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.
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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
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.