Pointless motorway overhead messages

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Arcuarius
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Arcuarius » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:50

DB617 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 18:24
How much more important are VMS messages than normal signs? Generally we use sentence case for signs. What, I ask you, makes (especially message campaign) VMS need to be more attention grabbing than an ADS or gantry sign?
Its temporary nature, where it's showing changed conditions (i.e. closures/diversions) from what you'd expect.
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ais523
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by ais523 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 16:36

Here's an unusual one:

A14 CLOSED
J2 TO M1

seen from a vehicle that was currently driving along the A14 between J2 and J1 (in that direction).

It seems that what had happened is that the A14 had been closed behind me; traffic already in the section that was due to be closed was allowed to continue, whereas new traffic wasn't able to enter it. So a sign warning about the closure wasn't such an unexpected thing to see.

There are a few problems with this specific sign, though. The evidence seems to be that the closure wasn't signposted by VMS at all until it happened, and then was signposted everywhere at once. That means that vehicles coming from further afield (= will take longer to reach the point of the closure) won't have been warned by VMS about the need to divert (and for the closure in question, you want lots of warning: the best place to turn off to avoid the J2-J0 section is J13!); they'll just arrive at the closure and find the road closed, unless the closure has already started by the time they set off down the A14. It also means that vehicles like the one I'm in will see a message incorrectly implying that they should turn off at J1.

I'm assuming this is all a consequence of limitations in the ability to set specific VMSes appropriately; the ideal would be a phased sequence of messages, with VMSes furthest from the closure warning of it first, and VMSes within the closure not warning of it until the closure is fully in place and all the traffic has drained from the closed section (at which point it should become the classic ROAD CLOSED STOP, rather than A14 CLOSED J2 TO M1 or the like).

I assume HE are aware of this VMS limitation, because there were also yellow roadworks signs talking about the closure, but it was just "night closures", no actual time listed, so they were also useless in figuring out when the closure would occur. (It was 8pm, earlier than usual for a night closure, which came as a surprise to me as I was expecting 9pm.)

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by dcrc2 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:42

Signs on the M11 advertising the newly-opened A14 Huntingdon bypass:

A14 W AFTER J24
NEW ROAD LAYOUT

The problem with this is that the junctions have been renumbered: this sign is referring to the new J24 at Swavesey, not the old J24 at Godmanchester. So in order to make sense of this sign, you'd have to already know the new layout!

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by ais523 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 05:00

Not to mention that "new road layout" is something of an understatement for what's actually happened to the road. That sign to me normally implies a change in, e.g., which lane you need to be in at a junction, not an entirely new route for the road that misses out many places it previously went to.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by jervi » Sat Dec 14, 2019 13:25

ais523 wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 05:00
Not to mention that "new road layout" is something of an understatement for what's actually happened to the road. That sign to me normally implies a change in, e.g., which lane you need to be in at a junction, not an entirely new route for the road that misses out many places it previously went to.
I'd disagree, "new road layout" is a simple explanation that has been standardised across the UK.
There is no simple way to explain "The A14 has changed alignment onto a completely different road and that local traffic needs to leave now, but through traffic continues on the current road". Saying " new road layout" makes people check the signs since they may expect the designations of lanes to of changed.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Bryn666 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:12

It's still too generic, and if the junction numbers have changed as well, not going to bed in properly.

Would be better to say NEW A14 OPEN FOLLOW SIGNS or something of that ilk.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Arcuarius » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:18

I've see IGNORE SATNAV used in the past. Why not here?
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Big L » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:47

This sign was lit up this morning with a warning about lack of HGV fuel at the M6 Toll services. I wonder whether, if you're driving a lorry onto the Toll, you might be able to read it.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by stefan » Fri Feb 21, 2020 13:45

The Vms on the A590 after the M6 J36 Which always says " To Barrow 36 mins" https://goo.gl/maps/ppbhByBkvxYXE8K37
The other is just outside of Barrow which always says "To M6 EXIT 36 mins https://goo.gl/maps/DYbBMM8oCQFsmzws7

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Matthew » Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:13

Am I missing what's pointless about that?
Opinion is purely my own and all those other exceptions and excuses.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Big L » Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:21

Matthew wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:13
Am I missing what's pointless about that?
"EXIT" is somewhat redundant, unless we are to take it that the M6 roundabout is an exit from the A590.
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Matthew » Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:28

Right, got you. So if it said, "To M6" that would be ok then?
Opinion is purely my own and all those other exceptions and excuses.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Big L » Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:32

Matthew wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:28
Right, got you. So if it said, "To M6" that would be ok then?
To me, yes.

Maybe the objection is that it "always" says the same time?
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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Matthew » Fri Feb 21, 2020 18:36

We'll ask the OP what the problem is.

I recall a conversation with someone who said, "That sign is rubbish. It always gives the same time."

I asked, "Has there ever been delays?"

"No, but that's not the point."

I'm not sure I ever found out what said point, was.
Opinion is purely my own and all those other exceptions and excuses.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by ellandback » Mon Mar 02, 2020 09:00

M62 j24 to 25 eastbound this morning: "Report of Accident" and bouncing ball advisory 60.

Not pointless, but botched. Why? Because the stretch in question is already covered by a temporary mandatory 50 for roadworks.

So the mandatory limit is 50, but the advisory limit is 60? Erm, OK.

Also, at the end of said roadworks, a "Rejoin main carriageway" sign, showing three arrows sloping from bottom left to top right. Which would be fine except for the fact that the narrow lanes were already further towards the right than usual, so to rejoin the normal line you actually have to move in the opposite direction to the one depicted by the arrows.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by trickstat » Mon Mar 02, 2020 09:45

Not so much a pointless overhead message as one that's not quite as useful as it used to be - on the southbound A1(M) near Peterborough just before J16 (Norman Cross A15) there is a sign saying how many minutes it is to J14. This was the A14/A14(M) spur but is now 'just' the Huntingdon exit so not as significant a benchmark as it used to be.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by jervi » Mon Mar 02, 2020 17:11

trickstat wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 09:45
Not so much a pointless overhead message as one that's not quite as useful as it used to be - on the southbound A1(M) near Peterborough just before J16 (Norman Cross A15) there is a sign saying how many minutes it is to J14. This was the A14/A14(M) spur but is now 'just' the Huntingdon exit so not as significant a benchmark as it used to be.
I've seen it show the time to J14 when the spur (and in turn J14) was fully closed.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by Matthew » Mon Mar 02, 2020 17:38

jervi wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 17:11
I've seen it show the time to J14 when the spur (and in turn J14) was fully closed.
That's not a problem for me. In fact, it's useful to know what impact the closure has on the main carriageway.
Opinion is purely my own and all those other exceptions and excuses.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by ais523 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 02:35

Here's a "fun" sequence of signs, mostly VMSes, seen on the M6 westbound near junction 2:

LANE CLOSURE AHEAD 60 60 60
LANE CLOSURE AHEAD 50 50 ↙
LANE CLOSURE AHEAD 40 ↙ ↙
(blank) blank ↙ blank
(after a lane gain at J2, to D4ALR) ↑↑TT
× (40) (40) (40)
↑↑TT
(60)

(I'm not sure whether the ↑↑TT signs were temporary signs moved by humans, or prism-style fixed taper point signs. They're hard to distinguish in the dark, both being non-electronic with orangish-yellow backgrounds.)

Apart from the red X, none of the lanes were actually closed; and none of the lanes showed any blockages, cones, etc. that might indicate a reason for closure.

Unsurprisingly, everyone was very confused, and mostly decided to drive down lane 2 at 40mph (the only course of action that didn't contradict any of the signs). I still have no idea, and will probably never have any idea, what was actually going on or which lanes were meant to be closed and why.

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Re: Pointless motorway overhead messages

Post by the cheesecake man » Wed Mar 11, 2020 13:15

Some of these remind me of trundling round the M60 and seeing congestion warnings and advisory speed limits.

The only problem was we were in contraflow roadworks and the messages were all on the closed side!

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