The future of smart motorways

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SteveA30
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by SteveA30 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:26

Can't open files which are ODS, something I've never heard of. Was trying to look at accidents by road class but as pure conjecture, I'm assuming it is just percentages, not an analysis of each individual accident. We need to know how many rear end shunts on Smart and on the HS of normal motorways. (stopping in the other lanes is unaffected by HS or lack of) Then, the reason for each one. Fatigue, gadget distraction, lack of concentration because of monotony, unsighted because of large vehicle in front swerving at the last second. The devil is in the detail. No definitive conclusion can be arrived at without this detail. Opinions prove nothing either way.
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Debaser
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Debaser » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:02

ODS files can be opened in Excel. Collision figures include numbers (not just percentages) for motorways, A roads, B roads, and 'other' roads.

E.g. for crashes in 2019 with the causation factor 'Driver using mobile phone' 12 occurred on motorways, 215 on A roads, 56 on B roads, 137 on 'other' roads resulting in 420 PICs total.

Whilst these collisions are not disaggregated into SMART vs non-SMART motorways this info is likely to be held and possibly available via an FoI request. I've been provided with collision information for the whole network before now (whilst working on an HE scheme).

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by SteelCamel » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:04

SteveA30 wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:26
Can't open files which are ODS, something I've never heard of.
It's OpenDocument Spreadsheet - supported by pretty much every modern spreadsheet program. Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice, LibreOffice can all open them and I think Google Sheets and Office365 do as well.

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EpicChef
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by EpicChef » Tue Apr 20, 2021 15:44

OK - so now they’re saying no new managed motorways will open without Stopped Vehicle Detection - but this will be installed everywhere by Sep 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... mmediately
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Paul7755 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 16:28

Does this presumably imply my local M27 works will complete without ALR in use until SVD is provided some time later?

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by WHBM » Tue Apr 20, 2021 16:55

Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 20:42
If I had any kind of manageable vehicle fault I would be getting off the motorway straight away and ditching on a grass verge on the nearest all purpose road where traffic speeds are lower and people don't have this ridiculous belief that they are super safe so drive with a bit more consideration.
I don't think there's any driver perception, let alone a ridiculous belief, that just because they are on a motorway their safety is somehow more assured and they drive with a different consideration.

I think this one can be put with "drivers shouldn't wear seatbelts because that makes them feel bullet-proof and they will take more risks". And other comparable inventions.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Phil » Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:02

EpicChef wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 15:44
OK - so now they’re saying no new managed motorways will open without Stopped Vehicle Detection - but this will be installed everywhere by Sep 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... mmediately
Paul7755 wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 16:28
Does this presumably imply my local M27 works will complete without ALR in use until SVD is provided some time later?
Please read the SoS statement carefully!

The wording says that no Smart Motorway will be 'completed' without stopped vehicle detection being in place - however there is nothing in that statement to say exactly what constitutes 'completed'!

So, I can see that on the M27 you will get the situation where the physical widening is finished - but the 50mph SPEC enforced limit, free recovery, etc. remains in force as the works are officially not yet 'completed'. Once static vehicle detection is installed the motorway can then be said to be 'completed' and thus compliance with the SoS statement is achieved.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by JammyDodge » Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:15

Phil wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:02
So, I can see that on the M27 you will get the situation where the physical widening is finished - but the 50mph SPEC enforced limit, free recovery, etc. remains in force as the works are officially not yet 'completed'. Once static vehicle detection is installed the motorway can then be said to be 'completed' and thus compliance with the SoS statement is achieved.
I don't know whether this is the case, but the M4 widening between J8/9 and J11 (I left at J11) was complete, with signage greyed out and the ex-shoulder coned off with an enforced 60 limit. I would assume it is related to this
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ChrisH
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by ChrisH » Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:17

The annual report on Smart Motorway stocktake progress seems to explain why the M4 J8-12 hasn't opened with four lanes yet. Still coned off and at 60mph; now apparently waiting for Stopped Vehicle Detection to be installed before it opens. No indication of when that will be; and the M4 page on HE website hasn't been updated with a newsletter since January.

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JammyDodge
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by JammyDodge » Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:30

ChrisH wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:17
The annual report on Smart Motorway stocktake progress seems to explain why the M4 J8-12 hasn't opened with four lanes yet. Still coned off and at 60mph; now apparently waiting for Stopped Vehicle Detection to be installed before it opens. No indication of when that will be; and the M4 page on HE website hasn't been updated with a newsletter since January.
Yes, I see that now.
On another note, this seems like a good thing:
"We have completed a large-scale trial on the M4 junctions 19-20 of new technology
that analyses CCTV images to identify stopped vehicles, enabling us to respond
quicker. Trial results were positive, and we will now investigate further whether the
system would be suitable for future use on the network"
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Conekicker » Tue Apr 20, 2021 19:13

One might muse that the existing SM sections which have experienced fatalities would be amongst the first to have SVD fitted.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by darkcape » Tue Apr 20, 2021 21:15

Conekicker wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 19:13
One might muse that the existing SM sections which have experienced fatalities would be amongst the first to have SVD fitted.
Schemes like the M1 10-13 I suspect will not have it fitted until the conversion to ALR is complete - and given the report includes a reference to installing concrete centreal reserve barriers, which this section is mostly missing, we'll be waiting likely until end of 2023 for this to be done.

I know the M6 J2-4 section is starting early this summer as part of the defects/snagging liability period of the main construction contract.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by fras » Tue Apr 20, 2021 21:58

Going down the M6 on Saturday, it was very busy with HGVs. We were about halfway between Jns 13 and 12 going south, when in the distance I suddenly saw the trucks in Lane 1 swerving out, one after the other. Aha, a poor motorist broken down, and so it was; a small white car. Pretty terrifying to be stopped there with such traffic and very difficult to get out of the car on either side. These so-called SMART motorways are the invention of the Devil.

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Bryn666
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 22:00

fras wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 21:58
Going down the M6 on Saturday, it was very busy with HGVs. We were about halfway between Jns 13 and 12 going south, when in the distance I suddenly saw the trucks in Lane 1 swerving out, one after the other. Aha, a poor motorist broken down, and so it was; a small white car. Pretty terrifying to be stopped there with such traffic and very difficult to get out of the car on either side. These so-called SMART motorways are the invention of the Devil.
On the flip side I got stuck in a lengthy traffic jam yesterday on the M60 because of a stranded vehicle between M62 J12-11, which required two of four lanes to be closed. One stopped vehicle reducing capacity by 50% surely must have figured in the design calcs for these things.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by WHBM » Tue Apr 20, 2021 22:26

Bryn666 wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 22:00
On the flip side I got stuck in a lengthy traffic jam yesterday on the M60 because of a stranded vehicle between M62 J12-11, which required two of four lanes to be closed. One stopped vehicle reducing capacity by 50% surely must have figured in the design calcs for these things.
I don't believe it was, and I think we discussed this before. I believe the original calcs for delay etc envisaged one lane closed around most breakdowns, similar to attending to an issue on the hard shoulder. It was after this, and after engineering design and construction started, that the need for a second "safety buffer" lane closure was introduced. Probably after the initial experiences with things. The rationale for the change seems to have been swept under the carpet, as its probably seen as an HE blunder.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Micro The Maniac » Wed Apr 21, 2021 07:23

Conekicker wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 19:13
One might muse that the existing SM sections which have experienced fatalities due to stopped vehicles would be amongst the first to have SVD fitted.
Added.

As I've commented before, there is a long list of accidents (and a number of fatalities) on the ALR section of the M3, but none of them have been attributed to stopped vehicles - just poor driving (and quite possibly sun glare, given the early morning timing and locations of many of them).

It must be remembered, that while there have undoubtedly been a number of stopped vehicle related fatalities, the much cited 38 smart motorway deaths includes "routine" accidents and not just stopped-vehicle related.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Micro The Maniac » Wed Apr 21, 2021 07:26

WHBM wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 22:26
I believe the original calcs for delay etc envisaged one lane closed around most breakdowns, similar to attending to an issue on the hard shoulder. It was after this, and after engineering design and construction started, that the need for a second "safety buffer" lane closure was introduced. Probably after the initial experiences with things. The rationale for the change seems to have been swept under the carpet, as its probably seen as an HE blunder.
An interesting observation... lane one is not closed for a hard-shoulder related incident.

Although having watched Trucking Hell on TV, I do wonder whether any serious risk assessment would allow had-shoulder working next to a live lane! Even with a great big f-off orange wrecker with bright amber flashing beacons in the way.

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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by Beardy5632 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 08:52

Some of the comments on the HYS on the BBC article have concerned me a bit.

I’ve seen comments not defending the smart motorways and saying that bad drivers cause problems too but worryingly some people are replying to them that you can’t blame drivers because everyone makes errors :o

Smart motorway or not I pray to god that I never encounter them on the road.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Wed Apr 21, 2021 08:58

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 07:26
An interesting observation... lane one is not closed for a hard-shoulder related incident.

Although having watched Trucking Hell on TV, I do wonder whether any serious risk assessment would allow had-shoulder working next to a live lane! Even with a great big f-off orange wrecker with bright amber flashing beacons in the way.
That rather depends on when you are talking about. Well into the 1980's roadside breakdown services would repair vehicles on the motor hard shoulder with no more protection than a breakdown van, often Escort sized,. with a amber light on the roof and typically there was no armco barrier to get behind.

In the case of an HGV a breakdown typically results in the brakes being locked on and nothing is going to be moved until air pressure is restored. Until relatively recently there were no fancy Variable Matric Signs and the only advanced warning a driver would get was a triangular warning sign and at best a few cones.

I dont doubt that a company such as Crouch Recovery have set of procedures in place to assess risk when they arrive on scene but going through a check list hardly makes fascinating TV. In any event that would almost certainly be done by a duty manager or dispatcher and updated when the wrecker gets on scene

A risk assessments will include factors such as the risk of a major RTC with the stranded vehicle. If that is carrying hazardous materials that may require the closure of the entire motorway until its is removed but that is a last resort. When I was working for ICI we had a hot line that would advise on the precautions needed with various chemicals. The one that I still recall with a shudder is acrylonitrile.
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Re: The future of smart motorways

Post by KeithW » Wed Apr 21, 2021 09:20

Beardy5632 wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 08:52
Some of the comments on the HYS on the BBC article have concerned me a bit.

I’ve seen comments not defending the smart motorways and saying that bad drivers cause problems too but worryingly some people are replying to them that you can’t blame drivers because everyone makes errors :o

Smart motorway or not I pray to god that I never encounter them on the road.
Drive for long enough and you will. As I have said before on this thread I have no qualms about driving on Smart Motorways, the roads that worry me are the fast, busy All Purpose dual carriageways which have few if any VMS signs, minimal CCTV coverage and no hard shoulder. The A1 between Peterborough and Blyth is one such as is much of the A19. If you look at the actual risk assessment the difference between smart and traditional motorways is razor thin. I posted an extract somewhere earlier in this thread but the gist of it is that.

Managed Motorways have fewer collisions than ordinary motorways but the risk of death or serious injury in a collision is slightly higher. Add Stopped Vehicle Protection and they will almost certainly be safer than a traditional motorway. The real risk is the bad or impaired driver. I have seen a car drive into the back of an AA van on the hard shoulder of the M1 in broad daylight. As I recall from almost 30 years ago the driver was distracted by trying to change the cassette in his car. radio, fortunately nobody was killed or seriously injured but debris was scattered across all 3 lanes requiring the motorway to be closed until it was alll cleared away. That would have been in the mid 1980's

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