The future of smart motorways

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EpicChef
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by EpicChef » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:31

Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 09:55
We provide safety interventions on evidence, not 'bellyfeel'.
Well then the whole public rant about the safety of smart motorways is bellyfeel too. And yet there are corporate manslaughter claims.

Just because lighting was previously used mainly for smog doesn’t mean that it can’t now be used for darkness.

I can say a motorway with LED lighting will feel much safer to most drivers, though.

And there was a time when the entire M1 had continuous lighting, either LPS or HPS.

Why are the M42 and M6 special enough to get the lighting on their smart motorway sections? And why are they thinking of switching off lighting on the M25?
Smart motorways are like asbestos: they're the best option until suddenly they're not.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:34

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:31
Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 09:55
We provide safety interventions on evidence, not 'bellyfeel'.
Well then the whole public rant about the safety of smart motorways is bellyfeel too. And yet there are corporate manslaughter claims.

Just because lighting was previously used mainly for smog doesn’t mean that it can’t now be used for darkness.

I can say a motorway with LED lighting will feel much safer to most drivers, though.

And there was a time when the entire M1 had continuous lighting, either LPS or HPS.

Why are the M42 and M6 special enough to get the lighting on their smart motorway sections? And why are they thinking of switching off lighting on the M25?
Who is paying for all this 'supposition'?

The public rant about lots of things, the public generally doesn't know much other than how to get whipped up by media hysteria campaigns. That's why we invented representative democracy centuries ago, otherwise we'd still have crowds of morons burning people at the stake for 'witchcraft'.

There are some safety issues with smart motorways that are not insurmountable to resolve. If we had this Daily Mail shrieking approach to "someone died let's have a moral panic" in the 19th century, we would not have railways (first fatality on the day the Liverpool to Manchester opened), cars, electricity, gas, or any of the modern conveniences we take for granted.

Leave safety engineering to safety engineers, not the Daily Mail.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by c2R » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:52

It depends on the weightings you put into your cost-benefit calculations and how you cost accidents involving physical injury and loss of life, and how you calculate the likelihood of them occurring with or without lighting. Also how you cost environmental damage caused by the energy used in installing and running lighting, versus congestion from accidents, or the additional environmental damage caused in that regard.

There's all sorts of factors you could add in to the calculations and assumptions you could make to give you different results....
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:30

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 09:07
:facepalm: it’s just common sense that lighting makes lane 1 crashes more visible. And now at least half the energy is renewable. Sometimes more.

And LED lights completely remove light pollution issues.
Reality Check at 11.11 AM
Total demand on Grid 40.829 GW

Sources on line
Nuclear - 4.13 GW
Renewables - 8.391 GW

Thats about 20% renewables NOT a half and on calm cloudy day in winter can be zero. Yesterday solar was a near to zero as never mind and wind provided only 1.8 GW

LED lights are better directed than sodium but do NOT eliminate light pollution, my area switched 2 years ago and now instead of an orange glow we now have a white glow. The light reflects off the ground. Worse because LED light emit strongly in the blue and white spectra they adversely affect the dark adaptation of the human eye and also disrupt wildlife. This is probably an acceptable trade off in town but not in my opinion on rural roads. As a point of fact Public Health England issued a warning notice about the problems with many LED street lights.

https://www.highwaysmagazine.co.uk/Publ ... rning/3981

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by c2R » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:27

KeithW wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:30

Reality Check at 11.11 AM
Total demand on Grid 40.829 GW

Sources on line
Nuclear - 4.13 GW
Renewables - 8.391 GW

Thats about 20% renewables NOT a half and on calm cloudy day in winter can be zero. Yesterday solar was a near to zero as never mind and wind provided only 1.8 GW
This may sound a silly question, but presumably the renewables figure is higher than that as a result of domestic installations?

Obviously the point is academic compared to the question of the OP, because I won't generate at night to power street lights, but for example, I produced about 3 kWh of solar yesterday, which I know is miniscule but the number of installations across the country must add up. How much I return to the grid isn't metered, nor is the total amount of electricity I use. All I know is how much I generate and how much energy from the grid I use.
So, therefore am I right in thinking that the amount of renewables generated must be higher than the above, although the total energy used must also be higher than the demand on the grid?
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Patrick Harper » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:34

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:31
And there was a time when the entire M1 had continuous lighting, either LPS or HPS.
Not true. There has never been lighting between J19 and J21 for example. There are several similar sections further north.
Why are the M42 and M6 special enough to get the lighting on their smart motorway sections? And why are they thinking of switching off lighting on the M25?
The M42 project came about before the document that Debaser refers to changed the CBA for provision of new lighting. The M6 projects through Birmingham did not include much in the way of new lighting, the existing lighting was just retained and now the SON heads have been changed for LED heads. Presumably the M25 systems are being turned off because the safety benefit does not justify the maintenance and power cost.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by EpicChef » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:53

Street lighting looks better anyway.

Smart motorways should have it.

It will save lives and I firmly believe that.

It surely won’t cost too much, they’re LEDs so power costs SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.

And we can trial them on one stretch before doing them elsewhere.
Smart motorways are like asbestos: they're the best option until suddenly they're not.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:56

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:53
Street lighting looks better anyway.

Smart motorways should have it.

It will save lives and I firmly believe that.

It surely won’t cost too much, they’re LEDs so power costs SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.

And we can trial them on one stretch before doing them elsewhere.
Street lights introduce a bigger risk in that colliding with one results in significant infrastructure damage even if passively safe. If you want verge mounted lighting, then because of the reduced setbacks on Smart Motorways meaning there's limited space for passive equipment, that's EVEN MORE verge barrier required, which is what everyone is ranting about.

Maintenance hates central reserve lighting because you have to close lanes on both sides of the motorway to deal with it or do lighting repairs at night, in the dark because the power will have to be cut to allow safe working.

Lighting causes more problems than it solves on motorways these days, hence the move across the whole of Europe to massively reduce the use of it. Even Belgium is decommissioning vast swathes of the stuff.
Bryn
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Fri Mar 05, 2021 13:57

can we get a statistical breakdown of smart motorway collisions (stopped vehicle only) by day/night, and, for night, by lit/unlit?

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Fri Mar 05, 2021 14:00

c2R wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:27
KeithW wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:30

Reality Check at 11.11 AM
Total demand on Grid 40.829 GW

Sources on line
Nuclear - 4.13 GW
Renewables - 8.391 GW

Thats about 20% renewables NOT a half and on calm cloudy day in winter can be zero. Yesterday solar was a near to zero as never mind and wind provided only 1.8 GW
This may sound a silly question, but presumably the renewables figure is higher than that as a result of domestic installations?

Obviously the point is academic compared to the question of the OP, because I won't generate at night to power street lights, but for example, I produced about 3 kWh of solar yesterday, which I know is miniscule but the number of installations across the country must add up. How much I return to the grid isn't metered, nor is the total amount of electricity I use. All I know is how much I generate and how much energy from the grid I use.
So, therefore am I right in thinking that the amount of renewables generated must be higher than the above, although the total energy used must also be higher than the demand on the grid?
The figures are what it says on the tin.

The demand is the total electricity that was required from the national grid the sources are those associated with suppliers to the grid, your 3 kWh would not appear in that information, the net effect is to lower demand. See snapshot for demand in the last 24 hours and the last 7 days. Solar power from commercial suppliers is recorded, currently its 2.66 GW. At this time of year you get measurable amounts of power for a maximum of about 8 hours per day.

The problem with all renewables is that they are all highly variable so you need to keep fossil fuelled systems on hot standby to pick up that variability, there are mostly Combined Cycle Gas Turbine and Coal. Contrary to popular opinion coal has NOT disappeared, right now there is 2.7 GW of coal fired power generation on line. With a coal powered station you are using fuel to keep the boilers and turbines running at low load. Starting a conventional station from cold takes hours.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Debaser » Fri Mar 05, 2021 14:21

KeithW wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 08:40
In fact as a nation we don't spend enough maintaining the roads we have.
Notoriously highway maintenance has always been the first budget to be cut when local authorities are looking to save money. People who haven't been to a library since they were at primary school or to the local sports centre since they got their private gym membership will go to the barricades to save the budgets of both, never mind what they'll do to save social services, but the mundane day to day maintenance of something they use and rely on every day? Out of sight, out of mind. Maintenance is only noticed when it hasn't been done. At which point what should have been a routine activity becomes a major reconstruction effort. But I'm sure it makes sense to accountants.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Fri Mar 05, 2021 14:30

Peter Freeman wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 13:57
can we get a statistical breakdown of smart motorway collisions (stopped vehicle only) by day/night, and, for night, by lit/unlit?
There is information on stopped vehicle casualties here
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... n-plan.pdf
It does not differentiate between day and night time incidents although that information is doubtless somewhere in the dataset. The results on casualties are not quite the horror story trumpeted by the popular press
Page 43 wrote: • Casualty rates on all motorway types are lower than A Roads on the
SRN, for each type of severity and the Fatal and Weighted Injuries
measure.
• Slight casualty rates are higher on controlled (14 per hmvm) and
DHS (15 per hmvm) compared to conventional motorways (10 per
hmvm), while ALR roads are slightly higher (11 per hmvm)
• Serious casualty rates on controlled (1.2 per hmvm), DHS (1.2 per
hmvm) and ALR (1.3 per hmvm) schemes are slightly higher to
conventional motorways (1.1 per hmvm).
• Fatal casualty rates on controlled (0.07 per hmvm), DHS (0.07 per
hmvm) and ALR (0.11 per hmvm) are lower than on conventional
motorways (0.16 per hmvm).
• Fatal and Weighted Injury rates on controlled (0.33 per hmvm),
DHS (0.33 per hmvm) and ALR (0.35 per hmvm) schemes are slightly
lower than on conventional motorways (0.38 per hmvm)
Note hmvm is hundred million vehicle miles

The bottom line is that there are fewer collisions on Smart Motorways but a slightly higher casualty rate per collision, the actual risk of serious injury or death is pretty much the same. The introduction of SVD should tilt the balance in favour of Smart Motorways. One caveat is that as has been mentioned dynamic hard shoulder (DHS) running is the least safe option.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by XC70 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 19:27

EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 09:07
:facepalm: it’s just common sense that lighting makes lane 1 crashes more visible.........
If you are just interested in making lane 1 crashes more visible then surely the emergency services can just do that on arrival?

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Big L » Fri Mar 05, 2021 20:09

I thought the idea would be to reduce (prevent) the crashes.
Make poetry history.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by melpettitt09 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 15:27

Hello, I’m a student at Exeter College who is researching whether smart motorways are safer than conventional motorways.

I would appreciate it if those who drive could spare a couple minutes to fill out this survey. Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary and you can withdraw from the survey at any point. However, once you submit your response, they cannot be removed from the survey. Also, as the researcher, I will not be able to access any personal information meaning that this survey is strictly anonymous.

Thank you for your time 😊

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SSP9MZ2

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by jervi » Sat Mar 06, 2021 17:08

melpettitt09 wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 15:27
Hello, I’m a student at Exeter College who is researching whether smart motorways are safer than conventional motorways.

I would appreciate it if those who drive could spare a couple minutes to fill out this survey. Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary and you can withdraw from the survey at any point. However, once you submit your response, they cannot be removed from the survey. Also, as the researcher, I will not be able to access any personal information meaning that this survey is strictly anonymous.

Thank you for your time 😊

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SSP9MZ2
Sorry to be a pain, but on Question 6 it states "Are you aware that there is not a permanent hard shoulder on smart motorways?" This isn't necessarily true. Controlled motorways are a form of smart motorway but retain a hard shoulder (usually intermittent). Also ALR & DHS SMs can have a hard shoulder through junctions, and usually have a hard shoulder on slip roads too.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by trickstat » Sun Mar 07, 2021 08:33

Debaser wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 14:21
KeithW wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 08:40
In fact as a nation we don't spend enough maintaining the roads we have.
Notoriously highway maintenance has always been the first budget to be cut when local authorities are looking to save money. People who haven't been to a library since they were at primary school or to the local sports centre since they got their private gym membership will go to the barricades to save the budgets of both, never mind what they'll do to save social services, but the mundane day to day maintenance of something they use and rely on every day? Out of sight, out of mind. Maintenance is only noticed when it hasn't been done. At which point what should have been a routine activity becomes a major reconstruction effort. But I'm sure it makes sense to accountants.
To be fair to accountants, it probably makes sense to councillors and senior council executive who are fearful of either breaking the budget or making cuts in the kind of areas that you are referring to and hope that, if and when, major reconstruction is required, either the financial situation is better or, more likely, they are not around to have to deal with it.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:39

trickstat wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 08:33
Debaser wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 14:21
KeithW wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 08:40
In fact as a nation we don't spend enough maintaining the roads we have.
Notoriously highway maintenance has always been the first budget to be cut when local authorities are looking to save money. People who haven't been to a library since they were at primary school or to the local sports centre since they got their private gym membership will go to the barricades to save the budgets of both, never mind what they'll do to save social services, but the mundane day to day maintenance of something they use and rely on every day? Out of sight, out of mind. Maintenance is only noticed when it hasn't been done. At which point what should have been a routine activity becomes a major reconstruction effort. But I'm sure it makes sense to accountants.
To be fair to accountants, it probably makes sense to councillors and senior council executive who are fearful of either breaking the budget or making cuts in the kind of areas that you are referring to and hope that, if and when, major reconstruction is required, either the financial situation is better or, more likely, they are not around to have to deal with it.
The simple reality is that funding items such as adult social care, education and child care are mandatory so one of the few areas that can be cut are highways maintenance and budgets for parks and recreation centres. Historically care of the very old was an NHS problem that was divested into the care home sector and funding for that was given to the local authorities. The amount of that funding has NOT been increased at an adequate rate to cover the costs of inflation and the results of an aging population. The whole issue of such devolved care needs to be revisited as it now dominates the funding problems of local authorities. Central governments since the 1990's have backed away from the issue as it is seen as political and financial poison.

In 2020 the total budget for Middlesbrough Council was £359.5 million. The largest single item was Adult Social Care at £85.8 million followed by Finance, Governance & Support - £61.3 million and £57.7 million for Education.

When all the mandatory requirements were met all that was left for roads was insufficient to keep up with ongoing road care and maintenance let alone improvements. Just to twist the knife there is of course a cap on how much councils may increase domestic rates. This year they have raised them by the maximum amount of approx 4% just to meet the cost increases caused by Covid-19. Community facilities such as swimming pools have largely been closed, the pool at the Eston Leisure Centre has been closed for some time as there is no money available to fix the problems with the water treatment system.

Local government finance needs a radical overhaul, issues like Adult and Child social care ought to to be financed by central government if for no other reason that it defines the scope of that care and then leaves local councils to worry about how to pay the bills. The result around here has been that community centres and parks have seen their budgets cut and in many cases have been closed and that road maintenance budgets have been slashed. The only new roads being built are by housing developers.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by FosseWay » Tue Mar 09, 2021 08:30

c2R wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:52
It depends on the weightings you put into your cost-benefit calculations and how you cost accidents involving physical injury and loss of life, and how you calculate the likelihood of them occurring with or without lighting. Also how you cost environmental damage caused by the energy used in installing and running lighting, versus congestion from accidents, or the additional environmental damage caused in that regard.

There's all sorts of factors you could add in to the calculations and assumptions you could make to give you different results....
We also, as a species and in our approach to administration, draw a distinction between harm caused to someone wholly or mainly by that person being an oaf and harm caused to someone who is being perfectly sensible and is subject to someone else's oafishness. In most road-related fatalities there is *something* everyone involved could have done with hindsight, even if the principal cause of the accident is someone clearly breaking the rules or behaving stupidly. That fact is what lies behind the concept of defensive driving - you drive to accommodate the failings of other road users as well as your own limitations and the law. But nevertheless at a societal level we do see a difference between, say, someone hitting a pedestrian on a crossing while speeding, and someone hitting a pedestrian in the dark on a motorway at well within the posted limit. We can do our best to mitigate stupidity but completely redesigning or forbidding the activity doesn't generally fall into the area of reasonable mitigations for stupidity.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bomag » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:54

Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:56
EpicChef wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:53
Street lighting looks better anyway.

Smart motorways should have it.

It will save lives and I firmly believe that.

It surely won’t cost too much, they’re LEDs so power costs SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.

And we can trial them on one stretch before doing them elsewhere.
Street lights introduce a bigger risk in that colliding with one results in significant infrastructure damage even if passively safe. If you want verge mounted lighting, then because of the reduced setbacks on Smart Motorways meaning there's limited space for passive equipment, that's EVEN MORE verge barrier required, which is what everyone is ranting about.

Maintenance hates central reserve lighting because you have to close lanes on both sides of the motorway to deal with it or do lighting repairs at night, in the dark because the power will have to be cut to allow safe working.

Lighting causes more problems than it solves on motorways these days, hence the move across the whole of Europe to massively reduce the use of it. Even Belgium is decommissioning vast swathes of the stuff.
On a normal road the risks could be either way; however, on a D4 unlit road with standard road markings (Class R3) a 'normal' road user would not get either the desirable (2.2 seconds) nor minimum (1.8 seconds) preview time in lane 3. This is the reason why the minimum spec in the National Annex to BS EN 1436 is increased to Class R4 (200mcd) for an unlit D4; even this would not provide the required performance for some people over 60 and most over 65. Going to Class R5 is a problem with skid and durability and due to issues with headlights only provided a marginal increase in preview time As long a markings are not over worn, and not a failure on luminance factor, then with street lighting the average 60 year old would get between 3.0 and 5.0 seconds of preview time. Sufficient to drive safely and without accelerating fatigue. It will also illuminate anything stopped in the carriageway with has no visible reflectors nor active light source.

The problem with current Smart motorways is that after the pilot schemes they have been developed as technology schemes with bit of safety tacked on where absolutely needed (and led mostly by technology specialists). They have rigidly applied the principle of GALE in GD04/GG104 without any real understanding on managing risk to high risk subsets of groups. The 'public' generally don't understand it and those that do don't agree this Spartan approach to risk management is acceptable.

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