Pointless motorway overhead messages

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Herned
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Herned » Thu Jun 11, 2020 09:24

Slightly relevant to this topic: when the matrix signs are showing xx minutes to j36 or whatever, are there any guidelines about what is shown? Last week I noticed the ones on the M5 in Somerset were showing the times to J16 which is the M4, and J8 which is the M50.

I found it a bit odd that they would bother with the time to the M50, which can't possibly be a likely destination for many people, and is not even a memorable landmark as the M4 junction is. Would it be that the time can only be 2 digits so they couldn't choose the M42 junction?

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Osthagen
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Osthagen » Sun Oct 18, 2020 15:56

Heading south along the M1 at J43 or thereabouts, “To J32, 36 mins”.

I can’t see why J32 would be relevant in that area, because the M18 chiefly serves traffic on the M1 North en-route to Doncaster and the Humber ports. Traffic in the Leeds area heading for these destinations would have left the M1 by that point.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by crb11 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 16:18

I wonder if I'm alone in finding most such signs pointless, because I don't have a good enough mental map with distances on, even for roads I know reasonably well. What I'm interested in is how well the road is flowing for the next section of my journey (so I can divert or maybe stop earlier in the hope the traffic might clear) but it's difficult if I don't know whether J32 is 20 miles or 40 miles away. Ideally if there's space for only one bit of information I'd like average speed rather than time. The one place the time might be useful is at the approach to a services, so you have some idea of how long it will be until you reach the next one - particularly if you've got a passenger with a weak bladder.
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Stevie D
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Stevie D » Tue Oct 20, 2020 17:16

crb11 wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 16:18
I wonder if I'm alone in finding most such signs pointless, because I don't have a good enough mental map with distances on, even for roads I know reasonably well. What I'm interested in is how well the road is flowing for the next section of my journey (so I can divert or maybe stop earlier in the hope the traffic might clear) but it's difficult if I don't know whether J32 is 20 miles or 40 miles away. Ideally if there's space for only one bit of information I'd like average speed rather than time. The one place the time might be useful is at the approach to a services, so you have some idea of how long it will be until you reach the next one - particularly if you've got a passenger with a weak bladder.
Some of the signs do show the distance as well as the time, which does make them much more useful!

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by crb11 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 17:51

Stevie D wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 17:16
Some of the signs do show the distance as well as the time, which does make them much more useful!
Oh definitely, although they seem to be uncommon, and the most useful ones locally, on the A14 northbound before Spittals, didn't get replaced after the rerouting.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by trickstat » Tue Oct 20, 2020 18:57

Osthagen wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 15:56
Heading south along the M1 at J43 or thereabouts, “To J32, 36 mins”.

I can’t see why J32 would be relevant in that area, because the M18 chiefly serves traffic on the M1 North en-route to Doncaster and the Humber ports. Traffic in the Leeds area heading for these destinations would have left the M1 by that point.
My guess is this is only really useful for drivers going further south than J32 regularly enough to compare it with previous times. It might be of some use for those going to Sheffield or Rotherham, but the problem there is a longer than usual time may be due to congestion beyond their exit.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Jhammond » Tue Oct 20, 2020 21:45

1 mile from the M1 on A42 northbound.
Overhead electronic board that says "M1 via A42. 1 mile. 2 mins."

Even if there were awful queues getting onto the M1, I dont know if this sign would change. Does it want people going via the Donington services roundabout??

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by DB617 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 22:17

Jhammond wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 21:45
1 mile from the M1 on A42 northbound.
Overhead electronic board that says "M1 via A42. 1 mile. 2 mins."

Even if there were awful queues getting onto the M1, I dont know if this sign would change. Does it want people going via the Donington services roundabout??
There frequently are and it frequently does. Moreso during the smartification and when there are accidents around the junction complex, which is not unusual IME.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by EpicChef » Fri Dec 11, 2020 09:51

FREIGHT TO EU is back!
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Dec 11, 2020 09:57

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 09:51
FREIGHT TO EU is back!
FREIGHT TO EU?

FORGET IT!
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by A303Chris » Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:14

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 09:51
FREIGHT TO EU is back!
They've been on the M25 and M23 for the last 3 weeks. During Lockdown 2.0, you had one VSM saying "Essential Travel only, Stay at Home", followed by the next "New Documents for EU Freight from Jan 1st". Now it's just the latter
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by SJobson » Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36

On the M5 and M6 over the last week I've seen plenty of 'Reduce Travel' messages on the overhead gantries. Always preceded by a location; until last night they stated the local area (West Midlands - Reduce Travel, for instance) but I saw one last night which said 'South Gloucs - Reduce Travel' as I was in Worcestershire.

Did I miss the guidance to travel less now, as opposed to at any other time since March?

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by DavidBrown » Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:46

SJobson wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36
On the M5 and M6 over the last week I've seen plenty of 'Reduce Travel' messages on the overhead gantries. Always preceded by a location; until last night they stated the local area (West Midlands - Reduce Travel, for instance) but I saw one last night which said 'South Gloucs - Reduce Travel' as I was in Worcestershire.

Did I miss the guidance to travel less now, as opposed to at any other time since March?
They're specifically referring to tier 3 areas.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by the cheesecake man » Fri Dec 11, 2020 13:10

SJobson wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36
On the M5 and M6 over the last week I've seen plenty of 'Reduce Travel' messages on the overhead gantries. Always preceded by a location; until last night they stated the local area (West Midlands - Reduce Travel, for instance) but I saw one last night which said 'South Gloucs - Reduce Travel' as I was in Worcestershire.

Did I miss the guidance to travel less now, as opposed to at any other time since March?
We've go those in South Yorkshire also; they replaced they return of "Freight to EU" after just one day.

I'm surprised it's taken nine months for such messages to appear on HE's VMS system. Why now I've no idea either. :confused:

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by darkcape » Fri Dec 11, 2020 23:04

SJobson wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36
On the M5 and M6 over the last week I've seen plenty of 'Reduce Travel' messages on the overhead gantries. Always preceded by a location; until last night they stated the local area (West Midlands - Reduce Travel, for instance) but I saw one last night which said 'South Gloucs - Reduce Travel' as I was in Worcestershire.

Did I miss the guidance to travel less now, as opposed to at any other time since March?
In Lockdown 1 & 2 it was "Essential travel only". I also clocked tonight the M1 VMS reading "Leicestershire Reduce Travel" which doesn't even make sense. There are 9 junctions in Leicestershire, 5 of which are close to the county border. I'd expect well over 50% of traffic on the M1 is merely passing through the county.

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Barkstar
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Barkstar » Sat Dec 12, 2020 01:16

Mangling of the language is rather too commonplace. IIRC there is or was 'Traffic Enforcement Cameras' on the M42, 'Police Enforcement Camera' and the wondrous 'Police Aircraft Traffic Enforcement'. None of which quite say what they intend to mean.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Big L » Sat Dec 12, 2020 05:03

darkcape wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 23:04
... I also clocked tonight the M1 VMS reading "Leicestershire Reduce Travel" ....
Further up there were Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire equivalents. I didn't see a South Yorkshire one.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by DB617 » Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:53

the cheesecake man wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 13:10
SJobson wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36
On the M5 and M6 over the last week I've seen plenty of 'Reduce Travel' messages on the overhead gantries. Always preceded by a location; until last night they stated the local area (West Midlands - Reduce Travel, for instance) but I saw one last night which said 'South Gloucs - Reduce Travel' as I was in Worcestershire.

Did I miss the guidance to travel less now, as opposed to at any other time since March?
We've go those in South Yorkshire also; they replaced they return of "Freight to EU" after just one day.

I'm surprised it's taken nine months for such messages to appear on HE's VMS system. Why now I've no idea either. :confused:
I'm wondering whether anyone has ever seen a non safety-related VMS and reacted to it in any way. First we had the 'pollution kills' campaign which I'm almost certain didn't affect anyone's speed (especially given it is in an enforced 50mph zone) now we have messages about being in a tier 3 area. Do you think anyone will see the signs, exit at the next junction, turn around and go back? These people are out of touch with reality.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by EpicChef » Sat Dec 12, 2020 21:12

Especially because NHS guidance specifically says that you can move through Tier 3 areas on motorways without being affected by the requirement to avoid discretionary travel.

I know in Lockdown 1, the messages differed based on the type of sign. Signs with 2 lines would say “ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY” Signs with 3 lines would say “STAY HOME ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY” MS4s with 4 lines would say “STAY HOME ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY SAVE LIVES”
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Duple » Sun Dec 13, 2020 18:44

"STAFFS
REDUCE TRAVEL"

Southbound just after Junction 18 on the M6 yesterday.. a few Matrix too soon I'd say :)

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