A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Big L » Wed Jan 08, 2020 19:56

Bryn666 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 19:17
JohnnyMo wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 15:41
jackal wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 13:07
Construction to start in March.

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/ ... -motorway/
Isn't that when the budget is, when all infrastructure expenditure will be directed to "The North" :cry:

Or is this the new North. :twisted:
Must be imagining Crossrail and the Silvertown Tunnel then?
Crossrail just sneaked under the wire by getting funding before ABdPJ won his northern landslide. By a considerable number of years.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 20:15

And people in the south think Johnson will actually spend money up here?

There'll be talk and talk and some more talk but nothing will actually change.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by M4Simon » Wed Jan 08, 2020 22:05

c2R wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 18:11
jackal wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 17:04
thatapanydude wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 15:49
Can't say I am too pleased to be honest. I would have rather waited a few years for a proper widening job personally.
Might have been more than a few years considering how little space there is:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.84129 ... a=!3m1!1e3

You do have to be impressed how the total lack of foresight has allowed the construction of houses right up to the carriageway boundary... https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.84347 ... 312!8i6656
I don't know exactly how old those houses are but certainly roads like Bluebells and Copperbeeches date back to the 1980s, well before the full D3M scheme was mooted in the 1990s.

I looked seriously at buying a house in Potters Heath, just the other side of the A1(M) in 1999 and remember considering what impact a widened A1 would have on the house. I'm glad I didn't - we would have been 150m away from the motorway and the traffic noise would have been noticeably louder than at the house I eventually bought which is 600m from the motorway. Here, we can sit in the garden in the summer and while you can just hear the motorway, it is never obtrusive. In fact it took me several years to work out that I could hear it at all. I don't think that would have been possible just 150m away.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by trickstat » Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17

M4Simon wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 22:05
c2R wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 18:11
jackal wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 17:04

Might have been more than a few years considering how little space there is:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.84129 ... a=!3m1!1e3

You do have to be impressed how the total lack of foresight has allowed the construction of houses right up to the carriageway boundary... https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.84347 ... 312!8i6656
I don't know exactly how old those houses are but certainly roads like Bluebells and Copperbeeches date back to the 1980s, well before the full D3M scheme was mooted in the 1990s.

I looked seriously at buying a house in Potters Heath, just the other side of the A1(M) in 1999 and remember considering what impact a widened A1 would have on the house. I'm glad I didn't - we would have been 150m away from the motorway and the traffic noise would have been noticeably louder than at the house I eventually bought which is 600m from the motorway. Here, we can sit in the garden in the summer and while you can just hear the motorway, it is never obtrusive. In fact it took me several years to work out that I could hear it at all. I don't think that would have been possible just 150m away.

Simon
Looking at some of the closest houses that are visible on GSV they do look 1980s or later. I think they are mainly late 80s plus a few from the 90s. There are houses a little further away that probably predate the building of the A1(M) in the '60s.

I'm not surprised planning permission was given when the district council that deal with it are effectively two tiers below the authority responsible for the road. With the benefit of hindsight it would have been a good idea if the DoT had bought the adjoining land years ago.

In the '80s for 18 months I commuted between Stevenage and Hendon by road. From memory, while this section being 2 lanes did slow down traffic flow, by far the biggest issue was the lane drop northbound at junction 6. Things did seem to get worse during the '90s.

It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by roadtester » Thu Jan 09, 2020 09:19

trickstat wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17
In the '80s for 18 months I commuted between Stevenage and Hendon by road. From memory, while this section being 2 lanes did slow down traffic flow, by far the biggest issue was the lane drop northbound at junction 6. Things did seem to get worse during the '90s.

It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.
Back in 1990 I spent about six months driving from London up to Stevenage and back every day in connection with a project at work and I can that confirm this section was awful even then - especially, as you say, the lane drop.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by JohnnyMo » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:37

trickstat wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17
...
It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.
Not really, I think sections of the M4 & M5 were originally D2(M), but needed to be upgraded in the 70's.

What does seem odd was the section 8 to 9 is D3(M), yes it has a hill but less steep than those between 6 & 7.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by someone » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:46

Bryn666 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 19:17
JohnnyMo wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 15:41
jackal wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 13:07
Construction to start in March.
Isn't that when the budget is, when all infrastructure expenditure will be directed to "The North" :cry:
Must be imagining Crossrail and the Silvertown Tunnel then?
Eh?

The 2005 Crossrail project was approved in 2007. Five prime ministers, four elections, three governments ago.

The 2012 Silvertown Tunnel project was approved in 2018. It is being privately funded, to be recovered through tolls, and not by the government anyway.

What do either of those have to do with the, accurate or not, perceived March 2020 budget priorities of a government elected in 2019?

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:01

It has everything to do with the same tired whinges we have had on SABRE since the beginning that 'no infrastructure is ever built in the south and it always goes up north' which is demonstrably untrue.

The only reason the NW for example has a motorway network is because we had civil servants here willing to make the effort to secure the projects. It was nothing to do with 'government priorities', indeed if anything the MoT was frequently rebutting the North West RCU that there were too many motorways being built here.

So any talk of money being diverted up north is going to prove to be blx once more.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by jackal » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:16

There is a huge North/South divide in spending, but dig a little deeper and it's really a London/everything else divide. The SE, SW and East aren't really any better funded than the North West or Yorkshire:

Regional transport spending 2016-17 - Copy.PNG

Dig deeper still and it's really a London public transport/everything else divide. London railway spending in particular is astronomical - per capita more than twice as much as total transport spending in the rest of England.

http://researchbriefings.files.parliame ... P-8130.pdf

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by owen b » Thu Jan 09, 2020 18:56

JohnnyMo wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:37
trickstat wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17
...
It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.
What does seem odd was the section 8 to 9 is D3(M), yes it has a hill but less steep than those between 6 & 7.
8 to 9 gets additional traffic on the Luton - Cambridge axis. It's quite a bit quicker than going through the three towns. So that extra lane is very helpful.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by roadtester » Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:03

owen b wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 18:56
JohnnyMo wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:37
trickstat wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17
...
It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.
What does seem odd was the section 8 to 9 is D3(M), yes it has a hill but less steep than those between 6 & 7.
8 to 9 gets additional traffic on the Luton - Cambridge axis. It's quite a bit quicker than going through the three towns. So that extra lane is very helpful.
Yep use that bit every time I go to Luton airport.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by JohnnyMo » Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:11

owen b wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 18:56
JohnnyMo wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:37
trickstat wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 07:17
...
It does seem odd to me that the original road was only built as D2 after Welwyn when Stevenage was a New Town that was still growing.
What does seem odd was the section 8 to 9 is D3(M), yes it has a hill but less steep than those between 6 & 7.
8 to 9 gets additional traffic on the Luton - Cambridge axis. It's quite a bit quicker than going through the three towns. So that extra lane is very helpful.
Yes I know that, it is very useful now. I am surprised that the additional Luton-Cambridge traffic was that significant back in the 60's, to raise the requirements for that sections from D2(M) to D3(M). Or that there was that much forward planning for the upgrade of the A505, without prioritising the bypasses of on the route.

Also I'm not sure how much through traffic would divert as it would still need to go through Baldock & Hitchin. OK so it avoids Letchworth but that never was a bottle neck.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Phil » Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:15

jackal wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:16
There is a huge North/South divide in spending, but dig a little deeper and it's really a London/everything else divide. The SE, SW and East aren't really any better funded than the North West or Yorkshire:


Regional transport spending 2016-17 - Copy.PNG


Dig deeper still and it's really a London public transport/everything else divide. London railway spending in particular is astronomical - per capita more than twice as much as total transport spending in the rest of England.

http://researchbriefings.files.parliame ... P-8130.pdf
Which reflects the fact that ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from land acquisition to the daily rate paid to electricians, plumbers, tilers, plasters, etc (and thats before we get to specialist railway skills) is WAY more expensive in London than anywhere else in the country.

Quite frankly those whinging about London getting more money for transport projects need to put a sock in it. When the average cost of a pint of beer or even renting somewhere to live is roughly the same in Wigan as it is in Walthamstow, only then do they have a point.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by thatapanydude » Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:37

On some of the technicalities of the scheme. I would expect J7 will be ALR through the junction but J8 looks tight with the ECML just south and combined with the no of people turning off for Hitchin, Luton and Stevenage I would expect this to be a lane drop/gain. It will be good to see some technology on the A1 though, that is a real positive (I've mentioned before but not a single VMS SB from Alconbury to Archway - 70 odd miles of a major trunk road).

Also hopefully we avoid the fiasco of the A1 up north and J6 returns to its original layout with no lane drop.

Following on I would anticipate that J9 NB becomes a bottleneck with a large chuck coming off for the A505 meaning additional stacking space might be needed in the future along with a tiger tail lane drop. Also I would hope the next stages are sorting out J3 to Borehamwood.
A1/A1(M) >>> M1

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by thatapanydude » Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:40

jackal wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 17:04
thatapanydude wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 15:49
Can't say I am too pleased to be honest. I would have rather waited a few years for a proper widening job personally.
Might have been more than a few years considering how little space there is:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.84129 ... a=!3m1!1e3
Still we could have had an intermittent HS where bridges and spaces prevents a continuous HS, like on the recent widening schemes of the M1, M40 but anyway that argument is sadly now lost.
A1/A1(M) >>> M1

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 10, 2020 09:19

Phil wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 20:15
jackal wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:16
There is a huge North/South divide in spending, but dig a little deeper and it's really a London/everything else divide. The SE, SW and East aren't really any better funded than the North West or Yorkshire:


Regional transport spending 2016-17 - Copy.PNG


Dig deeper still and it's really a London public transport/everything else divide. London railway spending in particular is astronomical - per capita more than twice as much as total transport spending in the rest of England.

http://researchbriefings.files.parliame ... P-8130.pdf
Which reflects the fact that ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from land acquisition to the daily rate paid to electricians, plumbers, tilers, plasters, etc (and thats before we get to specialist railway skills) is WAY more expensive in London than anywhere else in the country.

Quite frankly those whinging about London getting more money for transport projects need to put a sock in it. When the average cost of a pint of beer or even renting somewhere to live is roughly the same in Wigan as it is in Walthamstow, only then do they have a point.
Land acquisition is a tiny proportion of this expenditure, and the rest is only a little more expensive. The average plumber in London earns £17.10/hr compared to £15-£16/hr in other cities (https://www.cashfloat.co.uk/blog/money- ... er-salary/). 10%-20% extra spending in London might be justified but not the brutal reality of 100-200% extra.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by someone » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:29

jackal wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:16
There is a huge North/South divide in spending, but dig a little deeper and it's really a London/everything else divide.
However you table showed aggregate figures from across all funding sources, not just from central government. Not did it point out that Transport for London no longer receives any funding for transport from central government.

Neither do they say how much is gained per head from those levels of investment.

Most importantly, nor does spending per head count mean anything when a lot of the journeys taking in London are by people coming into or through London from other regions. Whilst those journeys may benefit London economically, many rail services in London are not for, used by, or accessible to (by not stopping) Londoners.

"There were 1,475 million passenger journeys made in Great Britain in 2017-18… London had the highest number of total journeys of all the regions. There were 926.5 million passenger journeys… Journeys within London fell by 1.4% in 2017-18, to 518.9 million. " (ORR). Additionally there were 1,357 million passenger journeys on the London Underground (TfL)

If the rail spending is "astronomical," what superlative describes the proportion of journeys taking place in London compared to the rest of the country?

You can quite rightly argue for increased investment in the rest of the country (I once missed a connection as Doncaster because my train from Hull has to wait to let a boat pass) but the amount spent in London is not some luxury. Travellers in London have the most overcrowded services, with the highest level of standing (the source was one of those DfT reports).

London is the second most populous region of the U.K., narrowly behind the South East, yet it just a built-up county. With a land area that is only the 37th largest of the 48 ceremonial counties in England. The compact nature makes a heavily concentrated high capacity rail service a necessity, because no road network could physically accommodate the number of people movements taking place within such a small area.

London is not the same as Glasgow or Sheffield that you cannot compare it as though everything should be equal between them. Not at least without a massive amount of social and economic change that sees people redistributed across the country. It has different needs and issues to the rest of the country that you cannot simply dismiss because of the failure to provide good services in Birmingham.

The spending in London does not excuse the lack of investment elsewhere, but nor does the lack of investment elsewhere excuse decrying the spending in London. The biggest divide in this country is an attitudinal one. Casting transport spending as being per head nor per cost or need, arguing that any investment in one place has to be at the expense of (or because of) another.

But that is what people voted for, to pay less in taxes, complain about the lack of investment, and moan about London where many public transport services are self funded and they pay nothing towards the roads they moan about. So here we are.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by roadtester » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:27

Compared with most other northern European countries, the UK feels under-invested in terms of both roads and public transport. Obviously there are differences within the UK, with public transport in London having been palpably improved so that it has something closer to a continental level/quality of provision*, but I wouldn't say even London feels lavish compared with the European norm - and of course, it's booming so it needs to invest just to stand still

* it's certainly miles better than when I moved to London in the eighties, when buses, tubes and trains felt much more tired.
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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Bendo » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:37

Bryn666 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 20:15
And people in the south think Johnson will actually spend money up here?

There'll be talk and talk and some more talk but nothing will actually change.
But it is going to have to, at the moment the only real investment in roads around, say Liverpool, have been funded by EU money hence all the thank EU signs / we coudn't have done it without EU etc. Now that tap is being turned off unless central government allocate funding there simply won't be any junction improvements etc.

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Re: A1(M) Junction 6 to Junction 8 Smart Motorway

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 14:06

So what do you think will happen? You've already said - there won't be any spending.

All money will be needed to correct the tanking economic situation when the government's incompetent handling of the B word hits home.
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