M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

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WHBM
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:14

ChrisH wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:18
From J3 to J4B a 50mph speed limit westbound now applies with initial works to start removing the central barrier. (Eastbound of course is already limited in speed).
This has led to the curious position that on the main D3M section of the motorway between the Chiswick flyover and Heston services, there used to be differential speed limits on the carriageway, 60 on the eastbound but a full 70 on the westbound. This has now been reversed, eastbound is now faster, still 60, while the westbound has been knocked back to 50.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:30

WHBM wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:14
ChrisH wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:18
From J3 to J4B a 50mph speed limit westbound now applies with initial works to start removing the central barrier. (Eastbound of course is already limited in speed).
This has led to the curious position that on the main D3M section of the motorway between the Chiswick flyover and Heston services, there used to be differential speed limits on the carriageway, 60 on the eastbound but a full 70 on the westbound. This has now been reversed, eastbound is now faster, still 60, while the westbound has been knocked back to 50.
Is it all the way back to the Flyover now, last time I used it, the 50 started after Heston but before J3.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:55

ChrisH wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:18

Between the M25 and Slough there is a small stretch not being worked on, except for 11 bridges which need demolishing. The first of these was done over a weekend at the end of September. It does seem unfortunate that there have to be full weekend closures of of the M4 for almost all of these demolitions, which will lead to a lot of disruption in the local area. Certainly the A404 and M40 were extremely busy on the weekend of the first closure.

HE's newsletter from the summer suggests that this western section could open in 2021, but I can't see why it's going to take more than a full year to tidy up the nearside verge, install some barriers and laybys and commission the comms and road management. Maybe I'm missing something :msngrin:
The full weekend closure in the end wasn't need as the work was completed by 3am Sunday and the road fully opened by 4am Sunday. The road was dead Sunday afternoon , I presume as people made there way elsewhere.

Saturday was chaos. I had to get to Fulham from Reading and by 10am the A404 has long queues into Bisham both ways and into Handy Cross. The M40 was queuing back to Loudwater as well. The A322 between Bracknell and the M3 was also horrendous. I got on the M3 at 4a , but J3 to the M25 was very slow. What didn't help was South West Trains cancelled all services between Ascot, Windsor, Staines and Twickenham for engineering works and Basingstoke to Woking for the same reason, obviously leading to more vehicle trips. Who co-ordinates these things.

The latest update on the bridge works was released yesterday, the October newsletter

With regards completion times the Spring Public exhibitions here, gave the following completion time.

J12-10 Completion December 2020
J10-J8/9 Completion May 2020
J8/9 to J3 Completion March 2022.

Even though the time line does say that j12 to J10 won't start to May 2020, instead on May 2019.

Makes more sense as J8/9 to J12 does look to be on course for next year.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Tue Oct 08, 2019 23:14

A303Chris wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:30
Is it all the way back to the Flyover now, last time I used it, the 50 started after Heston but before J3.
I thought it had been pulled back, didn't go that way for a week, but today never got a chance to check due to the protest closures in London; Canary Wharf to Heathrow had to be by the M25. Came back in the evening by M4, the 50 seems to run out eastbound shortly after Heston Services. I say seems to because there is no proper termination sign for the 50, the existing 60 repeaters just restart. I noticed this last time as well. Too dark to see what the westbound signing was.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Wed Oct 09, 2019 17:23

WHBM wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 23:14
A303Chris wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 13:30
Is it all the way back to the Flyover now, last time I used it, the 50 started after Heston but before J3.
I thought it had been pulled back, didn't go that way for a week, but today never got a chance to check due to the protest closures in London; Canary Wharf to Heathrow had to be by the M25. Came back in the evening by M4, the 50 seems to run out eastbound shortly after Heston Services. I say seems to because there is no proper termination sign for the 50, the existing 60 repeaters just restart. I noticed this last time as well. Too dark to see what the westbound signing was.
This now means that the M4 section of officially "urban motorway" has been extended as a speed limit of 60mph or lower applies and it's in a built up area.

This then also means by the TSRGD that gantries with lane control signals should be put in as it counts as an urban motorway.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by c2R » Fri Nov 01, 2019 08:54

Some legislation for you: The M4 Motorway (Junctions 3 to 12) (Variable Speed Limits) Regulations 2019
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019 ... tents/made
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:17

c2R wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 08:54
Some legislation for you: The M4 Motorway (Junctions 3 to 12) (Variable Speed Limits) Regulations 2019
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019 ... tents/made
Interesting there keeping the 60mph max speed eastbound between J4 and the elevated section. Would have thought with the smartification and VSL they could have returned J4 to J3 to 70mph max limit then began the 60mph at J3
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:31

Been on hols for a week or so, all changed again now. The previous "unmarked" reversion from 50 to 60 eastbound has now been marked, it's actually on the J3 bridge that the signs have gone up. Meanwhile the westbound drop to 50 has been moved west a few miles to by Heston services. In fairness there were some works being done along the hard shoulder there which was coned off - these have now been completed.

Meanwhile, found coming from Windsor I could not join at J5 eastbound late one night this week, just coned off without signage. So along the A4; the right turn by Heathrow onto the M4 spur and back to the main motorway was completely unsigned. Coming up the spur to J4, 2 left lanes coned off, all traffic in right hand lane to the signalled roundabout, but then works on the roundabout had coned off the two right hand side lanes, so all now on the left. A sparse number of cones only, not a single sign, in the dark, I looked at this and thought they are quite likely to have vehicles entering the works area.

On round the roundabout, the only way to get back onto the M4 eastbound once under the bridge was to lunge right across the chevron markings.

I don't know who their TM contractor is but it's a pretty poor show.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by RichardA35 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:36

Let us know the response to the complaint.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Robert Kilcoyne » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:42

WHBM wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:31
Meanwhile, found coming from Windsor I could not join at J5 eastbound late one night this week, just coned off without signage. So along the A4; the right turn by Heathrow onto the M4 spur and back to the main motorway was completely unsigned. Coming up the spur to J4, 2 left lanes coned off, all traffic in right hand lane to the signalled roundabout, but then works on the roundabout had coned off the two right hand side lanes, so all now on the left. A sparse number of cones only, not a single sign, in the dark, I looked at this and thought they are quite likely to have vehicles entering the works area.

On round the roundabout, the only way to get back onto the M4 eastbound once under the bridge was to lunge right across the chevron markings.

I don't know who their TM contractor is but it's a pretty poor show.
Is the M4 between the M25 and Junction 3 currently unlit at night with not even temporary lighting columns installed?

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:46

Robert Kilcoyne wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:42
Is the M4 between the M25 and Junction 3 currently unlit at night with not even temporary lighting columns installed?
Completely dark and narrow lanes. HE don't do temporary lighting nowadays.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by WHBM » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:09

RichardA35 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:36
Let us know the response to the complaint.
Any ideas for the address ? The HE website appears to offer only a childish forum where you can write comments and have them smiley-faced by others.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Chris5156 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 14:07

The front page of their website lists the following:
High­ways Eng­land
National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre
3 Ridge­way
Quin­ton Busi­ness Park
Birm­ing­ham
B32 1AF
United Kingdom

Email info@highwaysengland.co.uk

General enquiries 0300 123 5000

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Johnathan404 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 14:40

Though I am glad someone has mentioned these new Common Place "engagement tools" that Highways England are using.

So far as I can see it is just an invitation for residents to have a rant. Half the rants are either not about the roadworks, ill-informed or generic complaints about roadworks that aren't very fair or helpful. It is wrong for Highways England to pretend they are interested in it.

Where serious feedback is provided, there is no investigation or reply. It may make up some "14% of people were pleased with our working environment" evaluation at the end of the project.

I honestly don't understand what the purpose of it is, unless it is just to make their inbox more manageable.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Fri Nov 01, 2019 18:33

WHBM wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:31

Meanwhile, found coming from Windsor I could not join at J5 eastbound late one night this week, just coned off without signage. So along the A4; the right turn by Heathrow onto the M4 spur and back to the main motorway was completely unsigned. Coming up the spur to J4, 2 left lanes coned off, all traffic in right hand lane to the signalled roundabout, but then works on the roundabout had coned off the two right hand side lanes, so all now on the left. A sparse number of cones only, not a single sign, in the dark, I looked at this and thought they are quite likely to have vehicles entering the works area.

On round the roundabout, the only way to get back onto the M4 eastbound once under the bridge was to lunge right across the chevron markings.

I don't know who their TM contractor is but it's a pretty poor show.
The management of closures is a joke. Last month they had signs up for 2 weeks saying M4 closed westbound between J3 and J5 between 22.00 and 06.00 for the first week In October. After a game at The Bridge came home A40, M40, A404 then the A4 to Woodley to miss the closure. Talking to a mate the following night , he said "flew home last night M4 was dead", he didn't know about the closure and went that way and it was open. Also trying to work out night closures when it's down to one lane or actually closed from the HE website is impossible.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by EpicChef » Fri Nov 01, 2019 19:03

A303Chris wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 18:33
WHBM wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:31

Meanwhile, found coming from Windsor I could not join at J5 eastbound late one night this week, just coned off without signage. So along the A4; the right turn by Heathrow onto the M4 spur and back to the main motorway was completely unsigned. Coming up the spur to J4, 2 left lanes coned off, all traffic in right hand lane to the signalled roundabout, but then works on the roundabout had coned off the two right hand side lanes, so all now on the left. A sparse number of cones only, not a single sign, in the dark, I looked at this and thought they are quite likely to have vehicles entering the works area.

On round the roundabout, the only way to get back onto the M4 eastbound once under the bridge was to lunge right across the chevron markings.

I don't know who their TM contractor is but it's a pretty poor show.
The management of closures is a joke. Last month they had signs up for 2 weeks saying M4 closed westbound between J3 and J5 between 22.00 and 06.00 for the first week In October. After a game at The Bridge came home A40, M40, A404 then the A4 to Woodley to miss the closure. Talking to a mate the following night , he said "flew home last night M4 was dead", he didn't know about the closure and went that way and it was open. Also trying to work out night closures when it's down to one lane or actually closed from the HE website is impossible.
It's crazy. Rising bollards should be put at the mouth of sliproads to close the motorway if VMS signs so advise. And an MS4 should be placed at the mouth of sliproads instead of 2 AMIs. It can display advice like "merge like a zip" "<queue symbol> On main carriageway" or red Xs with message "slip road closed" if only the slip road is closed, or "motorway closed" if the main carriageway is closed too. As well as, of course, a speed limit. I just think it'd be more helpful.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Johnathan404 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 19:26

A303Chris wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 18:33
The management of closures is a joke. Last month they had signs up for 2 weeks saying M4 closed westbound between J3 and J5 between 22.00 and 06.00 for the first week In October. After a game at The Bridge came home A40, M40, A404 then the A4 to Woodley to miss the closure. Talking to a mate the following night , he said "flew home last night M4 was dead", he didn't know about the closure and went that way and it was open. Also trying to work out night closures when it's down to one lane or actually closed from the HE website is impossible.
I'm not sure why you try to plan your journeys around the closures.

I live next to a busy motorway so do a lot of drives home after 10pm. I also do most of my long-distance driving at night.

In both cases I have learned that it is easier to ignore the advice, try your luck and accept the diversion if the road is closed than it is to try to memorise all the possible dates given on signs and online that often don't materialise.

Even Highways England must agree seeing as they no longer publish detailed advance information on planned closures.

Even VMS is usually unhelpful as it will advise of short-term closures that clear before you get there (and an early finish is a good thing, I appreciate) but not of far-away closures that are being set up. Despite that, if a road closure will result in a lengthy diversion I will take the advice on the VMS.

More recently their Twitter updates are usually good for live information, but still prone to surprises or early finishes.

I can't pretend it's not frustrating seeing the cones shunt you off the mainline, but it's better than planning for a diversion every time you hear of a possible closure. And Wales can be just as bad.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by DB617 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 16:46

The Wales diversions are not usually as horrendous, though, as the M4 shadows the A48 which was in a state of piecemeal upgrading when it was bypassed. The only painful section is the J36-J33 diversion which takes a very long route as the A48 dives much further into South Glamorgan than the M4. The A48 diversions are getting less and less useful as the WS2 sections are getting dotted with housing developments.

Similarly the A470 shadows the A4054 which was the old Taff Valley road. I can't speak for the A55, and I know the A465 closures are dreadful.

Traffic levels at night are almost never high enough to need to avoid the official diversions from trunk routes, at least in the south of the SRN. Most of the terrible official diversions I see are more northern, except perhaps for the A30/303.

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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by A303Chris » Thu Dec 05, 2019 13:51

After 2 more weekend closures last month, a lot has changed along the route.

Between J8/9 and J7 the old bridge carrying Marsh Lane has been demolished with traffic diverted via Lake End Road until the new bridge is built at which time Lake End Road will be closed and traffic diverted via the new Marsh Lane bridge.

The new bridge at Monkey Island Lane has beams lifted into place, but the old bridge can't be demolished until the new one built as it's a cul-de-sac.

At Junction 7, last weekends closure was to facilitate the demolition of the existing bridge of the trumpet junction and the construction of a temporary bridge adjacent to it, while a new bridge on the original alignment is built. The temporary bridge is in place, but the old one couldn't be demolished as the approaches weren't completed. Therefore this will be demolished over the weekend of the 17th to 19th January.

Between J7 and J6 the Mercian Way Footbridge has gone to.

However with an update I go this week, it states that the J12 to J8/9 section will be completed by early Summer 2020, but national speed limit will not be brought back in to force until early 2021 to allow for testing of the electrical systems. Does it really take 6 months to test everything.
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Re: M4 Junction 3 to 12 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 17:38

Are they going to sort out the abysmal J4B eastbound layout?

Should quite simply be:

M25 N | M25 S | M4 | M4
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