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M50 Hard shoulder running ??

  • 28-03-2016 1:06pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Just before I get shot, I'm wondering about a dedicated bus/BRT service, with its own running recovery trucks...now bang.
    Rightly or wrongly the m50 is pretty much the main piece of transport infrastructure in the country, its at capacity, and it nearly forces commuters,traveling public to use cars... could special buses run on the hard shoulder on the whole M50 ,(and maybe through tunnel into city centre ?) With stops/platforms under each over fly over to connect with bus, rail, coach, luas, and local trafic...
    It'd have to have specially built park and ride/ local bus / coach stop as near as possible so people could swap modes, so it'd be anything but cheap.. but could it work??

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,561 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy


    It would be too dangerous. The hard shoulder is not for normal driving, let alone by a bus/coach!

    Imagine a bus in the hard shoulder doing 70 km/h while all 3 normal lanes are at a standstill, then 100m before an exit, you get some Loopy Larry deciding he's taking the shoulder to his exit as he doesn't want to miss Eastenders!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,568 ✭✭✭ K.Flyer


    Tunnel under the M50 from Bray to M1 with underground rail in each direction and stations at each main intersection.
    Or else buy up more land and run it alongside the M50 or even an overhead system.
    I never understood why it wasn't done or thought of in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    They do hardshoulder running for normal traffic on motorways around birmingham... thats for ordinary traffic not dedicated buses with trained drivers appropriate speed limits ect.
    I do wonder how you'd negotiate slips on and off without carnage though.. :-)

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,568 ✭✭✭ K.Flyer


    On most of the M50, the hard shoulder is now an auxiliary lane between the on and off ramps, so the idea would mean having to move out to lane 1 at intersections.
    The way a lot of people drive on the M50 by packing out lanes 2 and 3 you can almost do your journey unhindered in lane 1.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,561 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy


    Markcheese wrote: »
    They do hardshoulder running for normal traffic on motorways around birmingham... thats for ordinary traffic not dedicated buses with trained drivers appropriate speed limits ect.
    I do wonder how you'd negotiate slips on and off without carnage though.. :-)

    Isn't that a smart motorway though?

    Their currently converting the M4 down to Southampton into a smart motorway as well.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Their currently converting the M4 down to Southampton into a smart motorway as well.

    To the dumb can you explain a smart motorway ? Does it work ?

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,561 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy


    Markcheese wrote: »
    To the dumb can you explain a smart motorway ? Does it work ?

    In busy times, the hard shoulder becomes a full on driving lane, thus converting a 3 lane motorway to a 4 lane motorway, with electronic signs every few hundred yards telling drivers whether it is active or not,

    It has shown that it works, by simply increasing capacity on the road (by 33.33%) it allows tragic to move faster, and not be slowed down by standard congestion.

    They can still get congested, but this happens now when the road is at 133% capability, and not like previously at 100%


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 568 mikeymouse


    M1 in Bedfordshire uses hard shoulder as an extra lane during rush hour and conjested periods. "Managed motorway all-lane running" .Slip-on lanes were extended, I rarely see trucks using the hard shoulder,I wonder why? Bus stops on the motorway would not work, they would have to pull off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,899 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    It would be too dangerous. The hard shoulder is not for normal driving, let alone by a bus/coach!

    Imagine a bus in the hard shoulder doing 70 km/h while all 3 normal lanes are at a standstill, then 100m before an exit, you get some Loopy Larry deciding he's taking the shoulder to his exit as he doesn't want to miss Eastenders!

    M1 Lisburn-Belfast has peak hour bus lane in hard shoulder, works well enough and at I have used it numerous times at 100kph with general traffic near stationary.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@54.5387161,-5.9951082,3a,75y,1h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5ughz9hj16lVKEP68d_0Lg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1


    Wouldn't be viable for the M50 without substantial works in the core section as the shoulders are too narrow, also with the junctions so close there would be a lot of weaving required.

    The OP's suggestion of a M50 bus would only work with completely separated lanes + underpasses at every junction and substantial stations at each interchange point.

    Would be something of a hybrid tram/guided busway type setup. That sort of thing would have been a possibility if built in from the start or the previous upgrade (and probably better placed in the median rather than the shoulder) but would be enormously expensive to shoehorn into the road now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    In busy times, the hard shoulder becomes a full on driving lane, thus converting a 3 lane motorway to a 4 lane motorway, with electronic signs every few hundred yards telling drivers whether it is active or not,

    It has shown that it works, by simply increasing capacity on the road (by 33.33%) it allows tragic to move faster, and not be slowed down by standard congestion.

    They can still get congested, but this happens now when the road is at 133% capability, and not like previously at 100%

    Large sections of the M1 between London and Leeds are being upgraded to allow for hard-shoulder running but this is only a stop-gap solution to the lack of capacity on many British motorways.

    At least two more 3-lane motorways are needed from London towards the north, including full upgrading of the A1 to motorway status (and widening from 2 lanes to 3 lanes on narrower sections of the parts that have been upgraded to A1(M)), along with a motorway extending the M11 (which needs to be widened) northwards as far as Peterborough, then connecting with a new motorway, roughly to the west of the A15, that connects with the M180/M18, then extends northwards (perhaps through an upgrade of the A19 to M19) to the Tyne-Tees conurbations.

    That would give two motorways from London to the north-east conurbations (and thus to eastern Scotland) via eastern England and would help reduce congestion on the A1 and M1.

    There should also be a motorway from roughly Leicester to near Stoke-on-Trent, to help relieve pressure on routes in the West Midlands (such a motorway would allow traffic to/from the densely populated north-west of England to/from London to avoid the West Midlands M6/M6 Toll routes).

    Along with the mooted improvements to the A66 and A69 (potentially to full dual-carriageway profiles between the A1 and the M6) it would encourage more traffic from London and the south-east to use more easterly routes towards the north of England and Scotland, relieving much pressure on the M1/M6 corridor.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,183 ✭✭✭ sdanseo


    K.Flyer wrote: »
    On most of the M50, the hard shoulder is now an auxiliary lane between the on and off ramps, so the idea would mean having to move out to lane 1 at intersections.
    The way a lot of people drive on the M50 by packing out lanes 2 and 3 you can almost do your journey unhindered in lane 1.

    The auxiliary lane is in addition to the Hard Shoulder, but the HS is narrower than it would have been before in most places and is lost altogether in some spots.

    This plan isn't possible as the shoulder isn't continuous and BRT would have to go up and down every ramp - again impossible as some are freeflow.

    The idea of it being raised over the motorway isn't a terrible one in principle, but again nearly impossible. There would be a few very challenging intersections to build over (good luck finding a route through the N3 interchange for another level of raised bridge, for example).

    If something "on stilts" (to quote the late Séamus Brennan) ever did happen it should carry a LUAS/Metro and not BRT however to get the best return for the presumably large cost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,850 ✭✭✭✭ endacl


    Markcheese wrote: »
    To the dumb can you explain a smart motorway ? Does it work ?

    A motorway built in a country where drivers know how to use a motorway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭ kenco


    ^^
    ''A motorway built in a country where drivers know how to use a motorway.''

    Nail on the head..

    The hard shoulder is for emergency services. A couple of weeks back there was a bad accident southbound on the M50. It was tail back the minute I joined. The number of drivers (no doubts well meaning) who pulled into the hard shoulder when they heard the Emergency sirens was shocking....

    As a nation we are poor drivers but lets face it our 'test' is a joke anyway so what do we expect....


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Hadnt realized the hard shoulder was narrower on M50, I suppose i'd wondered if it was possible to have raised bus stops under fly overs (with even higher passenger platforms) and escalaters up to overpass bridge/ station/interchange thingy,with no actual hard shoulder there. Ideally the bus would take a hard shoulder up and then down each junction (with stop at the top) but as said above wouldnt be possible with most freeflow junctions
    ..
    I cant see where you'd put an elevated tram / monorail... i'd love to see it though.. cant stick a tram on the hard shoulder ( couldnt go round a blockage )

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,757 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    In Bangkok they have two train lines above six lane roads. The train lines and infrastructure is supported by huge Y-shaped concrete stilts every 75 metres or so. It works well though I'm not even sure the median space of the M50 median has enough space to put stilts along it, it can be very narrow in parts, probably due to a chunk of it being lost when the motorway got upgraded from 2 lanes to 3.

    In any case I don't think there is really any public transport demand for such a scheme. There is demand for orbital bus routes but following the m50 would just leave commuters at major m50 junctions which are not really population dense areas. A second mode of transport would then be needed, making journeys more cumbersome when that second bus you need to be on time isn't.

    One thing I have thought about along your own idea is building another m50 on stilts over the current one. Seeing as it is at capacity and cannot extend its lanes the only way is up.

    My own suggestion would be for a stilted motorway over the current m50 that would have an entrance/exit at the m50/M11 junction and then only three exits to the three main arteries of the country- M7 for Cork, M4 for Galway and M3 for the north west. It would then continue on until the junction of the M1. All traffic who intend travelling the entire length of the m50 or intend to use it from the M7, M4 and M3 junctions to the end of it at Bray or the Airport would be obliged to use the stilted motorway. All other traffic who only intend going a few junctions or doing less regular journeys (Dundrum to Ballymun for example) would use the current m50.

    That way (you'd hope) the vast majority of trucks and long distance buses and cars who are coming or going to Cork, Galway,, north west to the airport or the Port Tunnel would be on the upper stilted motorway and everyone else would be down below. So the bottom motorway becomes one for Dubliners doing short irregular hops like we see already now for destinations like Dundrum Shopping Centre, Liffey Valley and Blanch Shopping Centre. And the upper one is used for trucks moving goods and cars going to the airport or onto one of the countries main arteries.

    Of course all of the above is pure fantasy and even if the NRA did ever contemplate it you'd imagine the eventual cost would be 2x what the current m50 cost due to all the stilts and reinforced concrete that would be needed. It just would never happen. Or cars will fly before it does.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    What is the point of upgrading the existing m50 futher? Far better to then provided eastern bypass, which would also facilitate future redevelopment of Dublin port to residential and commercial etc... Also the rail link from swords to SSG and then upgrading current green line to metro south as planned..


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Muahahaha wrote:
    That way (you'd hope) the vast majority of trucks and long distance buses and cars who are coming or going to Cork, Galway,, north west to the airport or the Port Tunnel would be on the upper stilted motorway and everyone else would be down below. So the bottom motorway becomes one for Dubliners doing short irregular hops like we see already now for destinations like Dundrum Shopping Centre, Liffey Valley and Blanch Shopping Centre. And the upper one is used for trucks moving goods and cars going to the airport or onto one of the countries main arteries.


    I suppose that the upper deck would be what the m50 was always supposed to be..a national road hub as opposed to a local distributor road..it'd be stupidly expensive and it'd probably shut the M50 down too.
    I was thinking more of a transport hub at every overpass, so walk ,cycle,bus,train/luas or drive to the m50 ,transfer to the orbital (hopefully every few mins) then tranfer to get to your industrial estate,office ,whatever..
    It'd need individual industrial estates / large employers to organise regular buses to m50 transfer stations too..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    I was thinking more of a transport hub at every overpass, so walk ,cycle,bus,train/luas or drive to the m50 ,transfer to the orbital (hopefully every few mins) then tranfer to get to your industrial estate,office ,whatever..
    It'd need individual industrial estates / large employers to organise regular buses to m50 transfer stations too..

    Id question the practicality of this, to get people out of the car, it would have to be a good bit quicker and more convenient. The way dublin has been built, I think its simply not practical here. A good high capacity north to south rail link as planned, could take many off the m50, that and the eastern bypass. I think doing anything with the existing m50, is simply a waste of time, more traffic is just going to fill it, dublins roads cant cope with this traffic...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,086 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Perhaps it is time to look at substantial subvention to the public transport suppliers.

    Why spend billions on roads that rapidly fill with cars that turn these expensive roads into car parks and race tracks? The same amount spent on getting people into trains and buses would have a more efficient result - faster journey time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,757 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    What is the point of upgrading the existing m50 futher? Far better to then provided eastern bypass, which would also facilitate future redevelopment of Dublin port to residential and commercial etc... Also the rail link from swords to SSG and then upgrading current green line to metro south as planned..

    I'd agree that it wouldn't be a good spend of money upgrading it further. Building more roads only ever leads to more cars being bought to fill them. Eastern bypass would provide some relief to the m50 but I'm not sure it would solve all problems. At the end of the day any future infrastrucutre investment needs to go on Dart Underground and Metro North but we won't be even seeing those anytime soon


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,561 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy


    Why spend billions on roads that rapidly fill with cars that turn these expensive roads into car parks and race tracks? The same amount spent on getting people into trains and buses would have a more efficient result - faster journey time.


    True, but more roads mean more cars, paying more tolls, paying more road tax, paying more VAT on fuel....

    Public transport will never deliver that kind of return on investment.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,086 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    True, but more roads mean more cars, paying more tolls, paying more road tax, paying more VAT on fuel....

    Public transport will never deliver that kind of return on investment.

    You are missing the point.

    Not investing requires no return. If I buy a new car, I have depreciation as a car is a depreciating asset. If I buy an old car near the end of its life, I do not have depreciation (but I have higher maintenance but ignore that for the moment).

    If public transport fares are raising say €1bn/year, then not investing €0.5bn a year in roads and using the saving for PT will cut the cost of fares by 50%, (however, cutting them by 50% will increase use that will require further investment) but the point remains that savings in expenditure will result if car users shift to PT.

    This is particularly true outside of Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Public transport will never deliver that kind of return on investment.


    Its horses for courses, building the ennis to athenry will never return on investment... luas on the other hand has been worth a fortune to the state. major public transport infrastructure projects in dublin would give a significant benefit to the state...neither here nor there anyway ... m50 capacity cant be increased anyway...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,996 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011




  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 84 ✭✭✭ Goat Paddock


    K.Flyer wrote: »
    Tunnel under the M50 from Bray to M1 with underground rail in each direction and stations at each main intersection.
    Or else buy up more land and run it alongside the M50 or even an overhead system.
    I never understood why it wasn't done or thought of in the first place.

    Sounds great but how many billions would this cost to do now? Or would it be a trillion?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    lads the current metro north plan has 60m instead of 90m platforms to "save" 100 million i..e nothingon a 2.5 billion project. Metro west is off the agenda. There is zero point in doing anything with the current m50, a proper metro north and south, would take a large amount of traffic off the m50.

    Also dublin is so dispersed, particularly west dublin. anything other than a car is simply not practical for most. A huge amount of traffic on it, is north to south, give them an option of switching to a proper rail service and a lot more capacity will open up on it for people, for whom anything other than the car is totally impractical...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,379 ✭✭✭ newacc2015


    True, but more roads mean more cars, paying more tolls, paying more road tax, paying more VAT on fuel....

    Public transport will never deliver that kind of return on investment.

    You have ignored the biggest cost to society which is congestion. I know someone who started a new job this week. Their 30 km cross city journey takes them nearly 2 hours to get home in the evening. That is insane, but not unheard of in Dublin.

    Congestion is a real cost and results in loss of productivity for the country. Firms arent going to locate in Dublin, if their emails cant get around it. I remember having an extremely outdated economics book for the LC with a newspaper article from the 1997, where multinationals were alarmed with the congestion in Dublin. What have we done since? Put in two Luas lines which are packed everyday and upgraded the M50 for it to be congested again.

    We need to get real on public transport in Ireland. Limerick, Galway and Sligo dont have the population density or the city size for a Luas. Cork just might have it. Dublin has the population and density for it. Spending €1 on a Luas line in Dublin will have several times the impact of spending it in Galway. Public transport will help attract Multinationals, help tourism and most importantly improve the lives of Dubliners. Dubliners should have to spend 3 hours in their car everyday, as the Government would rather spend their transport budget on maintaining glorified driveways in the West


  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭ crc


    How about this for a radical idea: why not just run busses on the M50 as it is right now, with the bus coming off at each junction?

    No civil engineering required (let alone rocket science!), just a bus route that follows/uses the motorway and has stops at each junction. At the complicated junctions the bus could use whatever the shortest U-turn is (e.g. J9 use the Luas P&R, J7 use the stops for Liffey Valley). Dublin Airport to Dún Laoghaire, linking all the western suburbs. Even between junctions 4 and 5 there's no need to get complicated, just use the R104 and include a stop at IKEA for good measure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,346 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    crc wrote: »
    How about this for a radical idea: why not just run busses on the M50 as it is right now, with the bus coming off at each junction?

    No civil engineering required (let alone rocket science!), just a bus route that follows/uses the motorway and has stops at each junction. At the complicated junctions the bus could use whatever the shortest U-turn is (e.g. J9 use the Luas P&R, J7 use the stops for Liffey Valley). Dublin Airport to Dún Laoghaire, linking all the western suburbs. Even between junctions 4 and 5 there's no need to get complicated, just use the R104 and include a stop at IKEA for good measure.

    What actual journeys are you trying to facilitate with such a route? It seems like it would necessitate 2 transfers (at least) for anyone trying to connect between any 2 western suburbs or business parks, and would be mind-bendingly slow.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ Dr_Bill


    Why not have coordinated thinking on the whole transport system for Dublin?

    Only problem is would be that the whole plan will fail miserably due to the vested interests of the Unions, Dublin Bus, LUAS, Irish Rail. Park & Ride schemes with a regular and reliable service would be very useful but non existent. Schemes such as Metro North or Dart Underground are rubbished while actually needed would all help in the overall bigger picture and improve public transport options.

    We will do nothing until we are up to our neck it and governments only plan for every 4 years and what's going to grab a few votes.

    As for running traffic on the M50 hard shoulder it is not a good idea and will make the motorway more dangerous.


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