M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:45

jervi wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:38
EpicChef wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 18:41
The central reserve signals are MS1.

This is the different types:
MS1 - central reservation or lane control (non-smart)
MS2 - 2x12 VMS on lane control gantries (non-smart or older controlled motorways with hard shoulder)
MS3 - 2x12 or 3x12 verge mounted VMS, with an area to the right of the text for speed limits/lane closure/END indications (non-smart)
MS4 - Full matrix VMS - advisory/mandatory speed limits, lane closures with red X, END/NSL indication, sentence case text, red triangle signs for hazards/congestion.

The new-style gantries and MS4 signal posts are 'all-access gantries' - HE engineers can close only lane 1, climb up into the gantry and service the signal without needing to close the whole carriageway. But they look VERY bulky - way too bulky for my liking! One thing I liked about the so-called 'hockey stick' mount where the MS4 appeared to hang from the structure - in a sleek-looking manner I found oddly appealing.
What about these? A few of them are on the M23, are these MS5 or just a mini MS4?
Those small ones look a bit like the old fashioned central reserve MS1s, but they're not.
They're 'ROTTM' signs: short for 'Remotely Operated Temporary Traffic Management' signs, and they only got installed on later ALR installations. For example, the M25 J23-27 is not equipped with them.
When there are roadworks, these signs can be used in place of the traditional yellow fixed-plate signs. They use 'wicket' lane closure symbols instead of red X, and displays the distance to closures.
Why this cannot just be done using the MS4s is beyond me, but IMO the MS4 should display the distance of accidents/closures or the time of delays.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by c2R » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:55

EpicChef wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:45

Those small ones look a bit like the old fashioned central reserve MS1s, but they're not.
They're 'ROTTM' signs: short for 'Remotely Operated Temporary Traffic Management' signs, and they only got installed on later ALR installations. For example, the M25 J23-27 is not equipped with them.
When there are roadworks, these signs can be used in place of the traditional yellow fixed-plate signs. They use 'wicket' lane closure symbols instead of red X, and displays the distance to closures.
Why this cannot just be done using the MS4s is beyond me, but IMO the MS4 should display the distance of accidents/closures or the time of delays.
I don't know this... but are they on a different electronic system to the MS4s, so that maintenance can occur on the MS4s themselves, or the power system allowing these to be on operation?

I've experienced cases on the M25 SW quadrant where roadworks are in place, with speed limit and lane closures signed by gantries approaching the works zone, but then the works zone itself with cones but no guidance on the gantries - presumably they were being worked on. Having a separate system would alleviate this and also remove/reduce the need for physical signage to be put up - something that presumably is itself difficult where no hard shoulder exists.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by jervi » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:57

EpicChef wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:45
jervi wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:38
What about these? A few of them are on the M23, are these MS5 or just a mini MS4?
Those small ones look a bit like the old fashioned central reserve MS1s, but they're not.
They're 'ROTTM' signs: short for 'Remotely Operated Temporary Traffic Management' signs, and they only got installed on later ALR installations. For example, the M25 J23-27 is not equipped with them.
When there are roadworks, these signs can be used in place of the traditional yellow fixed-plate signs. They use 'wicket' lane closure symbols instead of red X, and displays the distance to closures.
Why this cannot just be done using the MS4s is beyond me, but IMO the MS4 should display the distance of accidents/closures or the time of delays.
Ah right, on the M23 SM they are only found a few miles on the approach to the M25, but there are quite a few of them, every 200-300 metres or so. Strangely sometimes seem to be co-located with MS4.
Can they also be used for lane closures for accidents and other incidents too?

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:22

jervi wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:57
Can they also be used for lane closures for accidents and other incidents too?
I think it's mostly just the MS4s for that. I have never actually seen ROTTMs in use, whenever I have driven on an SM stretch equipped with them.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Darren » Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:17

Odd. Two weeks ago J11-J12 was set at 60 mph (they have revolving prism signs after J11, heading west) and it was pleasant to drive through. This week it's back to 50 for no apparent reason - there seemed to be more bunching of traffic as a result.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:24

Darren wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:17
Odd. Two weeks ago J11-J12 was set at 60 mph (they have revolving prism signs after J11, heading west) and it was pleasant to drive through. This week it's back to 50 for no apparent reason - there seemed to be more bunching of traffic as a result.
Was it like that the whole week? The rotating prism signs are normally used for a variable speed limit of 60, 50 or 40 - and can be used if there's bunching of traffic.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Darren » Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:29

EpicChef wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:24
Was it like that the whole week? The rotating prism signs are normally used for a variable speed limit of 60, 50 or 40 - and can be used if there's bunching of traffic.
Ah, that's interesting to know - I hadn't realised they were that responsive.

I only use the M4 once a fortnight and - coincidentally - a fortnight ago I had to get to where I was going two hours earlier than usual. That could explain the 60 versus 50 thing in that case, although they were still set at 50 at 5 o'clock this morning from J12 to J11... so perhaps they're not that responsive after all!

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:43

Darren wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:29
EpicChef wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:24
Was it like that the whole week? The rotating prism signs are normally used for a variable speed limit of 60, 50 or 40 - and can be used if there's bunching of traffic.
Ah, that's interesting to know - I hadn't realised they were that responsive.

I only use the M4 once a fortnight and - coincidentally - a fortnight ago I had to get to where I was going two hours earlier than usual. That could explain the 60 versus 50 thing in that case, although they were still set at 50 at 5 o'clock this morning from J12 to J11... so perhaps they're not that responsive after all!
They may need to be manually set, but they can, and do, have a VSL where prism signs are installed.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by ChrisH » Mon Sep 14, 2020 08:38

EpicChef wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:43
Darren wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:29
EpicChef wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 18:24
Was it like that the whole week? The rotating prism signs are normally used for a variable speed limit of 60, 50 or 40 - and can be used if there's bunching of traffic.
Ah, that's interesting to know - I hadn't realised they were that responsive.

I only use the M4 once a fortnight and - coincidentally - a fortnight ago I had to get to where I was going two hours earlier than usual. That could explain the 60 versus 50 thing in that case, although they were still set at 50 at 5 o'clock this morning from J12 to J11... so perhaps they're not that responsive after all!
They may need to be manually set, but they can, and do, have a VSL where prism signs are installed.
These are not those kind of signs. They are left over from the 60mph trial earlier in the year. Personally I've only ever seen them at 50mph and have been wondering if/when the limit will be raised to 60mph. Actually the whole section west of J8/9 could be raised to 60mph as the vast majority of physical works are now complete. There is one small section of concrete central barrier to install just west of J10.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by DavidBrown » Mon Sep 14, 2020 08:42

ChrisH wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 08:38
These are not those kind of signs. They are left over from the 60mph trial earlier in the year. Personally I've only ever seen them at 50mph and have been wondering if/when the limit will be raised to 60mph. Actually the whole section west of J8/9 could be raised to 60mph as the vast majority of physical works are now complete. There is one small section of concrete central barrier to install just west of J10.
When I drove back west along there on August Bank Holiday Sunday evening all the variable ones west of 8/9 were set to 60. Could have just been down to lack of work taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend?

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:04

The HA has issued it's latest newsletter with the next round of closures on it.

However after driving along J4b to J10 on Wednesday, most of J8/9 to J10 seems ready to go, and with weekend closures for J10 to J12 in November to follow for resurfacing, this section, the part 1 package, looks near completion.

This looks like the case from the newsletter which says that J8/9 to J12 will have the traffic management removed before the end of the year and speed limit increased to 60 while they finish the technology works. An earlier newsletter said works would be completed by Spring 2021. The signs at J8/9 westbound say package one completed in 3 months, while eastbound they say package two in 18 months.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Mon Dec 07, 2020 17:26

Over the last two weeks there have been two full closures between J8/9 and J10 and J10 to J12 to complete surfacing and erecting signs as the section J8/9 to J12 is due to be completed in January.

However it is disappointing to see that the plans shown at the consultation and discussed at the Infrastructure Commissions inquiry, have been changed. The plans showed 4 lanes throughout accept lane drops at J10 for the A329(M) and J4B for the M25 and obviously at J3 eastbound and J12 westbound.

However the signage erected shows lane drops at J8/9, J10 and J11. This to me is pointless as with the M3 scheme lane 1 is hardly used at peak times as regular drivers just see it as a glorified slip road and do not want to get stuck in it.

Hopefully J8/9 to J4B will be 4 lanes throughout.

The J8/9 eastbound approach makes sense with lane 1 signposted as High Wycombe A404 (M) as that is first left off the roundabout with Maidenhead A308(M) sign posted for lane one (lane drop) and the lane 2, for the tiger tale exit.

However the signing for J10 in my opinion is awful and could be dangerous. Lane one (lane drop) and Lane 2 for tiger tale is signed as Reading (E) , Wokingham and Bracknell in both directions, however 300 yards off the slip, westbound, 2 lanes go to Reading and Bracknell / Wokingham is on its on dedicated slip while eastbound 2 lanes go to Bracknell / Wokingham and a dedicated slip to Reading.

Surely westbound should be signed Bracknell / Wokingham Lane 1, Reading Lane 1 and 2, while eastbound should be Reading lane 1, Bracknell / Wokingham lane 1 and 2. Otherwise drivers could end up in lane 2 in the slip then realise about 200 yards from the slip where there ADS's are they are in the wrong lane.

I would like to see what the Stage 3 safety audit says
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by ChrisH » Mon Dec 07, 2020 21:09

A303Chris wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 17:26
Over the last two weeks there have been two full closures between J8/9 and J10 and J10 to J12 to complete surfacing and erecting signs as the section J8/9 to J12 is due to be completed in January.

However it is disappointing to see that the plans shown at the consultation and discussed at the Infrastructure Commissions inquiry, have been changed. The plans showed 4 lanes throughout accept lane drops at J10 for the A329(M) and J4B for the M25 and obviously at J3 eastbound and J12 westbound.

However the signage erected shows lane drops at J8/9, J10 and J11. This to me is pointless as with the M3 scheme lane 1 is hardly used at peak times as regular drivers just see it as a glorified slip road and do not want to get stuck in it.

Hopefully J8/9 to J4B will be 4 lanes throughout.

The J8/9 eastbound approach makes sense with lane 1 signposted as High Wycombe A404 (M) as that is first left off the roundabout with Maidenhead A308(M) sign posted for lane one (lane drop) and the lane 2, for the tiger tale exit.

However the signing for J10 in my opinion is awful and could be dangerous. Lane one (lane drop) and Lane 2 for tiger tale is signed as Reading (E) , Wokingham and Bracknell in both directions, however 300 yards off the slip, westbound, 2 lanes go to Reading and Bracknell / Wokingham is on its on dedicated slip while eastbound 2 lanes go to Bracknell / Wokingham and a dedicated slip to Reading.

Surely westbound should be signed Bracknell / Wokingham Lane 1, Reading Lane 1 and 2, while eastbound should be Reading lane 1, Bracknell / Wokingham lane 1 and 2. Otherwise drivers could end up in lane 2 in the slip then realise about 200 yards from the slip where there ADS's are they are in the wrong lane.

I would like to see what the Stage 3 safety audit says
The closures have been quite disruptive - apparently the volume of resurfacing and the relevelling of the carriageway means they couldn't do it with overnight closures.

As you say I was expecting four lane all-lane-running throughout this section except J10, so I don't know why that change has been made - it certainly wasn't communicated in any of the newsletters I've seen. Potentially the J8/9 lane drop is temporary until the section east of there is finished?

Apparently by Christmas we should have 60mph and three full-width lanes west of Maidenhead, with the fourth lane to open soon after that - presumably still under 60mph limits if they are finalising technology.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Mon Dec 07, 2020 22:25

ChrisH wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 21:09

The closures have been quite disruptive - apparently the volume of resurfacing and the relevelling of the carriageway means they couldn't do it with overnight closures.

As you say I was expecting four lane all-lane-running throughout this section except J10, so I don't know why that change has been made - it certainly wasn't communicated in any of the newsletters I've seen. Potentially the J8/9 lane drop is temporary until the section east of there is finished?

Apparently by Christmas we should have 60mph and three full-width lanes west of Maidenhead, with the fourth lane to open soon after that - presumably still under 60mph limits if they are finalising technology.
That’s a good point with regards J8/9 but signs look very permanent, J11 however is obviously within package 1.

J10 to J8/9 could be 60 mph now, all marked out and just lane one coned off.

J10 to J11 still needs about 3 miles of concrete barrier to complete however.

Last weekend Reading was horrendous, and the diversion route from J12 was A4, A33, B3270, A329(m). Traffic management for A329(M) was really weird , while accepting the westbound exit was closed, lane one was also closed off before the Eastbound slip, so with all the traffic diverting, the eastbound A329(m) was solid back past the Loddon Bridge junction
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Fri Jan 22, 2021 14:39

Junction 8/9 to Junction 10 is nearly completed and J8/9 to J12 should be completed next month. Here a few photos taken during last weeks closures while out on a ride

M4 Photo 1
M4 Photo 2
M4 Photo 3
M4 Photo 4
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:22

It should open within the next few months?
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:36

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:22
It should open within the next few months?
Yes last time I went through J8/9 in December the westbound signs were saying "package one J8/9 to J12 Time for Completion 2 months".

Eastbound were saying "Package two J8/9 to J3 Completion 18 months", and there is still a lot of work to do there.

I plan to go over parts of the M4 south of Reading over the weekend and will get some more photos from the overbridges
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:14

Another find on a FOI request this with regards J8/9 to J10 which says
"Our target for completion between J8/9 and 10 is 9th February 2021, with full national speed limit being brought in on 25th February 2021. "
While the FOI is only with regards J8/9 to J10, package 1 was J8/9 to J12 and J10 to J12 looks complete apart from road markings, so hopefully the whole section opens, which will significant reduce the 32 miles of road works by 17 miles.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:59

A303Chris wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:14
Another find on a FOI request this with regards J8/9 to J10 which says
"Our target for completion between J8/9 and 10 is 9th February 2021, with full national speed limit being brought in on 25th February 2021. "
While the FOI is only with regards J8/9 to J10, package 1 was J8/9 to J12 and J10 to J12 looks complete apart from road markings, so hopefully the whole section opens, which will significant reduce the 32 miles of road works by 17 miles.
J8/9-10 looks almost ready. It’ll take a month to test the tech and then it’s ready!
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by ChrisH » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:14

The newsletter for January 2021 shows that they are planning weekend closures on the Slough/Maidenhead section every weekend this Spring. Now that the bridges are replaced, they still need to do the majority of the works to the central reservation and hard shoulder in one year, which took over two years on the western section.

Given the very low traffic levels this seems like a good option to me. The disruption seems to be relatively localised when I've seen it.

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