The future of smart motorways

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Barkstar
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Barkstar » Wed Jan 13, 2021 16:57

KeithW wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 16:39
jervi wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 14:04
Didn't mention a recovery vehicle. HE Patrol vehicles are able to tow the majority of vehicles, including HGVs. Soon as they get them to an ERA (or next junction, Hard shoulder etc) then that is their job done. From there it is up to the vehicles driver to arrange recovery to whereever.
Sorry but I think you are flat out wrong when it comes to HE Patrol vehicles towing HGV's. If you are towing a stalled HGV at the least you must be able to run an air line to stop the brakes coming on. HE Patrol vehicles simply dont have that capability. You would also have to take out the half shaft to stop the wheels turning the gearbox with no lubrication. Last but far from least the vehicles they drive are neither equipped for or rated for that. At the most a HE Patrol Vehicle will have a 50mm ball/Nato hitch and tow bar suitable for removing cars and caravans.

HE can call out a recovery vehicle but towing HGV's is just not on. This is the list of duties they are expected to perform

Coordinating the resources of the emergency services
Managing traffic to reduce incident related congestion
Clearing debris from the carriageways
Re-opening routes as soon as it is safe to do so
Support the police
Being recovered when our big US built RV failed on the M1 a few years was an education. Luckily we had managed to limp off the motorway. The recovery driver was in one of the units like your picture and told us a few days before he'd recovered a special load vehicle stuck in the Peak District and their combined all up weight was approaching 100 tons. Fortunately he only had to move it far enough to sort it out.

Bendo
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bendo » Wed Jan 13, 2021 18:17

Barkstar wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:33
A303Chris wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 09:36
This is an interesting Freedom of Information request response from Highways England which provides a table showing the total number of speed cameras on smart motorways. Obviously the 2 on the M4 will go up when J3 to J12 is completed.

However, only 34 on the M25, so that's 17 each way , which is one about every 7 miles, a lot less than I thought. They must be the HADECS 3 and not the old ones across all four lanes between J7 and J23, which were on approximately every third gantry.

Also the FOI states
Currently, we are upgrading all our cameras to also record drivers that do not comply with a ‘Red X’, to indicate a closed lane.


Which hopefully will mean situations described above with HE Officers closing all four lanes will end, given points and a fine may get people to comply with a Red X
I noticed that they decided to leave out permanent average speed cameras. So in the end he got what he asked for but I'm not sure how helpful it is. This part of the response was interesting:
Can I point out that average speed enforcement systems are not used to enforce variable speed limits, which are used to support traffic management on these specific sections of motorways.
So do I take it there aren't average speed cameras in variable speed limit areas?
Average speed cameras are not used on smart motorways.

Bendo
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bendo » Wed Jan 13, 2021 20:06

Heading south on the M6 a few junctions before J8, there is a roadworks section with a temp 60 limit. When I was going that way a couple of weeks back, there was a 40 limit on the gantries (not sure way, no heavy traffic or stopped cars) but the restriction carried on into the roadworks section so you would get a gantry showing 40 they a few yards later a 60 repeater.

Not sure how they manage to set things up without any consideration, its not like the temp limit is new either, it's been there a while. I wonder how the cameras were setup, will they be issuing fines based on the 40...

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Big L
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Big L » Wed Jan 13, 2021 21:02

Don't think there are any cameras where the roadworks are.
Make poetry history.

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brummie_rob
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by brummie_rob » Wed Jan 13, 2021 22:38

Big L wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 21:02
Don't think there are any cameras where the roadworks are.
No they haven't bothered with temporary cameras and there are no fixed cameras since they removed the old HADECS.

Bendo
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bendo » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:43

Ah, that makes it a bit better than if there are no cameras. Not sure why they seem to have significantly reduced the number of cameras when switched to HADECS3, seems a retrograde step, especially given installation and maintenence should be cheaper than HADECS2.

Baffles me though how they have managed to put in a temp limit that conflics with the variable limit. Do they have so little confidence in the technology that they are unable to use that to implement the temporary limit, and if so, surely the variable limit should be suspended whilst the temp limit is in place.

All in all, just another HE dogs dinner, might be understandable if it was just a couple of nights and an oversight, but it's been going on a while.

Duple
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Duple » Sun Jan 17, 2021 20:54

Bendo wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:43
Ah, that makes it a bit better than if there are no cameras. Not sure why they seem to have significantly reduced the number of cameras when switched to HADECS3, seems a retrograde step, especially given installation and maintenence should be cheaper than HADECS2.

Baffles me though how they have managed to put in a temp limit that conflics with the variable limit. Do they have so little confidence in the technology that they are unable to use that to implement the temporary limit, and if so, surely the variable limit should be suspended whilst the temp limit is in place.

All in all, just another HE dogs dinner, might be understandable if it was just a couple of nights and an oversight, but it's been going on a while.
As I understand (and I am not in that industry) the HADEC3s are significantly more expensive, I guess that combined with the "proving" camera system probably adds up.

With regards to the variable speed limit being different, they are mainly computer controlled.. why they haven't been turned off I don't know. Perhaps the system thought 40 because of how bunched traffic gets in average speed zones?

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Micro The Maniac » Mon Jan 18, 2021 18:18

OK, it's the Gruniad, but also reported elsewhere
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... ys-coroner
A coroner has called for a review into smart motorways, concluding that the lack of a hard shoulder contributed to the deaths of two men.

Sheffield’s coroner, David Urpeth, said smart motorways, which allow motorists to drive on the hard shoulder, present an ongoing risk of future deaths. He said he will be writing to Highways England and the secretary of state for transport to request a review.

Urpeth said the primary cause of death of Jason Mercer, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, on the M1 in South Yorkshire was the careless driving of lorry driver Prezemyslaw Szuba. But recording a conclusion of unlawful killing at Sheffield town hall, he said: “I find, as a finding of fact, it is clear a lack of hard shoulder contributed to this tragedy.
My emphasis... but he still blames mart motorways...

Bendo
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bendo » Mon Jan 18, 2021 19:12

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 18:18
OK, it's the Gruniad, but also reported elsewhere
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... ys-coroner
A coroner has called for a review into smart motorways, concluding that the lack of a hard shoulder contributed to the deaths of two men.

Sheffield’s coroner, David Urpeth, said smart motorways, which allow motorists to drive on the hard shoulder, present an ongoing risk of future deaths. He said he will be writing to Highways England and the secretary of state for transport to request a review.

Urpeth said the primary cause of death of Jason Mercer, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, on the M1 in South Yorkshire was the careless driving of lorry driver Prezemyslaw Szuba. But recording a conclusion of unlawful killing at Sheffield town hall, he said: “I find, as a finding of fact, it is clear a lack of hard shoulder contributed to this tragedy.
My emphasis... but he still blames mart motorways...
Well obviously things are caused by multiple factors. Some factors should be mitigated by doing proper risk assessments. It is only proper that coroners are taking this action. It is their job.

avtur
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by avtur » Sun Jan 24, 2021 08:55

Following the recent comments by a Yorkshire coroner, I see that South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has written an open letter to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport stating that smart motorways are "inherently unsafe and dangerous and should be abandoned". The government continues to defend the introduction of smart motorways, will be interesting to see how this discussion develops.

DB617
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by DB617 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 13:08

Most likely that discussion will go around in circles as ours does. HE have already planned in SVD implementation, so any further complaints run the risk of seeming improperly researched or just plain making impossible demands.

At this point it would be a much better use of time to pressure HE to accelerate the roll out. Hell, they were able to roll out smart meters in a decent time and that was through private industry mandates.

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Matthew
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Matthew » Sun Jan 24, 2021 13:26

KeithW wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 16:39
jervi wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 14:04
Didn't mention a recovery vehicle. HE Patrol vehicles are able to tow the majority of vehicles, including HGVs. Soon as they get them to an ERA (or next junction, Hard shoulder etc) then that is their job done. From there it is up to the vehicles driver to arrange recovery to whereever.
Sorry but I think you are flat out wrong when it comes to HE Patrol vehicles towing HGV's. If you are towing a stalled HGV at the least you must be able to run an air line to stop the brakes coming on. HE Patrol vehicles simply dont have that capability. You would also have to take out the half shaft to stop the wheels turning the gearbox with no lubrication. Last but far from least the vehicles they drive are neither equipped for or rated for that. At the most a HE Patrol Vehicle will have a 50mm ball/Nato hitch and tow bar suitable for removing cars and caravans.

HE can call out a recovery vehicle but towing HGV's is just not on. This is the list of duties they are expected to perform

Coordinating the resources of the emergency services
Managing traffic to reduce incident related congestion
Clearing debris from the carriageways
Re-opening routes as soon as it is safe to do so
Support the police
I can't remember the specifics but the load bearing of the vehicles is pretty high and they're able to shift a fairly decent load.
Opinion is purely my own and all those other exceptions and excuses.

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thatapanydude
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by thatapanydude » Sun Jan 24, 2021 20:49

Seems like more pressue is being right fully being put on the Highway England to review smart motorway's. Although this article is a few days old its seems like even the SoS is also unimpressed too.
A1/A1(M) >>> M1

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Mon Jan 25, 2021 08:55

thatapanydude wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 20:49
Seems like more pressue is being right fully being put on the Highway England to review smart motorway's. Although this article is a few days old its seems like even the SoS is also unimpressed too.
So in practical terms what what do you do ?

I think we all know what would happen if the M1 reverted from 4 lanes to 3 - nothing good to be sure, congestion is a major factor in rear end collisions. The there is the minor matter of what you do about all the other strategic roads that have neither hard shoulder, smart signs nor refuges.

Something that has already started to be rolled out is the installation of Stopped Vehicle Detector Systems and the integration of them into Smart Motorway management systems.
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/ ... -upgrades/

I would like to see such detection and control system fitting to motorways and other strategic roads which right now have no smarts at all despite high levels of traffic. Examples include the A1(M)/A1 north of Leeming, the A19. A34, A47, A303 etc. Whether announced or not the review is happening. I have no doubt the legal departments have told Highways England not to make ANY statement that could be considered an admission of a mistake, thats what corporate lawyers do, changes are always an upgrade.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Chris5156 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:15

KeithW wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 08:55
I think we all know what would happen if the M1 reverted from 4 lanes to 3 - nothing good to be sure, congestion is a major factor in rear end collisions.
Many of the Smart Motorway projects that have been open for a few years now would be in the extremely difficult position that traffic has grown since the fourth lane opened to traffic, meaning that overall demand is now higher than when they were three lanes wide and congested.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Hdeng16 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 13:06

I tend to agree, although most sections weren't "smart" until they added the lane. So you could say running the M1 with 3 lanes WITH smart motorways technology may work better than it did previously without.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Micro The Maniac » Mon Jan 25, 2021 14:56

KeithW wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 08:55
I think we all know what would happen if the M1 reverted from 4 lanes to 3 - nothing good to be sure, congestion is a major factor in rear end collisions. The there is the minor matter of what you do about all the other strategic roads that have neither hard shoulder, smart signs nor refuges.
Indeed.

As official figures from pre-the start of smart motorways showed that 10% of all motorway fatalities occur on the hard shoulder.

I'm curious (in an Engineering sense, not a morbid fascination) to know what the stats are now.

The latest I can find is from 2019 (because 2020's have been delayed) but this does not break down the data:
Of the 1,752 road deaths in 2019, the majority (57%) occurred on rural roads (994). A total of 653 deaths occurred on urban roads and 105 on motorways.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Micro The Maniac » Mon Jan 25, 2021 15:53

I've found a way of getting some more data. It doesn't distinguish between main-vcarriagewy and hard-shoulder but does separate main carriageway and slip roads:

2019 - Total 105(Carriageway / Slip Road)
  • Pedestrians: 21 / 2
  • Motor Cycle - Rider: 12 / 1
  • Motor Cycle - Passenger: 1 / 0
  • Car (inc Taxi/Minibus) - Driver: 30 / 3
  • Car (inc Taxi/Minibus) - Passenger: 13 / 1
  • Van - Driver: 7 / 1
  • Van - Passenger: 2 / 0
  • HGV - Driver: 4 / 2
  • Others: 5 / 0
What is especially concerning is that 23 of the 105 motorway fatalities are listed as pedestrians!

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Mon Jan 25, 2021 16:35

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 15:53
What is especially concerning is that 23 of the 105 motorway fatalities are listed as pedestrians!
Presumably that includes vehicle occupants getting out and heading for safety!
Lifelong motorhead
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by jervi » Mon Jan 25, 2021 16:57

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 15:53
I've found a way of getting some more data. It doesn't distinguish between main-vcarriagewy and hard-shoulder but does separate main carriageway and slip roads:

2019 - Total 105(Carriageway / Slip Road)
  • Pedestrians: 21 / 2
  • Motor Cycle - Rider: 12 / 1
  • Motor Cycle - Passenger: 1 / 0
  • Car (inc Taxi/Minibus) - Driver: 30 / 3
  • Car (inc Taxi/Minibus) - Passenger: 13 / 1
  • Van - Driver: 7 / 1
  • Van - Passenger: 2 / 0
  • HGV - Driver: 4 / 2
  • Others: 5 / 0
What is especially concerning is that 23 of the 105 motorway fatalities are listed as pedestrians!
Seems like quite a high number for pedestrians. 2 deaths on slip roads I can understand (i.e. people crossing over the entrance to a slip road and getting hit by a vehicles entering the slip road), but 21 on the carriageway seems rather high, I'd expect this includes people who get out of their broken down vehicle - which is why ERAs are so important.

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