Pointless motorway overhead messages

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Goose
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Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Goose » Thu May 16, 2013 16:07

On the southbound side of the M5 at j29 we have a sign proclaiming x mins to j31 a mere 5-6 miles up the road!
However this morning there was heavy congestion due to the Devon county show. The sign still read 6 mins to J31 despite traffic at a standstill in lanes 1+2 plus the slip road.
How odd!

DavidBrown
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by DavidBrown » Thu May 16, 2013 16:17

Certainly when I looked at Traffic England earlier, when there was congestion, the VMS's were all showing either 'CONGESTION SLOW DOWN' or 'FOR COUNTY SHOW USE J30'.

However, it is worth pointing out that the standard for that particular sign is 5 minutes to J31. Therefore, I can work out for myself that despite the County Show traffic, there is likely to only be a delay of 1 minute - so it's not worth me coming off at J29 and finding an alternative route. And if, like you say, lanes 1 and 2 were at a standstill, then that indicates to me that lane 3 was still moving, if somewhat slower than normal - hence the minimal delay.

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novaecosse
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by novaecosse » Thu May 16, 2013 18:21

The VMS on the M90 between Junction 7 & 8 often say "Hard Shoulder for Emergency Use Only" :laugh:

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Burns
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Burns » Thu May 16, 2013 18:47

novaecosse wrote:The VMS on the M90 between Junction 7 & 8 often say "Hard Shoulder for Emergency Use Only" :laugh:
What hard shoulder? :wink:

drm567
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by drm567 » Thu May 16, 2013 18:49

For all I know it may be of importance to someone, but last Saturday at about 10pm, from M4 J5 to M25 J19 every VMS had the message 'A5 closed after A4508'.

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si404
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by si404 » Thu May 16, 2013 19:11

drm567 wrote:For all I know it may be of importance to someone, but last Saturday at about 10pm, from M4 J5 to M25 J19 every VMS had the message 'A5 closed after A4508'.
What kind of out of date map were they using? the A4508 hasn't been around for some time.

Also, it, nor the obvious typo of that other Northampton road, the A4500 meet the A5.
"“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations" Thomas Jefferson

From the SABRE Wiki: A4508 :

The A4508 number was allocated to Northampton's Outer Ring Road before it was renumbered A5076.

... Read More

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Richardf » Thu May 16, 2013 19:12

Dont know if its really pointless but one that amuses me whenever i see it (mostly on the M27 strangely enough) is "Think Bike".
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vlad
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by vlad » Thu May 16, 2013 20:45

drm567 wrote:For all I know it may be of importance to someone, but last Saturday at about 10pm, from M4 J5 to M25 J19 every VMS had the message 'A5 closed after A4508'.
Is that the HA equivalent of "Will Inspector Sands please come to platform 4"? :)
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Sunil_of_Yoxley » Thu May 16, 2013 21:51

Actually:

"Will Inspector Sands please go to the Operations Room immediately!"
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Connor
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Connor » Thu May 16, 2013 23:24

Oddly Inspector Sands was retired from some uses and Constable Eris took his place. In the last year he's become a civilian answering to Safety Officer Eris.

As for overhead signs "High. Risk of Deer in road' on the M8 and M9 always looks like Beer in Road to me

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Connor » Fri May 17, 2013 22:12

Further to above, a couple of dying/dirty bulbs on the M9(E) today led to the ominous message "Heavy Pain forecast for Saturday."
Last edited by Connor on Sat May 18, 2013 06:15, edited 1 time in total.

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A935
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by A935 » Fri May 17, 2013 22:54

Connor wrote:As for overhead signs "High. Risk of Deer in road' on the M8 and M9 always looks like Beer in Road to me
"HIGH RISK OF DEER ON ROAD" is not particularly helpful when displayed in the middle of the akingsway in Dundee at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, as it was last weekend. Neither is "A90N CLOSED AT ST MADOES. USE ALTERNATE ROUTE", which was displayed last Wednesday just at the point of no return on the M90 junction 11 entrance slip to the A90; basically even if you could somehow avoid taking the slip, no viable alternative route exists without backtracking through Perth to take the A94 via Scone and Coupar Angus. Oh and the Perth Races were on...

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by AndyB » Sat May 18, 2013 11:07

On the other hand, it's a very helpful warning that at St Madoes you will need to divert via the village... was the VMS visible from the roundabout?

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A935
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by A935 » Sat May 18, 2013 13:55

Only once committed to the slip. My complaint is more that the accident was actually at Kinfauns, so there was no diversion around it and by the time I entered the A90 the traffic was already stationary to Walnut Grove anyway.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by PeterA5145 » Sat May 18, 2013 14:40

Earlier today on the M56 Sharston Spur, there was a message saying "A19 closed after A1018". How many users of the road would even know where that was, let alone be actually going there? (It's near Sunderland).

There were also "Incident" signs, with an advisory 30 in L2 and a red X above L1. Needless to say, absolutely nothing blocking L1, and no sign of any incident.

As I've said in a previous thread, I generally take the view of VMS messages that they might just be right, so I need to keep my eyes open, but they probably won't be. I have never seen any evidence of either of the frequently encountered "Animals in Road" or "Pedestrians in Road".
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by kevjs » Sat May 18, 2013 18:06

PeterA5145 wrote:As I've said in a previous thread, I generally take the view of VMS messages that they might just be right, so I need to keep my eyes open, but they probably won't be. I have never seen any evidence of either of the frequently encountered "Animals in Road" or "Pedestrians in Road".
I have actually seen that one - some guy in his pants (only) being bundled into the back of a police car on the M6, debries in central lane (or words to that effect) was also correct, alas the VMS was AFTER said debries :roll:

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by quarella » Sat May 18, 2013 18:28

As I've said in a previous thread, I generally take the view of VMS messages that they might just be right, so I need to keep my eyes open, but they probably won't be. I have never seen any evidence of either of the frequently encountered "Animals in Road" or "Pedestrians in Road".
Nearly got caught out this week with a "Debris in road" message at the junction before my exit. So often the incident is over a junction away. Just in case I kept my eyes open and in a short distance there was someone's roof box in the middle lane.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Johnathan404 » Sat May 18, 2013 19:12

My problem with these signs isn't the accuracy, but the advance and unnecessary warning they usually offer. I assume this is the result of inaccurate information.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by northernlight » Sat May 18, 2013 22:25

A935 wrote:
Connor wrote:As for overhead signs "High. Risk of Deer in road' on the M8 and M9 always looks like Beer in Road to me
"HIGH RISK OF DEER ON ROAD" is not particularly helpful when displayed in the middle of the akingsway in Dundee at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, as it was last weekend. Neither is "A90N CLOSED AT ST MADOES. USE ALTERNATE ROUTE", which was displayed last Wednesday just at the point of no return on the M90 junction 11 entrance slip to the A90; basically even if you could somehow avoid taking the slip, no viable alternative route exists without backtracking through Perth to take the A94 via Scone and Coupar Angus. Oh and the Perth Races were on...
There was a funny howler on the A835 several months ago which read "HIGH RISK OF DEAR ON ROAD"! I had images of an old dear wandering across the road ...

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by DavidBrown » Sat May 18, 2013 22:35

The problem is that when people phone the emergency services to report, for example, debris in lane 2, they'll almost certainly say something along the lines of "There's a piece of wood in the middle lane on the M1 after J25 - people are having to swerve to avoid it". It's something that they have to take seriously and will therefore send crews out and immediately set the signs - but they lack vital information such as marker post locations, direction of travel, nature of the debris etc etc - hence why you will see such vague messages for a substantial length.

And to those moaning - at least you have these hi-tech matrix signs that can display words. There's many motorways where you still only have central reservation MS1s which can do nothing but flash '50' for mile after mile - then you really have no idea what the nature of the problem might be.

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