New Lower Thames Crossing

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KeithW
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 01, 2021 00:30

Phil wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 20:22
You are rather forgetting that many of the candidates were Deliberately build as new build all purpose when any sane person would have realised that they are a key part of the strategic road network! (e.g. the A42 and large chunks of the A14). Had these been built as special roads from the start then there would be no need to provide local access roads.

That legacy has, as you point out, caused considerable problems for later upgrades - which is why things like the lower Thames Crossing NEEDS to be built as a special road from the outset, not as an all purpose one with restrictions!
The A42 was completed as all purpose because they ran out of money to complete it to motorway standard and most of the A14 was originally the A45 and A604 all purpose roads cobbled into the A14 many years later. If you had driven the A45 from Ipswich to the A1 in the 1970's, as I did, you would know why it isn't a motorway.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... essed_.pdf

At the end of the 1970's there wasnt much money to spare on motorways, the country was skint, inflation was still above 10% and unemployment was over 3 million. I wasn't spending every weekend driving between the North East and Kent because I was a petrolhead, even as a qualified engineer there was no work at home where unemployment was over 20% and getting worse. The section of the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone was not done until the late 1980's and we had to slog along the old A20

The A45/A604 from Ipswich to Kettering was already there in in 1980, the only new section was Kettering to the M6 and that was done on the cheap. The actual quality of the road is much more important than the colour of the signs.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 01, 2021 20:40

KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 00:30
Phil wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 20:22
You are rather forgetting that many of the candidates were Deliberately build as new build all purpose when any sane person would have realised that they are a key part of the strategic road network! (e.g. the A42 and large chunks of the A14). Had these been built as special roads from the start then there would be no need to provide local access roads.

That legacy has, as you point out, caused considerable problems for later upgrades - which is why things like the lower Thames Crossing NEEDS to be built as a special road from the outset, not as an all purpose one with restrictions!
The A42 was completed as all purpose because they ran out of money to complete it to motorway standard and most of the A14 was originally the A45 and A604 all purpose roads cobbled into the A14 many years later. If you had driven the A45 from Ipswich to the A1 in the 1970's, as I did, you would know why it isn't a motorway.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... essed_.pdf

At the end of the 1970's there wasnt much money to spare on motorways, the country was skint, inflation was still above 10% and unemployment was over 3 million. I wasn't spending every weekend driving between the North East and Kent because I was a petrolhead, even as a qualified engineer there was no work at home where unemployment was over 20% and getting worse. The section of the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone was not done until the late 1980's and we had to slog along the old A20

The A45/A604 from Ipswich to Kettering was already there in in 1980, the only new section was Kettering to the M6 and that was done on the cheap. The actual quality of the road is much more important than the colour of the signs.
The A42 was a late 1980s / early 1990s build not a 1970s one. Money may have been tight but there was absolutely noting to stop it being built under the special roads legislation thus preventing it being a public right of way and needing local access roads etc if upgraded with intermittent hard shoulders / 'Smart motorway' technology at a later date. Equally there was no reason why it could not have been built as a D2(M) to save costs over D3(M) - its a mystery why HE and its predecessors seem to regard anything less than D3(M) not being 'allowed' to be a motorway when many other nations are very happy with the concept for more lightly trafficked strategic roads.

The M20 gap between Ashford and Maidstone was primarily left because until the advent of the Channel Tunnel it wasn't considered that pressing to fill it not just prevailing economics.

As fro the A14, yes I agree that many sections* between Ipswich and Huntingdon were unsuitable for conversion as they stood when the newer bit west of Huntingdon was built - but that doesn't mean the M1 - A1 (most of which was new build and done as a single project) could not have been built as a special road / motorway.

* But not all! The Cambridge Northern by-pass, the Newmarket by-pass, the Bury St Edmunds by-pass for example were all new builds and could have been built as special roads (if not motorways) thus facilitating later upgrading of the route.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:19

Phil wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 20:40
Equally there was no reason why it could not have been built as a D2(M) to save costs over D3(M)
As a reminder, the M42 east of the M6toll at J9 is D2(M)
its a mystery why HE and its predecessors seem to regard anything less than D3(M) not being 'allowed' to be a motorway
Not sure this is/was ever the case...

As well as the M42 cited above, the M3 between J8-J9 is still D2(M) - not to mention pseudo-motorways like A404(M), A308(M), A329(M)

And lots of motorway stretches were originally built as D2(M)

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43

The last major motorway to be built as D2M was in 1997. This was the "missing link" of the M65.

It was designed to be widened later because they knew even in 1997 D2 would not be enough - the design year was 2010 and traffic volumes surpassed that several years before.

Despite being probably the easiest motorway in the UK to widen right now, it seems unlikely to ever happen because it's not seen as anything other than a local link.

The quality of the road does matter but the simple reality is blue lines on a map attract traffic in a way green ones do not.

If you want to properly bypass urban areas or bottlenecks, then you need to be building fully access controlled roads from the start and preventing tin sheds from popping up alongside them, not deliberately building half-cocked development generating spine roads with wishy-washy restrictions and no specified purpose so they become overloaded within a year of opening.

It's yet another reason why this country is a complete planning disaster.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by EpicChef » Sat Jan 02, 2021 17:42

A shambles indeed. It’s difficult for me because I understand why we need to solve problems like climate change, but I’m also a road enthusiast who knows that the road network isn’t going anywhere and in fact needs to be neatened up quite a bit.

I do think electric vehicles will be the perfect middle ground - but that should be a discussion for a different thread.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Sat Jan 02, 2021 18:02

EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 17:42
A shambles indeed. It’s difficult for me because I understand why we need to solve problems like climate change, but I’m also a road enthusiast who knows that the road network isn’t going anywhere and in fact needs to be neatened up quite a bit.

I do think electric vehicles will be the perfect middle ground - but that should be a discussion for a different thread.
Improving roads and climate change shouldn't be seen as mutually exclusive.... Road and junction improvements can reduce congestion, provide better access for NMUs, and move traffic away from urban centres - the A14 at Huntingdon is a good example of all of the above on a large scale. However, on a smaller scale local improvements should also seek to improve NMU access - hopefully LTN 1/20 will start to have an effect in the coming years...
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by EpicChef » Sat Jan 02, 2021 18:28

The A14 at Huntington is a perfect example, but it should be a motorway! I think so many of us want that but it’s never ever going to happen. No more blue signs will ever go up in the UK, that’s destiny for you.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by KeithW » Sat Jan 02, 2021 19:06

Phil wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 20:40
The A42 was a late 1980s / early 1990s build not a 1970s one. Money may have been tight but there was absolutely noting to stop it being built under the special roads legislation thus preventing it being a public right of way and needing local access roads etc if upgraded with intermittent hard shoulders / 'Smart motorway' technology at a later date. Equally there was no reason why it could not have been built as a D2(M) to save costs over D3(M) - its a mystery why HE and its predecessors seem to regard anything less than D3(M) not being 'allowed' to be a motorway when many other nations are very happy with the concept for more lightly trafficked strategic roads.
Nothing but shortage of money - from the wiki
The four potential routes from February 1978. The blue route was chosen (see narrative)
Signs of a budget cut at the last minute become evident. As the M42 progresses north, at junction 9 (the A446, and now the M6 Toll) three lanes drop to two, and twelve miles later we reach the A444 at Measham. There were just 15 miles left to the M1 and Nottingham, and the budget wouldn't stretch. So the M42 ends here, and a dual-carriageway link that didn't have the money to be a motorway link starts - and they called it the A42. Seven miles north of the A5, with three local junctions and frequent lay-bys as an apology for the missing hard shoulder, the would-be motorway limps north through quite pleasant scenery and hits the M1 with a note explaining that the M42 couldn't make it
Phil wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 20:40
The M20 gap between Ashford and Maidstone was primarily left because until the advent of the Channel Tunnel it wasn't considered that pressing to fill it not just prevailing economics.
As someone who lived through that era I recall what the prevailing economics were - let me remind you, the government had to be bailed out by the IMF, one thing they insisted on was radical cuts in public spending, that meant that while existing contracts continued many planned schemes were put on hold, now you may choose to believe that it was purely coincedental that the government chose not to fill the gap between Maidstone and Ashford at a time when inflation was 25%, interest rates were at 15% and the government had to borrow money from the IMF to avoid a complete collapse of the pound but I beg to differ.

The A45 and A604 widening were not considered as motorways, there was no motorway beyond Cambridge until you hit the A1(M) at Doncaster, the A604 ended at Kettering and was S2 while the A45 wound through towns and village such as Kimbolton, passing through on this route. Most people went along the A604 and picked up the A6 to Leicester and the M1.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.29714 ... authuser=0

The Huntingdon and Cambridge bypasses where did it says on the label, prior to their opening the S2 A11, the S2/S3 A604 and S2 A45 ploughed right through the centre of Cambridge while the A14 went through Huntingdon town centre and the Stukekeys to Alconbury. The main route north was along the S2 A45 (now A428) to the A1 at St Neots.

From the newly restored Motorway Archive
https://www.ciht.org.uk/ukma/motorways-by-region/a14/ wrote: History
When the Bedfordshire sub unit of the Eastern Road Construction Units was established its original design briefs included the M11 Cambridge Western Bypass, the A45 Cambridge Northern Bypass, the A45 Bury St Edmunds bypass and with a lowly priority the A45/A11 bypass of Newmarket. At that time the concept was perceived of a series of local bypasses on the A45. The emphasis to the west of Cambridge was on the improvement of the existing A45 towards St Neots.

The traffic work associated with the M11 and A45 in the Cambridge area however identified a strong demand for better northbound links with the A1 and the Sub Unit were given a brief to investigate the dualling of the A604 County Road between Cambridge and Huntingdon where Stirling Maynard and Partners on behalf of the then Ministry of Transport were developing proposals for a Huntingdon Bypass which would improve the connections to the A1 significantly. The A604 was already a problematic route for the local authority. Substantial commuter flows between Cambridge and Huntingdon caused peak hour delays which were exacerbated following the establishment of the new community of Bar Hill to the north of Cambridge.

Following Traffic Studies and a public consultation, the final decision identified the Green Corridor as the preferred corridor. Shortly afterwards the Bedfordshire Sub unit was appointed to undertake the identification and design of routes within the corridor.

Thus the final piece was put in place and the scene set for the implementation of a strategic trunk route linking the industrial Midlands to the East Coast ports.

The geometric standards have evolved, including those associated with the design of all forms of junctions, from at grade priority junctions to roundabouts and grade separated interchanges. In particular the operational aspects of weaving and merges and diverges are now better set out in the standards.

The applications of the design standards has resulted in a route which has similar characteristics along its length.

Apart from the Newmarket and Cambridge Northern bypasses which were designed to Motorway design standards with provision for hard shoulders the rest of the route was designed to trunk road standards. The great majority of the length is a dual carriageway with full grade separation with a design speed of 120kph.
There was even then a perceived need for a high quality road link from Cambridge to the midlands although the route had not been decided so they took the precaution of building the Cambridge Northern bypass to a standard capable of being upgraded to a motorway.

As for the M1/A1 link road that was a much later scheme built on the cheap in the mid 1990's many years after the M11 opened and to a rather low standard including leaving rights of way across the carriageway.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by EpicChef » Sat Jan 02, 2021 20:21

KeithW wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 19:06
As for the M1/A1 link road that was a much later scheme built on the cheap in the mid 1990's...
How? It was even kitted out with lane control signals, which is not a common sight on a non-'smart', 3-lane, rural motorway.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Big L » Sat Jan 02, 2021 20:56

EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 20:21
KeithW wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 19:06
As for the M1/A1 link road that was a much later scheme built on the cheap in the mid 1990's...
How? It was even kitted out with lane control signals, which is not a common sight on a non-'smart', 3-lane, rural motorway.
Isn't the "M1/A1 link road" under discussion here the A14?
Make poetry history.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Sat Jan 02, 2021 23:09

Big L wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 20:56
EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 20:21
KeithW wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 19:06
As for the M1/A1 link road that was a much later scheme built on the cheap in the mid 1990's...
How? It was even kitted out with lane control signals, which is not a common sight on a non-'smart', 3-lane, rural motorway.
Isn't the "M1/A1 link road" under discussion here the A14?
Yes - unhelpfully both projects were called similar things...
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Sat Jan 02, 2021 23:12

EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 18:28
The A14 at Huntington is a perfect example, but it should be a motorway! I think so many of us want that but it’s never ever going to happen. No more blue signs will ever go up in the UK, that’s destiny for you.
I would have thought that Red House to Darrington will be a motorway upgrade (one day).
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:59

c2R wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 23:12
EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 18:28
The A14 at Huntington is a perfect example, but it should be a motorway! I think so many of us want that but it’s never ever going to happen. No more blue signs will ever go up in the UK, that’s destiny for you.
I would have thought that Red House to Darrington will be a motorway upgrade (one day).
Yes, this is quite possibly the single most desperately needed stretch of motorway in the North, but it relies on Red House to M18 being fixed as well.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by trickstat » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:02

c2R wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 23:12
EpicChef wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 18:28
The A14 at Huntington is a perfect example, but it should be a motorway! I think so many of us want that but it’s never ever going to happen. No more blue signs will ever go up in the UK, that’s destiny for you.
I would have thought that Red House to Darrington will be a motorway upgrade (one day).
I think A1 to A1(M) upgrades are the most likely exceptions to this. If and when they happen.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:49

trickstat wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:02
I think A1 to A1(M) upgrades are the most likely exceptions to this. If and when they happen.
Apart from Redhouse to Darrington the are no such upgrades in the pipeline, the sections that need it most in my opinion are between the Grantham Bypass and Colsterworth especially through the Pontons and between Brampton and Biggleswade and Baldock, especially around Sandy and Beeston where there are some appalling flat junctions.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:03

I still think the M2 may be extended to the big new GSJ at Thong. This is because the west-facing slips at J1 are to be disconnected from the mainline, so if the motorway continued to start/end there it would be a 'spontaneous motorway'.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:13

jackal wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:03
I still think the M2 may be extended to the big new GSJ at Thong. This is because the west-facing slips at J1 are to be disconnected from the mainline, so if the motorway continued to start/end there it would be a 'spontaneous motorway'.
Don't bank on it, given Blyth and M56 terminus cock-ups.

But I agree this would be logical. So that's why it won't happen.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by roadtester » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:22

Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43
The last major motorway to be built as D2M was in 1997. This was the "missing link" of the M65.
M77 in 2003 (although admittedly this was Scotland so not necessarily a precent for the new Thames Crossing)?
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Gav » Thu Jan 14, 2021 16:05

Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43
The last major motorway to be built as D2M was in 1997. This was the "missing link" of the M65.

It was designed to be widened later because they knew even in 1997 D2 would not be enough - the design year was 2010 and traffic volumes surpassed that several years before.

Despite being probably the easiest motorway in the UK to widen right now, it seems unlikely to ever happen because it's not seen as anything other than a local link.

The quality of the road does matter but the simple reality is blue lines on a map attract traffic in a way green ones do not.

If you want to properly bypass urban areas or bottlenecks, then you need to be building fully access controlled roads from the start and preventing tin sheds from popping up alongside them, not deliberately building half-cocked development generating spine roads with wishy-washy restrictions and no specified purpose so they become overloaded within a year of opening.

It's yet another reason why this country is a complete planning disaster.
M77 to kilmarnock D2M later than 1997... and still a major motorway is it not ?

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 17:45

Gav wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 16:05
Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43
The last major motorway to be built as D2M was in 1997. This was the "missing link" of the M65.

It was designed to be widened later because they knew even in 1997 D2 would not be enough - the design year was 2010 and traffic volumes surpassed that several years before.

Despite being probably the easiest motorway in the UK to widen right now, it seems unlikely to ever happen because it's not seen as anything other than a local link.

The quality of the road does matter but the simple reality is blue lines on a map attract traffic in a way green ones do not.

If you want to properly bypass urban areas or bottlenecks, then you need to be building fully access controlled roads from the start and preventing tin sheds from popping up alongside them, not deliberately building half-cocked development generating spine roads with wishy-washy restrictions and no specified purpose so they become overloaded within a year of opening.

It's yet another reason why this country is a complete planning disaster.
M77 to kilmarnock D2M later than 1997... and still a major motorway is it not ?
I was referring to new alignments and not direct upgrades or adjacent replacements of existing roads, otherwise the M80 also counts.
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