AO Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2013
County: Phnom Penh
Not the machine gun, nor the tank, nor the state highway in Southern Michigan but Manchester’s outer ring road. The only complete orbital motorway in the country (this is actually cobblers in my opinion because to do a full lap you have to get off the motorway and go round a roundabout but I digress). Built over a 40-year period and finally completed in 2000, it should be a big part of the answer to Manchester’s traffic problems.
Before the M60 we had the M62, the M66 and the M63. When all three were finally joined up it made eff all difference, apart from making it slightly quicker to get from Droylsden to Blackley. They widened it, it made eff all difference apart from providing an extra lane for traffic to park in.
Finally, in the glorious summer of 2018, Manchester’s smart motorway was completed. Leading up to this we have suffered 4 years of roadworks, night closures, blanket 50 limits day and night and narrow lanes. Over £200 million of the British taxpayers’ hard earned has been “invested”. We now have variable speed limits, gantries warning of impending doom and no hard shoulder in some stretches.
If I were writing the post-implementation review it would simply say this:
“4 years of work and £200 million has made absolutely **** all difference”
They’ll argue. They’ll say the gantries give you more information. Quite how a gantry saying “INCIDENT HEAD” OR “LANE CLOSURE” or “CONGESTION” is supposed to help me I do not know.
They’ll there’s no hard shoulder, there’s room for more cars they’ll say. This is true, but if those cars are stopped it’s not really helping anyone is it? And if you’re unfortunate enough to break down on one of the rare occasions when the traffic is moving, you’ll probably feel the blunt end of an articulated lorry up the wrong ‘un before the 4th emergency service can get to you.
What about those variable speed limits though? They help traffic flow. Not if it’s all ****ing stationary it won’t. You can flash up whatever speed you like but stopped is stopped.
The really annoying thing is that probably everyone who uses the M60 regularly already knew that making it a smart motorway would make **** all difference. Unlike other stretches where the problem is the sheer volume of traffic, Manchester’s is all about bottlenecks. E.g. the aforementioned roundabout. There are interchanges where all the traffic on the right needs to be on the left and vice versa. There are interchanges where, if you are driving cross-country and bypassing Manchester (you mad fools), you get squeezed into two lanes and faced with a 40mph bend. Throw thousands of ******s in Audis, BMWs and 4x4s who are far too important to get in the right lane before the last second but simply must be in the outside lane at all times and you get congestion. If they’d asked first, I’d have told them to save their money.
I hate every miserable, rutted, pot-holed mile of you.
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