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Highways Department Is A Drain On The Country's Economy . . .

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This last month has been an eye-opener - I don't do many long journeys having retired in January this year, apart from the dash from Northumberland to Dover with the caravan in tow in June and now I'm on a fixed income I have to watch the pennies so we catch the 4 am ferry and travel down on the M1/M25/M20 overnight. However, for the last four weekends I have been taking 'stuff' like three canoes, a trailer full of tools, boot full of house plants etc down to Staffordshire as we are moving house at the end of the month – and driving down in the daytime I am horrified by the parlous state of our major highways and the extended journey times because of all the roadworks. The M1 has no less than 3 long sections of roadworks between Leeds and Sheffield with three lanes into two and 50 mph, the bottom of the A19 where it joins the A1M is two lanes into one, the M6 has a section of three lanes into two at Tebay and 40mph (why not 50??) and to cap it all next month the M18/M1 junction is due for roadworks up the end of 2105! So the North of England and Scotland is virtually cut off. I accept that the Motorways have to be maintained but what really gets under the skin is that in every one of these lengthy roadwork sections one only ever sees three blokes in yellow safety jackets, one of whom is laying out yet more cones while the other two stand around scratching their 'nads! Why can't these roadworks be done 24/7 under arc lights like they do in France and Germany??


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Its amazing how an airport runway can be resurfaced in four days with overnight "go, go, go!" routine, they do a fraction of a mile every night and its perfect for use the next day, but the problem is, this comes at a cost. The DfT and the Highways Agency, appear to be afraid of spending lots of public money to get a job done in a quick time and to the best of the spec that it can be. But this is the reason that we have so little development.

I am going to make up numbers here, so dont anyone quote me!

If it costs £500,000 to repair a quarter of a mile route on a motorway over two weeks, this would cause 10 days of rush hour traffic at least. This traffic is being slowed down, which in turn increases accidents (1 point to the public), as well as slowing down and causing accidents, this also affects the economy. More and more people are sat in a queue, charging higher mileage fees to their workplace and subsequently customers to sit in slow moving or stopped traffic (2 points to the public). Now, whilst were all sat there with engines running, piddling along at a fraction of a mile an hour, were killing the trees and the world (3 points to the public). Now the police need to come out and clean up the accidents, so that costs money (4 points to the public) And the environment agency and just about anyone developing anything, need to pay more money to protect the planet (5 points to the public).

Lets put it this way, how many motorways with roadworks smoothly flow day after day? you could probably say that it costs the public, the environment, and every man and his dog, the best part of £150,000 a day (fuel, services, R&D, pollution), and were doing that for at least 10 days (£1.5m) on top of the £500 to do the work in the first place. Then the roadworks run over, fail miserably and cost more arms and legs.

Now, if you just paid a higher premium to do a 24 hour job (lets say 1.25 million?) that then saves, 9 days of hassle, environmental murder, emergency service access, NHS drains, Insurance premiums, so what do we save? - Fuel, Taxes can be spent better, cleaner air to breathe, more emergency resource were its required, R&D is less focused on Saving the planet because where stuck in a queue. We all get places on time, reducing the need to speed, so we get there safely and alive. We are more efficient, and can get our work done and at a lower cost, so we all save money in the pocket, and business clients can save money on transport costs because they dont need to charge a margin to cover costs associated with this. This in turn improves business and boosts economy spending further.

to me, and most of you its a no brainer! I genuinely dont know how real or far fetched my numbers are, perhaps they are way off the mark, or perhaps they are a good estimate, but never the less, I feel that the mantra "spend money to make money" is very much a key part in going forward. The problem is the government doesnt have the money to throw around for a year, until these benefits are in place (more tax revenue etc). as a result, we're at stalemate, and until someone dares to throw there department into debt and wait until the benefits come in, where going to stay there.

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haha, they are scared to spend money wisely, but ill afraid of spending money with the most amount of consequence.

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I travel J26-J27 on the M62 to and from work there have been road works on this section for almost 4 years, first they replaced the central barriers with concrete and re-surfacing then we are clear for a while, then "managed motorway" with variable speed limits now we are free for a while who knows what will be next? When the road works were present we had accidents almost every day causing endless hours of queuing.

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