Cambridge (barring exceptions for roadworks) is NSL = 70mph. This is the same as the speed limit on any UK motorway unless stated otherwise.

This why the only thing standing in the way of making roads like the A14, A11, A27, A30, A42, A46 and A55 into motorways is the law, and not design standard. All of those green-signed roads are more suitable for high-speed driving than the elevated section of the M4, the M32, the A38(M), the A57(M), the A58(M), and the M8 through Glasgow.

A 'motorway' is a legal status, and little else. I don't think that's right, but it is how it is.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by KeithW »

Owain wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 21:38
KeithW wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 21:16
Legally perhaps but there is an expectation that a minimum quality of road will be provided which is the justification for the higher speed limits. This standard is definitely not in place for much of the A14.
In principle, that makes perfect sense, and I would agree with that principle. Like you, I do think that a motorway should be built to a higher standard than a dual carriageway, and have a higher speed limit. However, as things stand in the UK at present, that simply isn't the case.

The speed limit on the A14 between Catthorpe and Cambridge (barring exceptions for roadworks) is NSL = 70mph. This is the same as the speed limit on any UK motorway unless stated otherwise.

This why the only thing standing in the way of making roads like the A14, A11, A27, A30, A42, A46 and A55 into motorways is the law, and not design standard. All of those green-signed roads are more suitable for high-speed driving than the elevated section of the M4, the M32, the A38(M), the A57(M), the A58(M), and the M8 through Glasgow.

A 'motorway' is a legal status, and little else. I don't think that's right, but it is how it is.

This is not correct, for HGV's, buses and coaches the NSL speed limit on an all purpose dual carriageway is 60 mph while they are permitted to do 70 mph on a motorway. The A14 was primarily built to convey such traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands. We do indeed have some sub standard motorways lets not add more.

I also seem to recall 40 mph speed limits and average speed cameras on the M4 elevated sections in West London and at Newport 50 mph limits on the M3 elevated section around J1 and J2 while the A38(M) at Aston has as I recall a 50 mph limit as has the Newcastle central motorway. Higher speed limits for motorways are not a universal rule.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Micro The Maniac »

Owain wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 21:38 The speed limit on the A14 between Catthorpe and Cambridge (barring exceptions for roadworks) is NSL = 70mph. This is the same as the speed limit on any UK motorway unless stated otherwise.
Only if driving a car... the NSL for a van is 60 on a DC but 70 on a motorway.

Enforcement is a separate issue.......
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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KeithW wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:10 This is not correct, for HGV's, buses and coaches the NSL speed limit on an all purpose dual carriageway is 60 mph while they are permitted to do 70 mph on a motorway.
The 70mph limit on a motorway applies to:
  • Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles when NOT towing caravans or trailers
  • Motorhomes or motor caravans
  • Buses, coaches and minibuses (not more than 12 metres overall length)
  • Goods vehicles (not more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight), and not if articulated or towing a trailer
But the limit is 60mph for:
  • Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles when towing caravans or trailers
  • Buses, coaches and minibuses (more than 12 metres overall length)
  • Goods vehicles (more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight), or if articulated or towing a trailer
https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Chris Bertram »

gepree68 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2019 13:00
KeithW wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:10 This is not correct, for HGV's, buses and coaches the NSL speed limit on an all purpose dual carriageway is 60 mph while they are permitted to do 70 mph on a motorway.
The 70mph limit on a motorway applies to:
  • Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles when NOT towing caravans or trailers
  • Motorhomes or motor caravans
  • Buses, coaches and minibuses (not more than 12 metres overall length)
  • Goods vehicles (not more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight), and not if articulated or towing a trailer
But the limit is 60mph for:
  • Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles when towing caravans or trailers
  • Buses, coaches and minibuses (more than 12 metres overall length)
  • Goods vehicles (more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight), or if articulated or towing a trailer
https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits
And of course some vehicles are speed-limited and cannot even reach the limit for their class of vehicle, most notable heavy goods vehicles, usually limited to 90km/h = 56mph.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Owain »

Okay, let's put it another way: the fastest speed permitted for any vehicle (i.e. car / motorcycle) on a motorway is the same as the fastest speed permitted for any vehicle (i.e. car / motorcycle) on a dual carriageway. Therefore build quality does not automatically determine whether or not a road gets blue signage. If it did, the elevated section of the M4, the A38(M), A57(M), the A58(M), and possibly even the M32, M50, M65, M66, and M180, would not be motorways.
KeithW wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:10The A14 was primarily built to convey such traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands. We do indeed have some sub standard motorways lets not add more.
I didn't mean to give the impression that I think we should make the A14 a motorway without dramatically improving it. Like you I think that motorway status should correspond to a certain quality of build (e.g. hard shoulders, and free-flow links to other motorways). My point is simply that we don't live in a country where that is the case, even if many people seem to think that it is!
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by Berk »

I don’t know what all that discussion was about a journey between Catthorpe/J19, and the M25. It’s only a fork junction now, you can’t enter or leave there!!
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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Whatever happened to this extension? Any word on whether it may still be on this "agenda"?
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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qwertyK wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 19:02 Whatever happened to this extension? Any word on whether it may still be on this "agenda"?
Nothing and its likely to stay that way. Its a dream that gets raised from time to time by local politicians trying to big themselves up.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

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KeithW wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 20:28
qwertyK wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 19:02 Whatever happened to this extension? Any word on whether it may still be on this "agenda"?
Nothing and its likely to stay that way. Its a dream that gets raised from time to time by local politicians trying to big themselves up.
IMO they should have just renumbered the upgraded A14 the M11 instead, but oh well. You'd have thought with the "levelling up" business it might get a bit more interest. The eastern half of England is like a desert for motorways
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by M4Simon »

/A
qwertyK wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 21:35
KeithW wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 20:28
qwertyK wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 19:02 Whatever happened to this extension? Any word on whether it may still be on this "agenda"?
Nothing and its likely to stay that way. Its a dream that gets raised from time to time by local politicians trying to big themselves up.
IMO they should have just renumbered the upgraded A14 the M11 instead, but oh well. You'd have thought with the "levelling up" business it might get a bit more interest. The eastern half of England is like a desert for motorways
If you look at population densities across England, you'll see that along a prospective east coast motorway (M11 extension), there are very few big towns and many square miles of farm land between Cambridge and Lincoln. Far better to upgrade the A1, and then upgrade the A46 to Lincoln, and on to Grimsby and to the Humber Bridge and Hull. Moving north from there, you are soon into the North Yorkshire Moors before you reach Teesside, which is served by the A19/A168 route to the A1 southbound and the A19 heading north. In short, there isn't a case for an east coast motorway.

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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by c2R »

There isn't... but there is a case for improvements to the wider road network in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

The following routes are all substandard and are carrying around AADT of 20k
A47 from Peterborough to Norwich
A10 from Cambridge to Kings Lynn
A16 from Peterborough to Boston
A17 from Newark to Kings Lynn
A15 from the Humber Bridge to Lincoln
Also the A141 and A142

There is a case for some of these to be dualled, and for agricultural and freight to be separated - this would improve connectivity and growth in the region.
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Re: M11 extension back on the agenda

Post by KeithW »

qwertyK wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 21:35 IMO they should have just renumbered the upgraded A14 the M11 instead, but oh well. You'd have thought with the "levelling up" business it might get a bit more interest. The eastern half of England is like a desert for motorways
Doing so would achieve nothing except to put a confusing section of M11 into the A14 for a few miles, if it was to be a motorway the obvious number is A14(M) which in fact is already used for the stretch from Alconbury to Little Stukeley on the A1(M) although it is not signed.

As for motorways in Eastern England there is rather a long stretch of A1(M) from Darrington to Birtley while the A168/A19 from Dishforth to Seaton Burn is not a motorway it is a high quality dual carriageway road. I certainly would like to see the A1 upgraded from Peterborough to Blyth and the A15 from Lincoln to the Humber Bridge but looking at the roads to the east the traffic levels on the A16 and A17 just dont justify it. The one exception is the A46 to Lincoln but there is already a scheme in place to upgrade it. Humberside of course already has the M180 and M62

If you want a motorway desert consider the south coast between Folkestone and Portsmouth, the quickest way to drive between the two is M20/M25/A3 - been there done that.
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