An overtaking lane that's too small

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tom66
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An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by tom66 »

Visited Woking the other day (not by choice but by obligation)

On the way towards McLaren's HQ there's a weird overtaking section on the A320 that's clearly too small for anything but a motorcycle to overtake (or maybe a classic Mini for the first part, but certainly not the whole length!) There are also no 'pull in' arrows at the end.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.36027 ... 384!8i8192

What's the purpose of this stretch? Any overtake done along here would result in a collision unless you crossed into the other lane. Presumably the dashed line allows you to enter the opposing lane, but it's still going to be a nasty glancing impact (among the worst types of crash) if it were attempted with oncoming traffic.

Can only think it was supposed to be hatched and someone forgot - but it looks like it's been there since 2008 at least.

Anyone know the history of it, are there other instances of these types of lane?

I find the right turn lane just behind this shot to be a little odd, too. It's not a typical right turn, more like an overtaking lane that just ends with a bollard, and there's no lane split arrow. Given the blind hill and the later narrow S2+1 that this road becomes, it seems dangerous design to me.
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Truvelo
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Truvelo »

There's something very similar here at Stoneleigh Abbey where there's a short section of S3 at the entrance which would normally be a right turn lane. Quite dodgy if a driver was to pull out behind a vehicle moving to the centre lane thinking it was overtaking but then decided to slow down and turn right.

https://goo.gl/maps/GBg41sCcTgoRTweq7
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MotorwayGuy
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

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tom66
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by tom66 »

In particular, that non-standard "wide vehicles use both lanes" sign is on the wrong side -- and it looks to have been there at least 12 years!

Perhaps given it's not a trunk road, someone at the local council thought they could do all the signage themselves.
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Dave908
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Dave908 »

There's something similar near Kidderminster (I can't remember exactly where now) and it's bizarre as the road is quite flat, so it's not doubling as a climbing lane. Someone may know where exactly I mean.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Was92now625 »

A6187 between Hathersage and Bamford.

https://www.instantstreetview.com/@53.3 ... 1in2Y1kDwQ

I go that way perhaps a dozen times a year but I don't think I've seen anyone use it !

The cycle lanes on either side cause the overall road to be wide enough for a turning vehicle and one more each way but only if the road markings are disregarded.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by FosseWay »

There's one in Leicester as well with 2½ lanes, which used to be on my commuting route. I lost a wing mirror once to someone who barged up the half-lane regardless. I can't now find it on Streetview; it may be that it's been fixed in the last 10-odd years, or I'm not remembering exactly where it is.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Rob590 »

A different situation but one which this reminded me of as it is about inappropriate lane widths, is the stretch of the A194 eastbound where the two lanes of the D2 merge to one but the carriageway remains comfortably wide enough for two non-HGVs - as illustrated kindly by the two vehicles on street-view here. I don't know the origin story here - were the two lane repainted as one because they were too narrow? - but the confusion that this causes is often uncomfortable to be in or see. Would function better with two lanes but a 'Wide Vehicles Straddle Both Lanes' sign.
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solocle
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by solocle »

Rob590 wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:28 A different situation but one which this reminded me of as it is about inappropriate lane widths, is the stretch of the A194 eastbound where the two lanes of the D2 merge to one but the carriageway remains comfortably wide enough for two non-HGVs - as illustrated kindly by the two vehicles on street-view here. I don't know the origin story here - were the two lane repainted as one because they were too narrow? - but the confusion that this causes is often uncomfortable to be in or see. Would function better with two lanes but a 'Wide Vehicles Straddle Both Lanes' sign.
There's also the A66 here - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.66147 ... 312!8i6656.

They've been repainted since 2009 down to D1+2.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by jervi »

The A272 has three random* bits of dual carriageway between Midhurst & Petworth which are marked as D2, but only about 100-200 metres long which means you have the deflection arrows & end of dual carriageway warning signs at the start of dual carriageway.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.98837 ... 384!8i8192
I guess its just about long enough to overtake a tractor, and that's all its good for.

*Not entirely random, but appear at where there would otherwise be a blind hill, allowing for "safe" overtaking where it would otherwise dangerous due to low vertical visibility.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by KeithW »

Rob590 wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:28 A different situation but one which this reminded me of as it is about inappropriate lane widths, is the stretch of the A194 eastbound where the two lanes of the D2 merge to one but the carriageway remains comfortably wide enough for two non-HGVs - as illustrated kindly by the two vehicles on street-view here. I don't know the origin story here - were the two lane repainted as one because they were too narrow? - but the confusion that this causes is often uncomfortable to be in or see. Would function better with two lanes but a 'Wide Vehicles Straddle Both Lanes' sign.
I suspect this change goes back to the building of the A1 Western Bypass, prior to that the fastest route north was the A194(M)/A194 to the Tyne Tunnel, it was even renumbered as the A1/A1(M) for a while. The last section was I believe an existing road that was widened. It was the A1055 originally I think.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Micro The Maniac »

tom66 wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 19:28 On the way towards McLaren's HQ there's a weird overtaking section on the A320 that's clearly too small for anything but a motorcycle to overtake (or maybe a classic Mini for the first part, but certainly not the whole length!) There are also no 'pull in' arrows at the end.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.36027 ... 384!8i8192
What is even more wierd about those markings is that the solid/dashed line appears the wrong way around - downhill can use all three lanes, but uphill only the left hand lane?

It almost looks like it was meant to be hatched out, but someone forgot?
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Bryn666 »

tom66 wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 19:28 Visited Woking the other day (not by choice but by obligation)

On the way towards McLaren's HQ there's a weird overtaking section on the A320 that's clearly too small for anything but a motorcycle to overtake (or maybe a classic Mini for the first part, but certainly not the whole length!) There are also no 'pull in' arrows at the end.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.36027 ... 384!8i8192

What's the purpose of this stretch? Any overtake done along here would result in a collision unless you crossed into the other lane. Presumably the dashed line allows you to enter the opposing lane, but it's still going to be a nasty glancing impact (among the worst types of crash) if it were attempted with oncoming traffic.

Can only think it was supposed to be hatched and someone forgot - but it looks like it's been there since 2008 at least.

Anyone know the history of it, are there other instances of these types of lane?

I find the right turn lane just behind this shot to be a little odd, too. It's not a typical right turn, more like an overtaking lane that just ends with a bollard, and there's no lane split arrow. Given the blind hill and the later narrow S2+1 that this road becomes, it seems dangerous design to me.
This is just bad design, there's no provision in the regs for this layout.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Chris5156 »

By strange coincidence I passed this today, having never driven that way before. It’s really an invitation for a head on collision. The lane isn’t nearly wide enough for someone to safely overtake, and it spends so much of its already short length tapering in and out of existence that there’s no usable space there anyway. It appears suddenly over the brow of a hill so there’s no time to anticipate it if you don’t already know it exists.

Whether it really is meant to be an overtaking lane I couldn’t say, but I full agree it just needs hatching out!
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Fluid Dynamics »

jervi wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:12 The A272 has three random* bits of dual carriageway between Midhurst & Petworth which are marked as D2, but only about 100-200 metres long which means you have the deflection arrows & end of dual carriageway warning signs at the start of dual carriageway.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.98837 ... 384!8i8192
I guess its just about long enough to overtake a tractor, and that's all its good for.

*Not entirely random, but appear at where there would otherwise be a blind hill, allowing for "safe" overtaking where it would otherwise dangerous due to low vertical visibility.
Compared to the rest of the A272 I like that section because of the 3 short dual carriageway sections. They are different lengths but on at least one you can get a couple of vehicles past a slow moving vehicle if people are driving reasonably.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by tom66 »

I'd just love to understand the intention behind whoever designed or painted the road like this. Was it intended as a place to pass cyclists or mopeds?

Are there any pre-2008 records to see how long this has been there for?
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Rob590 »

Chris5156 wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 19:35 By strange coincidence I passed this today, having never driven that way before. It’s really an invitation for a head on collision. The lane isn’t nearly wide enough for someone to safely overtake, and it spends so much of its already short length tapering in and out of existence that there’s no usable space there anyway. It appears suddenly over the brow of a hill so there’s no time to anticipate it if you don’t already know it exists.

Whether it really is meant to be an overtaking lane I couldn’t say, but I full agree it just needs hatching out!
Is the intention that it's a right turn lane for the cul-de-sac and proporties along there? It's just about wide enough at the cul-de-sac to serve that purpose. (It is clearly not signed as such!)
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by Alderpoint »

Truvelo wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 20:00 There's something very similar here at Stoneleigh Abbey where there's a short section of S3 at the entrance which would normally be a right turn lane. Quite dodgy if a driver was to pull out behind a vehicle moving to the centre lane thinking it was overtaking but then decided to slow down and turn right.

https://goo.gl/maps/GBg41sCcTgoRTweq7
I have used that to overtake vehicles in the past (ISTR passing a learner going a bit slow), but not recently as it's not a very useful section of road and sees very little traffic since straight on (for the B4115) at Chesford crossroads was banned about 20 years ago.
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by jackal »

Alderpoint wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 13:39 it's not a very useful section of road and sees very little traffic since straight on (for the B4115) at Chesford crossroads was banned about 20 years ago.
That is itself pretty interesting - basically a double LILO on an S2.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.32689 ... 384!8i8192
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Re: An overtaking lane that's too small

Post by michael769 »

Bryn666 wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:54
This is just bad design, there's no provision in the regs for this layout.
It's kinda like a ghost island for the junction but someone forgot to come back and put the hatching in!
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