On 1 Dec 2014 at 9:23am rail user wrote:
It has been announced that £350m are to be spent on improving the A27. Just as the climate talks in Lima get under way. Not what Norman wanted I suspect.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 9:42am Slarty wrote:
A vehicle doing 70mph is much less polluting that one that is stationary or slow moving (and that is before the safety side of the improvements is considered).
On 1 Dec 2014 at 10:34am rail user wrote:
True, but extra roads encourage extra traffic = greater emissions.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 10:45am Slarty wrote:
Decent public transport will encourage users off private traffic = lower emissions.
But until the public transport infrastructure is in place (like that's going to happen), it is the only way for many. Brighton to Eastbourne train is at capacity in rush hour. Anyone want a few more hundred people on a train from Lewes at rush hour?
On 1 Dec 2014 at 11:45am Road User wrote:
Extra roads result in extra traffic? Where does this extra traffic come from? It doesn't appear out of the ether as if by magic just because there is a new road, and if it is already using a different road, then that road will become less congested surely? Are you suggesting that the answer to the traffic problem in Lewes in the 70's would have been better dealt with by not building the by pass?? Surely the requirement for better roads is a result of already increased traffic, not the other way round?
On 1 Dec 2014 at 12:02pm Morris Traveller wrote:
Slarty - how dare you suggest commuters may want to travel to/from work anywhere other than in London each day.... ;-).
Good to see A27 will be improved, but where, and what form will the improvements take? New dual carriageway from Beddingham to Polegate roundabout perhaps.. or maybe an 'Arundel bypass' bypass to solve the daily jams arond Crossbush/Arundel?
Even if they improve the A27 stretch from Beddingham to Polegate/Pevensey where will all the new freely-flowing eastbound traffic go if it wants to continue on beyond Eastbourne to Hastings, or even further east to Rye or beyond? The further east you go beyond Eastbourne/Pevensey the worse the so called A27/A259 "south coast" route becomes - beyond Bexhill the coastal route is a joke... yes, they are building the Bexhill Relief road (BRR) at present - that project sounds good until you realise that the new strip of (expensive) tarmac will take traffic off the A259 (that is essentally a west-east route along through Bexhill/Hastings) and deposit it all on a narrow B-road (B2100) which then only really links directly to the A21 which essentially runs north-south.... If the BRR is a typical example of Highways Agency/ ESCC's "joined up thinking" then who knows what they'll waste the "A27 fund" money on?!?!?!
On 1 Dec 2014 at 2:14pm Rail user wrote:
Road user - it is clear over the years that better roads encourage increased traffic. However I was really after Norman's view on this spending given that we still do not have improved rail links such as faster south coast to Ashford without going into Eastbourne, the mythical Lewes to Uckfield link (or BML2 if you prefer) .
On 1 Dec 2014 at 2:21pm Slarty wrote:
@ Rail User:
If better roads encourages increased traffic, why is anyone taking a driving test at the moment? Surely increased population increases traffic and, therefore, increased or improved roads are required.
Not everyone can live and work near a railway station and others cannot perform their jobs (and/or lives) based around the location of railway stations!
On 1 Dec 2014 at 2:53pm Ex Lib Dem Voter wrote:
we could have invested all that money in our lacklustre Railways, since a sign on the A27 clearly suggests we should use them. But we can't because we privatised them. So our money has to be spent on the option we should be aiming to use less.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 4:24pm Actually wrote:
Slarty - car use is in decline in this country, at least in terms of miles driven per head.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 4:32pm Slarty wrote:
But there are more heads and I'm fairly sure judging by the traffic increase in the last 30 years that traffic (and traffic problems) has INCREASED.
It does not really matter how far each average person travels, that is a very misleading statistic in this case. Or can I suggest that for safety Lewes High Street becomes a 70mph zone because there are less pedestrian accidents on motorways (ie a 70mph zone) than in 20mph and 30mph zones?
On 1 Dec 2014 at 5:14pm Road User wrote:
@ Rail User - just saying 'it is clear over the years that better roads encourage increased traffic' is no real answer to my question. I could just say it is clear that it doesn't!
If it is so clear, to you, then please answer my other question, namely, where does all of the increased traffic actually come from? Do you think that a road widening scheme encourages people to buy additional car's? Seems a bit unlikely to me.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 5:30pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
The only thing that will get people out of their cars is better, cheaper public transport.
One day a week, I work in Eastbourne. Door to door, it takes a fair bit longer by train than by car and costs £11.80, plus bus fares to/from the station. Petrol cost for the journey is about £6-6.50, so around half the cost of public transport. (I know petrol isn't the only cost of running a car, but I'd have the car anyway).
It would be crazy for me not to go by car. If there were two of us doing the journey, the saving would be considerable.
On 1 Dec 2014 at 5:39pm Folkstone-Honiton Trunk wrote:
Road - like a flipping Soap Opera since 1970 LOL
On 1 Dec 2014 at 11:09pm Sir Farage wrote:
anyone noticed the UK is nearing capacity ?? And yet unlimited numbers have access to come, and are indeed actually coming !
On 2 Dec 2014 at 2:17am No wrote:
no. because we are not silly victims of protectionist racist, and inaccurate propaganda.
On 2 Dec 2014 at 11:00am Ed Can Do wrote:
If you do a bit more research you'll find that all that cash is getting spent in West Sussex, there are no immediate plans to do anything to the A27 between Lewes and Eastbourne other than £85 million that's not been specifically earmarked yet that might get spent at some point in the next 5 years. The whole announcement was smoke and mirrors, a headline grab about the normal road budget, they were going to spend the money anyway, it's not new money at all.
Rather than spending money building new roads or re-nationalising the railways it would be far cheaper and easier to spend the money building decent a decent broadband network and deliver fibre to the home across the country. That way anyone who is currently an office worker could work from home and you'd have hardly any commuters left, making the roads much better for everyone else.
Also introduce the rule they have in parts of Canada whereby if there are three or more cars behind you and you're holding them up you have to pull over and let them past and ban tractors from the road at peak times.
Maybe ban people carriers too, it's not often you see one of them being driven well.
On 2 Dec 2014 at 1:11pm Rail User wrote:
Yes apologies I should have said clear from studies. Read the link below.
I quote from the standing committee report:
"An average road improvement, for which traffic growth due to all other factors is forecast correctly, will see an additional [i.e. induced] 10% of base traffic in the short term and 20% in the long term."
Check it out here »
On 2 Dec 2014 at 3:32pm GhostBike wrote:
"One day a week, I work in Eastbourne. Door to door, it takes a fair bit longer by train than by car and costs £11.80, plus bus fares to/from the station."
Don't you live in Nevill? Surely the reason the train isn't great for you is because you live quite a long way from the station? To be honest, i don't think i'd use the train if I worked in Eastbourne. Brighton however - which is a far bigger employment hub than Eastbourne - you'd be mad to drive everyday IMHO.
I can't see what public transport could be provided to get you out of your car, ACT. Buses every 5 mins from Nevill, plus trains every 5 mins to Eastbourne? It's just not economically viable given the densities of population and employment in question. Unfortunately people in cities tend to live more sustainable lifestyles, for the simple reason that it's much more viable to provide public transport; you have a lot more jobs in one place, and a lot more people living within walking distance of a given bus or train stop.
On 2 Dec 2014 at 5:14pm Road User wrote:
It still doesn't convince me Rail User. If you don't do anything at all to the roads the usage will increase over time, for the simple reason that the number of drivers/car ownership is increasing.
But OK, suppose for a minute that you widen a road today, and tomorrow there are 10% more cars using it - well those 10% of cars are not using the road they would have used. This will happen because the road they were using is slow, and thus creating more slow traffic and pollution, and the newly widened road is faster. For example, to get from Brighton to Lewes in the rush hour can take forever in queues along the by-pass. People may choose to drive through the town in these circumstances as it is likely to be quicker. If the by-pass was improved however, allowing this journey to be made easier, then those cars would move back out of the town on to the by-pass. They would have a quicker journey, and the town would be less congested.
It is totally misleading therefore to suggest that widening a road is going to increase traffic - it is only half of the story. Traffic only increases on the road that has been improved for that very reason, whilst decreasing traffic elsewhere.
On 2 Dec 2014 at 7:15pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
That's very true, Road User.
Some years ago, before they widened the M25 around Heathrow, a study showed that an awful lot of the motorway traffic was only going one or two junctions on the M25. It was suggested that they could avoid the need to increase capacity by reducing the number of entry/exit points, to discourage its use for what are quite local journeys.
Then they decided that the increased traffic on the local roads was too big a price to pay.
On 2 Dec 2014 at 8:01pm Southover Queen wrote:
There are several studies which show that traffic increases with faster road links. That's because faster links allow people to create new journeys which weren't possible before - a commute by road to - for instance - Chichester from Lewes would be awful, so you'd probably do it by train, or not at all. But the moment you sort out the Worthing mess, suddenly it becomes a very attractive proposition - cheaper, quicker and more comfortable.
ACT exemplifies the other option. People will set up home in areas without good public transport provision because they can make their habitual journeys by car (which of course starts the vicious circle of no demand/no provision). So all over the south east developers have established communities with virtually no public transport but close to major road networks, and people buy knowing that their only option is driving.
I remember when the M25 opened. There was *no* traffic - empty roads, and you could get from - for instance - Watford to Heathrow in a matter of half an hour or so. Of course traffic levels increase year by year, but new roads allow a whole new level of increase.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 12:52pm whitevangran wrote:
When the M25 opened there was no traffic? Empty roads? What, all the time? Nonsense. It was congested at busy times and - like now - frequently almost empty during quiet times. Half an hour or so for Watford to Heathrow is pretty doable outside of rush hour even now.
It's not a great example anyway because unlike arterial routes such as the M1, M4 etc there are few viable public transport alternatives to M25 journeys. In the case of the Heathrow section local traffic has fewer road options anyway because there are reservoirs on one side of the M25 and a rather big airport on the other.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 1:39pm Southover Queen wrote:
It's an excellent example for that exact reason, whitevangran. There are indeed few alternatives to the journeys which people can now make using the M25, which is partly why volumes have increased well in excess of average road use levels.
That's why, in the example I gave earlier, traffic volumes would also grow well in excess of current levels if it were possible to commute quickly and easily between, for instance, Chichester and Lewes.
I'm not going to link to the many studies which show that congestion on the M25 has increased exponentially since its inception, because I imagine most of you who are actually interested in real facts can Google for yourselves. I have personal and direct experience of the M25 when it first opened, and it was certainly underused. It filled up very fast though, for the reason you cite yourself.
Better roads generate extra traffic: fact.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 3:16pm Local transport wrote:
Better trains generate less traffic. Fact.
Better Investment in trains generates better trains.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 3:47pm whitevangran wrote:
SQ, which opening are you talking about? The first section that opened in 1975 or the final section that opened in 1986? Underused is also not the same as empty or "*no* traffic". It's not even remotely close. A bit less of the hyperbole please.
And of course traffic expands to fill the space available for it. Nobody disputes that.
Personally I'd prefer to make my journeys by train or - for shorter distances - bicycle but unless passenger volume is very large in many cases outside of urban areas and commuter corridors public transport is probably going to be easier to provide if it's road based (using buses) than rail.
The south coast could do with a dual carriageway arterial route rather than the piecemeal one it currently has anyway.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 4:19pm whitevangran wrote:
Forgot to repeat (and it clearly passed SQ by first time around) that the reason why I thought ACT citing the traffic on the M25 near Heathrow was the lack of alternative *road* routes due to geography. It's going to be used a lot more than somebody making a comparable journey elsewhere near London such as, for example, St Albans to Hatfield.
That said I think there would be merit to providing a rail 'M25' of sorts. See link.
Anyways, back to local highways and byways......
Check it out here »
On 3 Dec 2014 at 4:49pm Road User wrote:
Don't you just love the way people make statements ending in the word : fact.
Even if it were true, surely 2 or even 3 cars driving along the Lewes By Pass, are going to create far less pollution and congestion that 1 car stuck in traffic and stopping at every traffic light driving through the town : fact
On 3 Dec 2014 at 5:10pm whitevangran wrote:
Who's disputing that better roads lead to higher traffic volumes anyway? Question.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 5:11pm Southover Queen wrote:
I used the word fact because that's what it is: better roads allow people more choices about how far they'll travel and that means that more people will choose to use the roads over other means. There have been plenty of examples here of people assuming that providing better roads will magically mean that there is less traffic congestion; it simply isn't true over any period beyond the very short term - as the M25 example demonstrates.
I'm talking about the period in the mid 1980s when London was fully and seamlessly encircled by the M25 motorway, and specifically about the area to the north of London because that was the bit I was more familiar with.
I'm not disagreeing *at all* with the idea that we need, desperately need, to improve public transport provision in the south east. It's mad that it takes well over two hours to get to Portsmouth by train. Unfortunately it's a bit of an either/or - better public transport or faster roads - because we're not going to get both and once people have invested in their own car they're far more likely to use it than pay the frankly extortionate prices for public transport.
The point I'm trying to make is that you can't vastly improve one element of a mixed provision without distorting all of the outcomes for all of the elements. No-one is trying to say that providing a by-pass for Lewes (for instance) was a bad thing (of course it wasn't), and of course three cars moving unfettered on a dual carriageway is better than their driving through town. I'm not imposing value judgements either - I think some road schemes are welcome and badly needed - but it just helps to be aware of the consequences.
On 3 Dec 2014 at 5:16pm Southover Queen wrote:
"Who's disputing that better roads lead to higher traffic volumes anyway? Question."
Virtually everyone at the top of this thread apart from one person who gets shouted down by everyone else. ...
On 3 Dec 2014 at 6:47pm whitevangran wrote:
Well now you're saying that people are saying that more roads will lead to less congestion. Not so.
You're not being shouted down, you're being pulled up for saying daft things like the M25 was empty in 1986. (The section you mention is, however, not even one of the busiest now. This is why it was only recently upgraded to four lanes each way.) This isn't nitpicking either. You seem to be saying that the vast majority of the journeys on the M25 now were 'created' by the provision of the road. That's just plain silly.
There are, however, clear benefits to building bypasses that remove traffic from urban and suburban areas. Even if all they achieve is to move congestion from those areas to somewhere less populated then so much the better.
Much as I like rail transport myself it's unlikely that there will ever be a very good rail link along the south coast. (It'd be lovely if it did happen - I quite like coastal journeys like the route along Lake Geneva and the Pacific coast to name but two.) George Monbiot wrote a pretty good article about the viability of integrating bus travel with motorway networks. (See link.) It might be a good south coast public transport solution.
Check it out here »
On 4 Dec 2014 at 1:21pm Motorist wrote:
Well it's not completely wrong either. A lot of business parks were built around the M25 that would have been unviable otherwise - that led to more traffic. Equally, people live in places that are inaccessible by public transport (like ACT) because they have cars.
Cars are a necessary evil, unfortunately. They are dirty, smelly, dangerous (particularly for children) and make towns unpleasant for pedestrians. Far too many of our cities and towns have been ruined because local authorities bend over backwards for cars while ignoring the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. While they're always going to be here, and we need to make provision for them, I wish more people would recognise how antisocial they are as well.
On 4 Dec 2014 at 1:28pm Southover Queen wrote:
On 4 Dec 2014 at 2:03pm Road user wrote:
If Whitevangran would like to come and sit on the M25 with me for the 3 hours it now regularly takes me to get from here to the M1, that will give him/her plenty of time to explain to me how improving the road has not led to more traffic using it.
On 4 Dec 2014 at 2:55pm whitevangran wrote:
Errrrr ...... who has said that improving it hasn't led to more traffic? Road is built to facilitate and encourage economic development - economic development happens. Surprise? Hardly. And the problem is?
It's SQ who came out with the intergalactically daft statement that the M25 was *empty* after it opened. It's SQ saying that the M25 conjured up new traffic out of nothing.
SQ also seems to be implying that the construction of the M25 led to an explosion in trivial journeys that would have gone unmade otherwise.
Be critical of road building over rail provision if you wish but at least be logical about it.
On 4 Dec 2014 at 3:16pm Clifford wrote:
Osborne going in for Keynesian pump-priming. Who would have thought it?
On 5 Dec 2014 at 6:08am motorist wrote:
Surely it is better to encourage economic development where public transport is possible? Firstly it means employees don't have to drag a ton of metal several miles backwards and forwards every morning and evening, for the benefit of just one person. It also means jobs are accessible to the large proportion of the population who still don't have access to a car. There is also lots of research to show that employees who work closer to other people and other amenities, ie in towns, are more productive. I agree that roads are unfortunately necessary, but don't be naive about the negative impacts too.