Motorway windsocks

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Helvellyn
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Motorway windsocks

Post by Helvellyn »

I suppose these belong here more than B&I roads, and I've not yet noticed mention of them...

What's the opinion on the windsocks that have appeared on the M6 between Penrith and Tebay? Personally I think they're a good idea. Occasionally I'd wondered if something dodgy had happened to my car or if it was just the wind, and the impact on HGVs must be far greater. I'd noticed these in France and thought they seemed to be a good idea (kept meaning to post a thread on it and never got around to it).
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by cb a1 »

Helvellyn wrote:What's the opinion on the windsocks that have appeared on the M6 between Penrith and Tebay?
I drove down that section yesterday for the first time since Xmas. I didn't even notice them - have to look out for them tomorrow when I head home.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of a disadvantage to them. Sounds like a good idea.
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by Octaviadriver »

There are windsocks on the approach to the Second Severn Crossing. They do make it clear what the present wind conditions are as VMS's are not always reliable.

On a motorway, there is nothing near the carriageway to give an indication of how strong the winds are, such as large trees.
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Ben302
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by Ben302 »

I've seen them on the A16 in North France and even have a warning sign prior to them
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traffic-light-man
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by traffic-light-man »

If the French warning sign wasn't worded, was it not likley to be a side-winds sign? :? :wink:
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by WHBM »

I think windsocks have existed at a viaduct on the M62 east of Rochale for about 25 years.
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AAndy
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by AAndy »

Octaviadriver wrote:There are windsocks on the approach to the Second Severn Crossing. They do make it clear what the present wind conditions are as VMS's are not always reliable.
Here's the windsock on the eastbound approach.(june 2008)
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M4Simon
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by M4Simon »

Don't know whether they are still there but there were some on the M4 between junctions 37 and 38. They've been there since the motorway opened about 30 years ago. I've got a feeling there are more around the Briton Ferry bridge on the M4.

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owen b
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by owen b »

I remember being intrigued by them as a small child on the A1 in North Yorkshire, possibly near RAF Leeming and/or Catterick. I don't recall seeing them on recent trips. That route is notorious for cross winds from the south west. I wonder what if any provision there is for them in the Dishforth - Barton scheme.
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by murphaph »

Not a motorway but the Foyle Bridge in Northern Ireland has them...

Image

No surprise to find them here given an artic was blown over the side of the bridge and the driver killed a few years back.
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traffic-light-man
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by traffic-light-man »

The Silver Jubilee bridge has them, although again not a motorway.

Did the M56 over the Weaver not have them at one point?

OT, but Murphaph's pic: just incase you hadn't guessed there are road works, they've provided an extra 2 signs... :? :lol:
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by AndyB »

murphaph wrote:No surprise to find them here given an artic was blown over the side of the bridge and the driver killed a few years back.
The windsocks have been there since the bridge opened, as far as I know.
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by B4591 »

M4Simon wrote:Don't know whether they are still there but there were some on the M4 between junctions 37 and 38. They've been there since the motorway opened about 30 years ago. I've got a feeling there are more around the Briton Ferry bridge on the M4.

Simon
I think they're still there...went down that way last weekend and subconsciously I think I noticed them!
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the cheesecake man
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by the cheesecake man »

owen b wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2009 23:31 I remember being intrigued by them as a small child on the A1 in North Yorkshire, possibly near RAF Leeming and/or Catterick.
Me too. They seemed to be for the airfields rather than the road, but I could have been wrong.
I don't recall seeing them on recent trips. That route is notorious for cross winds from the south west. I wonder what if any provision there is for them in the Dishforth - Barton scheme.
Me neither, until last month. There are now windsocks between Wetherby and Dishforth. I didn't notice any north of Dishforth.
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owen b
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by owen b »

the cheesecake man wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 20:48
owen b wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2009 23:31 I remember being intrigued by them as a small child on the A1 in North Yorkshire, possibly near RAF Leeming and/or Catterick.
Me too. They seemed to be for the airfields rather than the road, but I could have been wrong.
I don't recall seeing them on recent trips. That route is notorious for cross winds from the south west. I wonder what if any provision there is for them in the Dishforth - Barton scheme.
Me neither, until last month. There are now windsocks between Wetherby and Dishforth. I didn't notice any north of Dishforth.
Thanks for the reply, 13 years after my post :D .

The M6 Cumbria windsocks are still there, and the wannabe meteorologist in me still looks out for them.

One thing I've become very aware of is just how much wind direction can affect fuel consumption at motorway speeds. Based on many trips to and from Scotland from Luton keeping an eye on weather reports and the trip computer and watching out for the windsocks I reckon the difference in fuel consumption can be as much as 15% between a tailwind and a headwind at usual motorway speeds. Of course it's more or less impossible to be precise about this because of other factors such as congestion, varying distances driven through roadworks speed limits, vehicle load, outside temperature, tyre pressure etc. etc. but I'm certain that wind direction and strength is significant. The last time I headed north I had approaching perfect conditions for good fuel economy, with a moderate southerly breeze and mild weather, tyres pumped up, light vehicle load, long stretches of roadworks limiting me to 50 or 60mph, and I got almost 90mpg from my diesel Astra from Luton to Cumbria without any hypermiling tactics.
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the cheesecake man
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by the cheesecake man »

owen b wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 22:49 Thanks for the reply, 13 years after my post :D .
Pleased to be of service :cool:

One thing I've become very aware of is just how much wind direction can affect fuel consumption at motorway speeds. Based on many trips to and from Scotland from Luton keeping an eye on weather reports and the trip computer and watching out for the windsocks I reckon the difference in fuel consumption can be as much as 15% between a tailwind and a headwind at usual motorway speeds. Of course it's more or less impossible to be precise about this because of other factors such as congestion, varying distances driven through roadworks speed limits, vehicle load, outside temperature, tyre pressure etc. etc. but I'm certain that wind direction and strength is significant. The last time I headed north I had approaching perfect conditions for good fuel economy, with a moderate southerly breeze and mild weather, tyres pumped up, light vehicle load, long stretches of roadworks limiting me to 50 or 60mph, and I got almost 90mpg from my diesel Astra from Luton to Cumbria without any hypermiling tactics.
I've never tried to calculate it but it's obvious how much more I have to press the accelerator in a strong wind. Steering requires more work too. I often look at trees I'm passing to reassure myself it is indeed windy, because if it isn't I've got a serious fault.

I'm not convinced a windsock tells me anything I don't already know. Has anyone here found them useful, in particular with a tall vehicle or trailer? Should we have more? :idea: What about the bridge over the Ouse at Goole? That's high and a bit hairy in strong wind.
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by DB617 »

They can be good as a wind shear warning, rather than just an indication of wind direction. There is a windsock I believe somewhere on the M5 between Bristol and Michaelwood, where it's not a hugely exposed location, but upon descending from a cutting a high sider would find their vehicle suddenly veering in the prevailing wind.

Also, it helps if you can read the sock properly. They're weighted so different parts pick up at different speeds. Can't remember the exact speeds from flying training years ago. Of course, this requires them to not be tatty and old, and this is England (mostly).
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by Dougman »

DB617 wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 00:29 They can be good as a wind shear warning, rather than just an indication of wind direction. There is a windsock I believe somewhere on the M5 between Bristol and Michaelwood, where it's not a hugely exposed location, but upon descending from a cutting a high sider would find their vehicle suddenly veering in the prevailing wind.

Also, it helps if you can read the sock properly. They're weighted so different parts pick up at different speeds. Can't remember the exact speeds from flying training years ago. Of course, this requires them to not be tatty and old, and this is England (mostly).
15 knots at the horizontal iirc.

Edit as I've not had enough coffee to know the difference between horizontal and vertical!
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by darkcape »

There used to be a windsock on the M6 J5-6 northbound, on the Bromford viaduct as it crossed the Derby-Birmingham rail lines. The pole is there but the sock is missing.
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owen b
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Re: Motorway windsocks

Post by owen b »

Northbound on the M6, I make it five windsocks : one at Stafford (between J13 and 14), one each between junctions 36+37, 37+38, 38+39, and one at J42 (Carlisle south).
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