A361 (was A39) Vergemasters - Update 05-07-07

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RichieGraham
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A361 (was A39) Vergemasters - Update 05-07-07

Postby RichieGraham » Wed Dec 06, 2006 17:47

Was driving around today, as you do, and was on the A39 outside Barnstaple, where because of the new bypass they've changed it from a S2+1 to an S2 with hash markings in the centre of the road.

Hash markings with a dashed line means that you are allowed to overtake, yet you probably shouldn't, is that right? Because that is what is there, yet obviously they don't want any overtaking because they've put those edge-of-road bollardy type things (you know, with the red on one side and white on the other) and signs saying 'No Overtaking' (not the symbol one, just text ones).

Now, I understand their motive here, but surely they should have had a solid line rather than a dashed line around the hashed area?

(and would this effectively make this stretch of road a D1?)
Last edited by RichieGraham on Thu Jul 05, 2007 18:10, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Helvellyn » Wed Dec 06, 2006 17:52

I've seen sections like that they've gone and put traffic islands in the middle of. Without knowing the ins and outs of why, my suspicion has been that it's thought that a big wide hatched area is more likely to discourage people from overtaking than a thing white line, even if it doesn't explicitly prohibit it. Or that it's to attempt to discourage the use of overtaking on wide roads (probably ex-S3s) even when there's something coming because it looks like there's still room.

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Postby PeterA5145 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 18:13

See Down the Hatch on my website for a detailed look at the subject.
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Postby Halstead » Wed Dec 06, 2006 18:24

From my memory, hash markings are used like a guide to keep traffic apart and make it a lot safer. I remember last year or so the A232 between Locksbottom and Orpington had their generic road markings replaced with hash markings. They were a good way of making the road safer (sometimes hash markings are paired up with traffic markings) but the downside is that they make the road smaller. (I've just read Peters words on them and his opinions are similar to mine as well)

I've seen the solid white line as well meaning that overtaking is forbidden but the solid double lines are starting to confuse me as well because I thought they had the same function as single solid lines. I once saw overtaking arrows on the road near double solid lines but I doon't remember clearly.

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Postby M60-Tony » Wed Dec 06, 2006 18:39

People often get confused by solid white lines. In general they mean Don't Cross" (of course there are exceptions).

They don't prohibit overtaking, provided (in general) you don't cross them.

I find the Highway Code in this respect reasonably straightforward.
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Postby RichieGraham » Wed Dec 06, 2006 20:46

My comment is not about the lines' meanings, but the fact that these particular ones are dashed, implying that crossing is permitted yet discouraged, but there are these bollardy-type things (example here on DavidBrown's site) which stop any potential overtakers overtaking. If they're going to put these up, shouldn't they have used solid lines not dashed lines to 'contain' the hashing?
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Postby DavidBrown » Wed Dec 06, 2006 22:31

One of those stupid decisions by Devon County Council. :bang:

Not only that, but just before they did these works, the road heading towards Tesco's - i.e. the section that WAS 2 lanes had 'Queues Likely' signs put up!

Quite why they didn't just make the rest of that stretch 3 lanes (with the wide-ish hard shoulders this is easily possible) I don't know.

Also, there is only one new 'No Overtaking' text sign - in the direction where you couldn't overtake beforehand anyway! :roll:

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Postby boing_uk » Thu Dec 07, 2006 00:20

If we got rid of two things in traffic engineering, life would be a lot simpler.

Both are equally problematic to the point of being thorns in the side.

In no order of priority they are:

:arrow: Politicians
:arrow: Road Safety Engineers
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Postby M60-Tony » Thu Dec 07, 2006 09:11

RichieGraham wrote:My comment is not about the lines' meanings, but the fact that these particular ones are dashed, implying that crossing is permitted yet discouraged

Regard the dashed ones as hazard lines down the centre of the road, Highway Code Rule 106.
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Postby Helvellyn » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:51

In another thread (may be the bollards one) there was some mention of the required conditions for painting solid white lines. It is possible that hatching is being used in those locations that don't meet the criteria, but in which it's still usually going to be a bit dangerous to overtake, whilst still not actually prohibiting you (you can still use them to pass a tractor, for example). If they put some people off who might otherwise do something stupid then I see little wrong with them. They won't prevent the real idiots, but then nothing short of a physical barrier will do that.

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Postby haymansafc » Thu Dec 07, 2006 13:51

Helvellyn wrote:I've seen sections like that they've gone and put traffic islands in the middle of. Without knowing the ins and outs of why, my suspicion has been that it's thought that a big wide hatched area is more likely to discourage people from overtaking than a thing white line, even if it doesn't explicitly prohibit it. Or that it's to attempt to discourage the use of overtaking on wide roads (probably ex-S3s) even when there's something coming because it looks like there's still room.


More than likely. Many years ago, the A41 close to my house used to be largely S4. About twelve years ago (probably a little more than that now, thinking about it), it was hatched down to an S2, where both lanes were remarked so they now follow down the middle of what used to be lanes 1 and 2 on both sides of the road. This has allowed space for a cycle lane at the edge of both sides of the roads which sees little use. Then, about four or five years ago, the council decided to place strategically placed islands in the middle of the hatching, which is little more than a square area of raised pavement, a keep left sign and a small light in the middle. This has more or less ended overtaking on this section of road. However, it's not really a road I'd want to overtake on to be honest as there are a couple of semi-blind bends. However typically, when you come to a set of traffic lights, it opens back out very briefly into it's old S4 layout of old and then yards past the junction it narrows back down to the single lane and hatching - you always have idiots in lane two trying to force themselves back in again, almost taking the side of your car off in the process.... :x This alone has probably made the road more dangerous than it ever was. It would be easier if they hatched around the lights too, making it just one lane.

DavidBrown wrote:One of those stupid decisions by Devon County Council.

Not only that, but just before they did these works, the road heading towards Tesco's - i.e. the section that WAS 2 lanes had 'Queues Likely' signs put up!


I remember you mentioning the new hatching on the current A39 (soon to be A361) not that long after I come back from holiday down there. I was quite surprised to be honest because it was still S2+1 with no signs of any works when I was there. I do think it's a silly decision though because that section of road from my own experience has always flowed very well whenever I have used it and overall, I find it better than the last few miles of the A361 leading to the roundabout where the A39 forks off to the left near Tesco.

As a result of the hatching, I can see pace of traffic along here being slower than it was previously, especially if there is a loaded lorry heading up that long incline from the roundabout. I'd hate to use it during the summer.

I can only assume they have done this deliberately in order to slow the pace of traffic down when it becomes the A361, leading onto the bypass to try and minimise any potential extra traffic in Braunton.

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Postby RichieGraham » Thu Dec 07, 2006 14:06

Helvellyn wrote:In another thread (may be the bollards one) there was some mention of the required conditions for painting solid white lines. It is possible that hatching is being used in those locations that don't meet the criteria, but in which it's still usually going to be a bit dangerous to overtake, whilst still not actually prohibiting you (you can still use them to pass a tractor, for example). If they put some people off who might otherwise do something stupid then I see little wrong with them. They won't prevent the real idiots, but then nothing short of a physical barrier will do that.


The thing is, here there is a physical barrier. The only vehicle that will be able to cross the dashed lines into the hashed area would be a motorbike.

M60-Tony wrote:
RichieGraham wrote:My comment is not about the lines' meanings, but the fact that these particular ones are dashed, implying that crossing is permitted yet discouraged


Regard the dashed ones as hazard lines down the centre of the road, Highway Code Rule 106.


I have no question over the meanings of the lines - I know that hashed markings outlined by dashed lines are the equivalent of hazard lines, and that solid lines should not be crossed with the exception of to pass excepionally slow moving vehicles. However, in the case I am talking about, the 'redesigners' of the road layout here obviously do not want any overtaking of any sort along this stretch (including emergency vehicles which is somewhat shortsighted I feel), hence the 'barrier' of these 'bollards'* along each edge of this stretch.

*what is the actual term for these items of 'street furniature', as I really shouldn't go on calling them bollards as that is not what they are!
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Postby M60-Tony » Thu Dec 07, 2006 14:13

RichieGraham wrote:....*what is the actual term for these items of 'street furniature', as I really shouldn't go on calling them bollards as that is not what they are!

Assuming you mean the Keep Left posts on kerbed or painted areas I've just called them traffic islands.

An "island" that is painted only, and bounded by solid white lines is, I believe, called a ghost island.
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Postby M4Mark » Thu Dec 07, 2006 15:14

RichieGraham wrote:However, in the case I am talking about, the 'redesigners' of the road layout here obviously do not want any overtaking of any sort along this stretch (including emergency vehicles which is somewhat shortsighted I feel), hence the 'barrier' of these 'bollards'* along each edge of this stretch.

*what is the actual term for these items of 'street furniature', as I really shouldn't go on calling them bollards as that is not what they are!


I think you are referring to hazard marker posts, two examples given below
Image
Image

Are the bollards on their own or are they as part of a traffic island formed by kerbing of some sort?
Can you confirm what colours they are showing (eg red/white/yellow) and in which directions?

They are only supposed to be used for warning of the edge of the carriageway or an obstruction near that edge (Not as an obstruction themselves)
A photo of the site would be great if anyone can help.

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Postby DavidBrown » Thu Dec 07, 2006 17:44

M4Mark wrote:A photo of the site would be great if anyone can help.


I should be there on Sunday - I don't know if Richie will be there camera-in-hand before then! There's a good couple of bridges on there to take pictures from.

It is those hazard posts you mention Mark.

Basically, imagine a standard S2 with a hatched area down the middle. Now put two rows of these posts just on the inside of the centre lines. You should get the idea...
Last edited by DavidBrown on Fri Dec 08, 2006 22:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby RichieGraham » Fri Dec 08, 2006 15:40

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Postby Truvelo » Fri Dec 08, 2006 15:52

Absolutely disgraceful :rant:

Imagine the frustration this will cause :bang:

The A30 at Temple where the dual carriageway ends has had similar treatment but at least there's no bollards to stop someone from using the hatchings. Removing crawler lanes will only lead to people overtaking in inappropriate places. In the A39 example what happens if there's a tractor or milkfloat???
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Postby scynthius726 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 16:11

:bang: Oh my God what a stupid layout. This is what happens when you let local councillors pander to NIMBYs and have a say in traffic engineering. Would they be held responsible if an ambulance couldn't get past a Sunday driver and could have used the space available in the middle of the road?

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Postby Truvelo » Fri Dec 08, 2006 16:14

It's a shame I no longer have my R6. I could have ridden between the posts, my own personal overtaking lane :)
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Postby Glen » Fri Dec 08, 2006 17:15

Truvelo wrote:It's a shame I no longer have my R6. I could have ridden between the posts, my own personal overtaking lane :)
I was just thinking the same thing! But you'd need to watch out for anyone doing the same thing coming the other way as those posts would make it harder to get out of each other's way.


Are those posts correct? Shouldn't they be orange?


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