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Pace
17th Sep 2016, 21:38
I am in Italy and having to stay here a couple of days rented a hire car and drive East to west on their motorway systems to visit a friend
Hardly a road repair sign in sight, perfect surfaces even though they get baking roads in summer and frozen in winter
No 30 mile stretches of perpetual road works and almost permanent average speed cameras!
Go into London and you cannot move for road works dug up and dug up again
It's always been like that here an obsession with digging up our roads, sticking up miles if average speed zones, speed cameras if your lucky enough to ever be in a position to speed!

How refreshing that drive over 400 km was and their motorway cafes 10 times better with better food and better presented ?
What is wrong with us and our roads that they are littered with constant repairs while a hair not out of place in Italy ?

RedhillPhil
17th Sep 2016, 23:40
I bet the service(refreshment) stations are a hundred times better too. Driving to Surrey a couple of weeks ago I pulled into Eastbound Taunton Deane services on the M5. McDonalds or Costa coffee was the refreshment choice. Costa flat white = £3.39!
I cannot remember a time when the M3 didn't have lengthy roadworks.

Falcon Al
17th Sep 2016, 23:58
Job security for the workers?

Tankertrashnav
17th Sep 2016, 23:59
Annual road fatalities (2013)

Italy - 3753 (6.1 per 100,000 population)
UK - 1827 (2.9 per 100,000 population)

I remember being stationary on the inside lane of the A303 in my tatty old Cavalier while on my right was a Ferrari Testarossa, also going nowhere fast. Summed up British roads! I guess in Italy he would have been a red blur which rapidly disappeared into the distance!

Fairdealfrank
18th Sep 2016, 01:57
Job security for the workers?

Juicy contracts for their mates more likely.

onetrack
18th Sep 2016, 02:29
It seems obvious then, that your British road workers are trained by the Irish - and thus they appear to be permanently engaged in many jobs similar to those perennial Irish road projects - namely, moving holes from one end of the road, to the other end of the road. :)

sitigeltfel
18th Sep 2016, 06:28
Maybe they use the money they collect from the Bollo (road tax) and other motoring taxes to maintain the roads.

There's an idea the UK could consider instead of using the motorist as a cash cow to fund other projects?

ExXB
18th Sep 2016, 08:04
Wrong type of leaves I suspect. You need more EU trees in the Excited Kingdom. :p

Pace
18th Sep 2016, 08:31
Italy - 3753 (6.1 per 100,000 population)
UK - 1827 (2.9 per 100,000 population)

I rented A tiny Panda which bombed along at a steady 150 kph and almost averaged that over 400 km
Yes the Italians drive fast as I was being passed all the time but none of the usual M40 10 mile tailbacks because someone has clouted someone else as they are half asleep with boredom
Didn't see one crash and only a 500 meter road work in the whole 400 k
Their roads super smooth

Our driving is max stress with hundreds of cameras restrictions jams tailbacks
We must loose £ billions every year in lost productive time sitting in jams and no wonder we have a low accident rate ) you don't get much personal injury travelling at 10 mph ))

alwayzinit
18th Sep 2016, 08:40
I believe it all goes back to the Standards by which the UK roads are forced to be constructed.
For example French Autoroutes are wonderfully quiet to drive along compared to the UK's that sound like driving over a grater constantly.
The reason for the difference is UK's roads are built to a British Standard going back to the 1950s, which in turn were based on obtaining vehicle stopping distances from vehicles using drum brakes and crossply tyres.
I saw a TV report on a stretch of road in Sussex, A27, the British Standard's rep was quite adamant that the road construction standards would NOT change as they are "Safer". When asked about the improvements in car and tyre technology he just brushed them off like some 1950s school teacher!:ugh:

Krystal n chips
18th Sep 2016, 09:02
Italy isn't encumbered with the seldom, if ever, fit for purpose Highways Agency whose personnel are probably responsible for more hold ups, jams, road repair delays ( on the Motorways ) given their capability for traffic "management " is non existent.

if ever there was an organisation that requires serious scrutiny, given the levels of ineptitude displayed all too frequently across the network, it's this lot.

I should add, this excludes the actual road gangs doing the work....plenty of evidence, both personal observations and documentary television, to demonstrate their skills and the dangers they face.

The H.A. "management" and those "Traffic Officer" patrols on the other hand......

kms901
18th Sep 2016, 09:10
You were lucky. The autostradas I drive regularly are full of potholes and ruts from HGV's. The holes are filled with tarmac which falls out at the first frost, and roadworks are carried out using contraflow sections with little signage and less warning. In the winter you may find yourself diverted onto mountain single track roads where you be stuck behind a truck for 30-40kms. But that is going North-South where most of the commercial traffic is.

DirtyProp
18th Sep 2016, 09:24
Our driving is max stress with hundreds of cameras restrictions jams tailbacks
We must loose £ billions every year in lost productive time sitting in jams and no wonder we have a low accident rate ) you don't get much personal injury travelling at 10 mph ))
That's cause you ppl drive the wrong way.

I have plenty of gripes and complains about our road network, but this time I'll shut up and enjoy the discussion.

B Fraser
18th Sep 2016, 09:35
You must be joking. I drove about 1,500 miles in Italy this year and there were plenty of roadworks including a huge contraflow on the A1. The country roads are in a shocking state and almost all painted lines cannot be clearly seen. Driving standards are best described as entertaining. You have not seen tailgating until you have witnessed a convoy of four vehicles doing 90 mph with no more than 2 feet between the bumpers.

I loved confusing the natives by indicating.

��

HeartyMeatballs
18th Sep 2016, 09:46
As with most of Southern Europe, the EU was used a massive cash machine and billions poured into infrastructure, job creation and artificial GDP growth. A bit like the ghost airports of the Iberian peninsular, or seldom used trams in Andalcuia. All well and good, but eventually you can life a champagne lifestyle on Wonga loans. Eventually that comes tumbling down like a grotesque Jenga stack causing misery and 50% youth unemployment and struggling banking sectors.

Give me the British way ANY day.

Yamagata ken
18th Sep 2016, 11:12
12 years living in Japan, and I spend plenty of time on expressways. There's plenty of road maintenance to do in a nation subject to earthquakes, typhoons, torrential rain, floods and monster snow.

I've never encountered a contra-flow. Some nations can manage with minimal disruption. It's called ''customer service''. Others don't give a stuff.

FWIW, I left the UK in 1988. Whenever I have returned since then it has meant travelling from Heathrow to Cambridge. In those nearly 30 years there has never been an occasion when parts of the M25 weren't closed/under construction. Soon you will be able to travel from London to Birmingham on the M25 simply by changing lanes. You'll need to be patient.

meadowrun
18th Sep 2016, 12:02
What does amaze me are the total closures on main highways for very extended periods of time for traffic accidents.


Here we have no such delays (some remote highways and multiple HGV accidents excepted mainly due to moving heavy metal from very awkward positions) and are aiming for rapid response teams -
Ambulances and police get in, remove the injured, take all sorts of pics and measurements as the tow trucks arrive and clear the scrap metal. Half an hour is the goal.

treadigraph
18th Sep 2016, 12:16
Genghis the Engineer's description in the Hunter accident thread of how the AAIB now use drone and 3D imaging technology to rapidly document a crash site perhaps shows the way forward for serious RTAs. We use a specialist company to do aerial surveying and 3D mapping and I believe they are on call out for various organisations - they or a similar company were used in the Didcot Power Station collapse.

Gertrude the Wombat
18th Sep 2016, 12:25
My experience of an Italian motorway was queuing for something like an hour for the toll booth. I've avoided Italian motorways ever since: with that sort of delay the other roads are quicker.

Gertrude the Wombat
18th Sep 2016, 12:27
Whenever I have returned since then it has meant travelling from Heathrow to Cambridge. In those nearly 30 years there has never been an occasion when parts of the M25 weren't closed/under construction.
Not something I notice when I travel between Cambridge and Heathrow. By train.

Yamagata ken
18th Sep 2016, 12:36
Gertrude: we have something called ETC. Electronic Toll Collection. You can queue at the toll booth and pay cash if you want, but if you have the ETC gizmo, just drive through the dedicated lane(s) and pay at the end of the month.

Who'd have thought it possible for an expressway system to be set up for the benefit of the customer/traveller? Incroyable! Impossible!

Pontius Navigator
18th Sep 2016, 12:50
What does amaze me are the total closures on main highways for very extended periods of time for traffic accidents.
Explained to me by a retired police accident investigator; each accident is a crime scene and the closure is necessary to preserve and collect the evidence.

While the police time involved in the investigation and prosecution is costed there in little incentive to cost the individual's productive time lost and additional fuel used if diversions are eventually set up.

Fortunately I have never been caught on a section after a junction and before a crash closure. Do the police eventually allow motorists to back track to a junction or are they stuck until the road is cleared?

meadowrun
18th Sep 2016, 13:02
each accident is a crime scene and the closure is necessary to preserve and collect the evidence.


Sometimes an accident is just an accident. In fact most are just that. How many criminal charges result from all these "crime scenes"?


Point is the collection of evidence is not done in a timely manner in too many cases.

sitigeltfel
18th Sep 2016, 13:11
Gertrude: we have something called ETC. Electronic Toll Collection. You can queue at the toll booth and pay cash if you want, but if you have the ETC gizmo, just drive through the dedicated lane(s) and pay at the end of the month.

Who'd have thought it possible for an expressway system to be set up for the benefit of the customer/traveller? Incroyable! Impossible!

We have the telepeage system here which in theory lets you pass through dedicated lanes without having to stop (as long as you slow to 30kph). Occasionally some eejit without a badge will blunder into the lanes and look in vain for a payment machine to their left. Meanwhile, all those caught up behind, faced with having to reverse out to let the miscreant clear, start dreaming up new forms of torture!

Local Variation
18th Sep 2016, 13:13
I would agree with other posters in that you were lucky. Take it your route wasn't up around the A22 in Garda / Trento country.

But the comments regarding the UK are spot on. I have twice now driven a colleague from Lewes to Gatwick for his flight to Dublin. He has subsequently got home quicker than it took another colleague to get from Lewes to Leeds by road.

Just how long is it going to take them to finish the work on the M1. Smart motorways.....yeah right. Being slowed to 40mph under cameras with a clear road ahead is not uncommon now on the M1, particularly around Luton.

Driving is a real chore these days. Joining the M1 or M25 and going straight into stationary traffic at 6-30am is ridiculous. There is simply too much traffic on the UK roads. Not helped by clowns climbing signs and closing the motorway for 24 hours.

From my experience, back tracking is only allowed when the accident situation is particularly grave.

surely not
18th Sep 2016, 13:28
A lot of the non Motorway road repairs are down to the Councils, who already have the money from central Govt to carry out repairs, sitting on the money until the road condition is so bad it has to be repaired. I have a friend who is involved in dealing with the councils on behalf of a road repair company, and he has trouble keeping the experienced workforce throughout the year due to councils not spreading the repairs over 12 months.

I reported the potholes on a road near where I live, citing about 14 potholes in a mile length. The response I got was that they were well aware of the potholes but they weren't sufficiently deep yet to warrant repair! I politely disagreed with them but my words fell on deaf ears.

surely not
18th Sep 2016, 13:36
Local Variation your example of the colleague getting home to Dublin faster than the one who drove to Leeds from Lewes is not that surprising.

LGW - DUB distance 301 miles, flight time 1hr 04 minutes
Lewes - Leeds distance 261.3 miles, estimated journey time from google maps 4 hrs 35 minutes

Until aeroplanes are restricted to no more than 70 mph, or cars can cruise at 350 mph, the result will be the same.

meadowrun
18th Sep 2016, 13:42
To be fair the total time spent on the journey should be included.
Time to the airport.
Time spent at airport prior to flight.
Time from gate to baggage carousel.
Time spent in baggage claim.
Time spent from airport to final destination.


Wonder how that adds up?

Local Variation
18th Sep 2016, 14:08
Indeed. We drop him off circa 2 hours before departure at Gatters. Hand luggage only, And as I mentioned, he got home quicker, not to Dublin airport quicker. He lives approx 45 mins drive from the airport.

Btw, the Lewes to Leeds time was departure 16-30pm, arrive home just before midnight. There was a 45 mins stop for sanity.

Private jet
18th Sep 2016, 18:18
Maybe they use the money they collect from the Bollo (road tax) and other motoring taxes to maintain the roads.

There's an idea the UK could consider instead of using the motorist as a cash cow to fund other projects?

Indeed. It was that "greatest Briton" Winston Churchill who first decided the "Road Fund account" could be plundered to fund more politically worthy projects....

Whenever I go through roadworks there always seems to be a distinct lack of workforce on the job. Perhaps if they threw a few more bodies at the task then perhaps these jobs would last a few hours/days/weeks at the most rather than dragging on for days/weeks/months/years. Although of course in times past they did have more on the job and it was always a case of one doing, three watching. Nothing got done quickly then either. Oh well, thats "Great" Britain for you....

G-CPTN
18th Sep 2016, 18:35
You can’t pay at the Dartford Crossing barriers anymore (https://www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge).

ShyTorque
18th Sep 2016, 22:12
I used the Dartford crossing without paying. I had never used it before and due to circumstances beyond my control I found myself driving rather than flying. I hadn't heard about the new way to pay the toll. I saw the signs showing toll ahead and slowed right down at the toll booths, coins ready, only to find they were all shut with the barriers up. I assumed it was one of those crossings deemed fully paid for and now free so continued on my merry way. The weather at the time was atrocious, torrential rain and very poor visibility.

I never heard from the authorities. Even though the following day I drove straight through in the opposite direction with a clear conscience......

It was a hire car..... Probably not worth while chasing me.

Shack37
18th Sep 2016, 22:26
It seems obvious then, that your British road workers are trained by the Irish - and thus they appear to be permanently engaged in many jobs similar to those perennial Irish road projects - namely, moving holes from one end of the road, to the other end of the road. http://cdn.pprune.org/images/smilies/smile.gif




Shouldn´t this be in the "Jokes" thread?:confused:

G-CPTN
18th Sep 2016, 22:32
I used the Dartford crossing without paying. I had never used it before and due to circumstances beyond my control I found myself driving rather than flying. I hadn't heard about the new way to pay the toll. I saw the signs showing toll ahead and slowed right down at the toll booths, coins ready, only to find they were all shut with the barriers up. I assumed it was one of those crossings deemed fully paid for and now free so continued on my merry way. The weather at the time was atrocious, torrential rain and very poor visibility.

I never heard from the authorities. Even though the following day I drove straight through in the opposite direction with a clear conscience......

It was a hire car..... Probably not worth while chasing me.
How would you cope with rental cars?
You would find it difficult to pay in advance (you wouldn't know the vehicle registration), and after the event the PCN would be sent to the rental company.
Of course they might have a 'season ticket' to cover such events.

Hertz:- We will charge you an administration fee as well as the original penalty charge if we receive a late payment demand and have to pay on your behalf.
Hertz will not accept liability for these charges and these will be passed to the person who is renting the vehicle at the time the penalty was incurred.

ExXB
19th Sep 2016, 10:37
In BC you can log into the toll website with car reg and pay your toll after the fact.

Ancient Mariner
19th Sep 2016, 11:11
Here we have transponders allowing us to pass toll gates at road legal speeds, which in Norway means up to 110 km/h. This systems works all over Norway, including some of the toll bridges in Scandinavia. If you do not have a transponder , cameras on gantrys above the road take pictures of your license plates and the bill is in the mail.
Works like a charm.
Per

Gertrude the Wombat
19th Sep 2016, 11:15
if you have the ETC gizmo, just drive through the dedicated lane(s) and pay at the end of the month
No idea whether the Slovenian car we'd rented had any Italian gizmos - if so the hire company certainly didn't draw them to our attention.


In any case no such gizmo would have helped - all the lanes of the motorway were full of stationery traffic for several miles, there was no by-pass lane for gizmo owners.

sitigeltfel
19th Sep 2016, 11:33
I used the Dartford crossing without paying

I believe many drivers with foreign number plates also do not bother.

wings folded
19th Sep 2016, 17:00
It's no surprise, Siti.
Just recently I went through the tunnel. No possibility of paying at numerous motorway services on the way up from Folkestone, so I end up phoning their premium line in Leeds to buy my two and a helf quids worth of parking time before the tunnel.
Gave my car reg to this charming Yorkshire girl, who did not believe it was a valid reg. Non UK you see.
Made me repeat it 4 or 5 times.
Finally she gave in, and my account was duly debited with an email confirmation. Have not been told yet that I will be fined for failure to pay, but they will hear from me if they do.

onetrack
20th Sep 2016, 04:37
Sometimes an accident is just an accident. In fact most are just that. How many criminal charges result from all these "crime scenes"?Not in my experience. I've been hit up the rear 4 times and in every case, the errant driver had a suspended licence or was driving a stolen car.
Vast numbers of charges are placed as result of vehicle crashes - from simple negligent or careless driving, through to theft, through to driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, through to manslaughter.