Traffic jams being caused by the Highways Agency?

Traffic jams being caused by the Highways Agency?

I was sitting in the inevitable traffic jam at the Dartford Tunnel on Monday evening, contemplating the road sign that said (paraphrasing) “traffic jam deliberately created for your safety”.

As I had nothing else to do, I started to consider that EVERY SINGLE TIME the government interfere with roads with the pledge that they are going to improve traffic flow, it always seems to do the exact opposite.

I remember in the town where I grew up, there was never a traffic jam on the main road in 15 years.

Then one day the local council decided to install a traffic light system at the end of the road and – you guessed it – a CONSTANT traffic jam!

Where I live now in Kent, some major road alterations on the one way system have taken place to supposedly ease congestion.

Before the works began the congestion was quite acceptable for a big town and the traffic flowed pretty well.

After the works, it’s much worse!

It’s the same story with these new variable speed cameras and “smart motorways”.

As far as I can tell, they have made congestion significantly worse than it was before.

The only thing that I couldn’t work out as I sat there waiting for them to open the barrier before the tunnel to let us through was:

Why do the Highways Agency keep doing this?

I have to confess that I couldn’t really come up with an answer (other than assisting revenue collection from the variable speed cameras).

I’d love to hear Members thoughts on what’s going on here.

You can comment below.

All the best,


Note: comments may take a while to appear as they are manually approved to avoid spam bots.


  1. John Pulkdn

    It’s the same with all this 20mph stuff
    There is no evidence that it saves lives or improves traffic flo yet councils have spent a lot of money putting it in

  2. M Porter

    Say no more Jnct 1A has become a nightmare following the improvement works. No longer has a dedicated lane into the tunnel it requires a slow merge which often creates severe hold ups all the way into Crayford. Once your on the dual carriageway/University Way your committed. The whole area has become a joke made worse by the fact we have to pay for the privilege of sitting in traffic…many thanks Dartford Borough Council for creating a bottle neck..

  3. Matt

    I often think the same. Often on the motorway there are variable speed limits which are on even when the road is pretty clear. There is a slip road on to a dual carriageway that I use daily, recently had traffic lights put on to it which let 2 cars through about every 45 seconds, so traffic backs up down the slip road and on to the island further back. Almost as annoying as speed restricted road works that start 2 miles before the first sign of a road cone, then inevitably a couple of blokes sat around drinking coffee and seemingly no other work happening. The government should fine civil engineering companies that take an unnecessarily long time to drink their coffee and get back to work!

  4. Matt

    There’s an island in Shrewsbury where the A5 crosses the A49. For the most part it ran without a problem, but now if I recall there are 3 or maybe 4 sets of lights around that island, as well as lights on each entry on to the island. It’s plain nuts and causes big jams that just weren’t there before. It’s annoying to think some bright spark got paid to screw us all up.

  5. Mohammed Butt

    Really sad GOVERNMENT slow down traffic for no reason or more speed camera for money they wasting nation time for money I am at M25 JUNCTION 9 every morning slow traffic from JUNCTION 9 TO 12 really waste of people important time & upsetting people & people have accidents

  6. Tracey

    I live close to the Dartford tunnel, since they have removed the toll booths the traffic is much much worse!! Somedays it is like a huge carpark, you just canot move for hours. They need another bridge to ease the constant conjestion.

  7. rob watt

    Most of our local roundabouts now have lane markings for left or right turn and they now cause mayhem as anyone going right causes queues that never existed until they painted the right arrows on a lane.
    Traffic lights staying red for pedestrians much longer than required, did ask a local council official about that and was told they do it in case a disabled person is crossing as they need longer to cross, so the car driver could not possible be trusted to actually wait when the lights go green if there was a slower person crossing the road.
    Local authority could not run a drinks party in a brewery!

  8. Greg Dessar

    I think we live in a Country controlled now by more Goverment stuff than ever before.Maybe they think making all the traffic jams will populate more traffic police catching more unisured drivers and increase speeders now desparate to get home after a hards days work like you Adam .There is never really a Answer to way we are being controlled on the roads on all travel in life i guess.

  9. cliff

    I get sick of them saying lane closed for about 4 miles then you get an all clear sign and there wasn’t any problem

  10. Ken Parker

    It seems that around the M25 at Heathrow they have the speed limit signs on the overhead gantry’s slowing down traffic when there were no hazards to be found. Like they are playing games with us and the cues become horrendous and wind people up.

  11. Barry

    personally i think the HA is working with the Government and the Fuel/Petrol companies
    as we sit in Traffic jams, eating up fuel, then we need to fuel up more often
    thus more Tax for the Government and more profit (yes a small profit) for the Fuel/Petrol companies

  12. Jeremy

    Travelled home on the M42 yesterday afternoon. Three lanes ful of traffic but the hard shoulder lane was closed and no varibale speed limit was posted. Compare that with my last trip along the same stretch when there was next to no traffic, all four lanes were open and a 60 mph limit was posted. Who makes these decisions? There is often no logic to them. Smart Motorways? It’s just a load of b—ocks!

  13. Steve O

    The revenue earned from the variable speed signs with cameras safety cameras is just another stealth tax and the use of the hard shoulder so there is nowhere to escape in a breakdown situation is insane

  14. Charles Picken

    My big beef are warning signs on motorways saying that there are problems but on many occasions there are none even after one has travelled 10 miles or more. Does the Highways Agency monitor the cameras adequately and revise the warnings according? I suspect not which leaves motorists adopting the ‘cry wolf’attitude.

  15. Jason

    Why are the m6 road works between Stoke and the M62 so long, nearly 20 miles at one stage? Why not do a mile and finish, then move on. I pass through regularly and see stationary unused equipment worth millions and no work being done at all. Get on with it!

  16. andy kimber

    the reason is that the ‘smart motorways’ are being set up to charge motorway fees,and spy on us.It has nothing to do with ‘congestion’.

  17. Dan

    im pretty convinced bad road design such as crossings right on the exit of a roundabout, and closing 2 lanes of a motorway when theres just remains of a car left in the hard shoulder are there to cause traffic jams and accidents and in turn plenty of jobs for the government sector. not enirely sure why, but if you think about it when the cure for cancer arrives imagine the millions of labs, charities, drug companies and clinics out of work!

  18. Frank

    Nothing new here. I have yet to see any ‘improvement’ scheme other than opening a bypass actually improve anything. My nearest large town (Ipswich) has consistently screwed up the traffic flows, and made life difficult for the motorists. bus and bike lanes n narrow roads, and traffic lights replacing roundabouts. The hope to drive the motorist away from town and make them use the buses. It’s killed the town centre, but they never learn.

  19. Phil Johns

    Every ’roundabout’ that once worked flawlessly has been completely messed up by some idiot putting traffic lights on the damned things. Why can’t the councils/highways agency leave things alone? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  20. Andy Scherer

    Totally agree Adam. Near where I live a place called Ashton-u-Lyne used to have a dual carriage way that bypassed the town with the usual roundabouts thrown in. What did the Highways Agency do…….? Spent millions ripping out the roundabouts (which where never a problem) and installed traffic lights with multiple lanes which are more confusing and dangerous than before…you couldn’t make it up!

  21. Trevor Parry

    For many years I travelled back and forward through the Dartford Tunnel and back in the late 1980’s and the traffic was horrendous then the bridge came along and generally was an improvement but over the years in built up again to ridiculous levels more up to date the promise from government to improve the flow of traffic by taking away the toll booths and charging two and a half times the toll fee has resulted like in the situation that you have seen today.

    My view is that the tunnel and bridge are grossly mismanaged and what government in its right mind would put tolls on a main route around a capital city especially as when the Dartford tunnel had been paid for it was promised that the tolls would be removed and the lie has been repeated over and over again.

    My final thoughts are that
    the tolls are paid for a service to travel without hinderance or inconnvenience and the operators should be held responsible for such delays as you have experienced and the toll should be cancelled I realise that accidents and other situations arise which are out of the operators control but overall I find that they are the cause of the problem.

  22. Graham

    Speed cameras pull the lot down.cause more traffic problems then ever before we had them. They are just cash cows for the govt to squander

  23. Andy Hyland

    I can’t understand why on a smart motorway M62 at Leeds when the traffic is light they slow everyone down to 60 or 50mph, but think it’s to catch people out and use the gantry cameras to raise money.seen plenty of flashing going off on the traffic coming the other way.

  24. Ian

    You should try the M62 (mis)managed traffic sections around JNc 27 -25. 60 m/h/ speed limits signs on when there’s no traffic. When asked recently why all they could say waa ‘they had no idea’. Well I know that but why were the signs on?

  25. paul Isherwood

    Totally agre Adam the M6 from j10 to J7 is a nightmare most days and closing A38M tidal flow servces no purpose just making jounery times impossible

  26. Terry Paling

    Too true! Always at peak times they cone off a mile of dual carriageway on the A46 between Newark and Lincoln-park a large truck with flashing arrow and two staff at its beginning. A second truck with two staff is at the end of the closed lane. In between another person cuts the grass on a very slow ride-on mower! 5 people to cut a mile of verges! Unbelievable but true and guaranteed to obstruct the last mile to a roundabout at peak times.

  27. Alan

    Whilst I share the frustrations many have aired here there are some aspects which are not understood by many motorists. Restricting speed miles before a queue or slow traffic can effectively reduce the number of vehicles arriving at the back of the queue which in turn helps to reduce its length. Attempts to improve traffic flow are often thwarted by increases in traffic volume caused because people think the improvement will speed things up. Also, to make a real judgement one needs to travel the same section of road at different times – maybe there are improvements at otehr times.
    HOWEVER, it does seem to me that many changes do not result in the improvement expected but nobody seems prepared to return the original arrangement. At one major roundabout ‘system’ near where I live there are frequent queues. At one point the traffic lights there were not working for some time and the queues disappeared. Instead of leaving them off can guess!

  28. Mark the Spark

    Not one positive comment here or reply. Are there no highways members reading that can defend themselves? Or is there no defence? . . . Thought not!
    Miles and miles of traffic queing at the tunnels Sunday eve, for no reason at all!!

  29. John Langford

    Variable speed Gantries cause lots of problems. It is obvious the slower the traffic moves the loner it takes a vehicle to get through that stretch of road so the more traffic piles up, then you can’t even do the maximum speed allowed.

  30. Jo pullan

    All this is done to pave the way for electric cars with trackers etc – anything to measure and analyse us! For revenue – and just because they all narcissistic and controlling! There is no logic certainly not when the gantry messages are out of date or just wrong or put in miles and miles in advance which actually makes things dangerous as we ignore them so when there is a problem we don’t believe it or don’t believe it is close enough to slow down! I doubt the they don’t even drive or drive like scared rabbits!

  31. shaun smith

    I’ve been watching the improvements on M1/M6/A14 well yes it is better but you still cannot go A14 to M1 south or M1 to A14 unless you go either up the M1 to Lutterworth or M6 rugby so they have improved it by taking out the dumbell round about but still cocked it up after spending MILLIONS also now there’s now no exit off M6 south to M1 north Madness!!!

  32. Richard Blackman

    As good example of this the M1 managed section from junction 8 to 13 both directions.
    Speed limits of 40 imposed for no reason all the time, particularly in light traffic with no incidents, broad daylight and good weather.
    Why is this not audited and inspected by indipendant traffic expert.

  33. Bill Luxton

    Recently the traffic lights were out for several days at the Worthing roundabout on the A27. The traffic definitely flowed faster and more smoothly!

  34. Roger

    I’m from Bridgend South Wales, and when i was younger it was a fantastic little town, It’s now a ghost town, and it may have something to do with the fact that the town council in its wisdom some years ago put traffic lights at every roundabout surrounding Bridgend, the traffic has been horrendous ever since, when you ring them to ask why they have done this, the answer they give is, and i quote, Its traffic calming..well it sure as hell aint calming the drivers…

  35. Paul Turton

    Stop being an old woman! If you had to drive on some of the back roads here in rural Bucks and Oxon you would be calling for more road works to save your back, and your expensive alloys.

  36. Peter Scott

    16 miles on the M62 traffic cones nearside lane closed off 50 speed limit for no reason what so ever i think its to just piss us off what happened to no road works at the weekend all cones tobe removed so traffic flows better plus copers hiding to right back up in the off ramps on verges.

  37. Stuart

    The Highways agency are not fit for purpose. I travel M1 and M6 and find that their inaccurate and misleading information causes more problems than it prevents. The highways agency staff responsible for this should be made to stand in a box on the side of the motorway with drivers of station vehicles able to shout comments at them.

  38. Adam H

    I think things are gone crazy lately!!! take M25 for example, needless speed limits are applied slowing traffic when it is completely clear. Are drivers really that stupid??? Turn them off! Unrealistic speed limits are being imposed for all the wrong reasons – NOT for safety but for Revenue!!! Speed cameras in down hill locations or on a motorway 50mph M40-A40 Ruslip!! This is dangerous as cars slamm on the brakes causing accidents? This is a motor way???? Driving is becoming so difficult with all the road signs, on the same strech of road you have three speed limits and cameras at the juncture of the change? This clearly diverts driver attention as you cannot consetrate on the road with so many signs and information not forgetting keeping you eye on your speed dial? I was caught speeding 33mph on a steep downward hill in Epsom by a traffic officer hiding in a bush? Really? they send you on a course again making money and creating a feeling of extorsion! Something has to be done!

  39. Nick Poynton

    Being a LGV driver I see all sorts on my travels and a major part of my trip takes me along the M6 through the midlands where congestion is a nightmare.
    On one of my nightly trips south Between j13 – j12 s/b which has been made into a so called (smart motorway) using all lanes with no hard shoulder.
    On the opersite carriage way there was a broken down car which had managed to pull off the carriageway on to the grass verge away from the live traffic lanes,
    Highways had closed all 4 running lanes n/b coursing a 3 mile cue of traffic for a broken down car!!
    I understand there’s a safety issue but what in the hell gives them the right to enforce a full closure when the vehicle is clear of all lanes.
    I’ve seen numerous incidents involving the so called Highways agency coursing chaos on the road networks of the uk when they first came into force they were employed to assist the police with the flow of traffic on our road networks and deal with mirror RTC’s and allow the police to deal with more major incidents not course more delays and chaos.

  40. Steve Carpenter

    Had to Driver to London last night left Bristol at about 2200 first thing 50 MPH limit on m5 Why, very little traffic. Got as far as Newbury m4 closed back on motorway 30 mins later then closed into London from j3, this is a journey I take about twice a week last night added 2 hours thank you highways department

  41. Philip Hales

    Totally agree. 2 years ago we got a new Morrisons in Sittingbourne, nearby was a large roundabout. HAD, they allowed traffic out of Morrisons only to turn left to another nearby roundabout then whiz around if they were going right. And traffic wanting to enter Morrisons from the left – they went to the big roundabout whizzed around and turned in to their left, all would have been fine. NO! they got rid of the big roundabout and installed traffic lights, and traffic lights ingress and egress to Morrisons, now even on a calm Saturday morning traffic is snarled up in all directions, goodness knows what it is like during busy times!!!!

  42. Dominic

    The country is slowly grinding to a halt. There has been no major investment in roads since the M40 opened back in ’91. 25 years of population increase, which means more cars on the roads. Doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

    Does anyone else think that 50Bn on a posh train for 2030 would be better spent on creating some new relief roads like the French do. 2 lane motorways to link up major towns and take the pressure off the existing road network.

  43. Geoffrey Hawkins

    I agree with John Pulkdn that the new 20mph speed limits serve no purpose. Trying to obey the limit in Bromley, I was overtaken twice between islands, mid morning, by frustrated drivers. Dangerous. My father used to say that at the head of every traffic jam you will find a policeman.

  44. foyboy

    A30 east of Bodmin, 7 miles of road works, seem to be 10 chaps working and 6 miles with no one there. Promised an extra lane to be open for holiday traffic, no such luck!! 40 mph down to 5mph crawl or stopped .This is the bit they should have done when the rest of the dual carriage was putin .Perhaps Putin has done this too!

  45. Ken BRUNTON

    Sadly mr. blair is quite right. I saw a blatant example returning from Dover cw on the M25. There we were tootling merrily along and then the ‘variables’ started. First one was 40mph, on the basis of what? There was no evidence of any obstruction, at all. Along the way we came upon a typically rough looking circus ensemble of a tow unit and a couple of trailers in a refuge area, and guess what? A womble vehicle replete with two wombles. I swear these wombles cause the holds up and create self fulfilling events. Who asked the control room to put on a 40 limit in the first place? I’ll bet it was the wombles.
    Motorway signs have to be credible so that people believe them. Few years ago I was trucking ccw on the M25 and every morning at about 2-00am to 4-00am they had a sign saying ‘Fog, go slow 25mph’. There was no fog and, mid Summer, at 4-00am the visibility was excellent. So all us truckers ignored it and stuck to 56mph.

  46. roy philpott

    Ever since it opened, I have asked the same question but never got an answer. We build and built motorways all over the UK and travel on them basically for no charge. Yet we build bridges and Tunnels that went to a private Toll venture and we have to pay. We was told in the beginning it would be free, but that was another politicians lie

  47. EricH

    I agree with the comments about 20 mph limits. I drive a very modern Mercedes B-Class which has a speed limiter which I can set at 20 and the car is capable of 80 mpg. However, if I set the speed limiter to 20 mph I only get about 20 mpg, cause more pollution and a lot of “suggestions” that I should be travelling faster! Almost every bicycle does more than the speed limit and certainly council vehicles all exceed the limit including buses, police vehicles on routine business etc. The interesting thing is that just about every school is in a 30 mph zone that has to have flashing lights to reduce the speed which are often forgotten and left on all day.

  48. Ed Romilly

    The variable speed cameras are just arevenue raiser and are futile.why dont this anal government spend more on improving public transport and the road network they have enough Revenue of us all.its high time they put the investment in!!

  49. Mr Angry of Redhill

    Sunday M1 Toddington area 11.30 am. Smart motorway section Southbound. 4 lanes traffic light to medium. 50 /40/50 signs changing for congestiion ahead 5 miles Get to sliproad level..inside lane empty, sliproad empty then signs show delimit. No congestion. Northbound partner notices Congestion signs on and over next 10 miles traffic bunching / crawling stopping signs saying 50 40 etc and there was nothing to congest the road that side either or further north. Written to HA for explanation…they always write back.. about 3 weeks later with software issues etc excuses…they email usually around 3am.
    Smart motaways are anything but and cause bunching as everyone clock watches, happens in light traffic as well as heavy. Get away from the managed area and the traffic spaces out and lorries get up to max speed and there is less overtaking by them.
    The Highways Authority to my thinking are not an authority but a lot of careerists trying to make a name after getting a degree in ‘traffic management’ as my named solution to a problem that did not exist till they created it.
    In this time of technology, why are roadworks signs controllled to enable areas to be speed reduced when people are working and raised when they are not doing anything. If they can afford temporary tax raising average speed cameras, they could activley control the speed of traffic as well.
    I have no issue with reduced soeed where workers are active or road surfaces are poor during repairs, but there is no need for miles of restricions for work on hold.
    Thankfully the government have said no more to long stretches of repair like Nottingham Sheffield sections at 50.
    Why, becase somone has stopped in the emergency lane, does every lane have to be reduced to 40 in a managed area yet somehow on a non managed area we seem to cope?
    Why are lorries allowed to overtake when there is congestion or within a mile of a junction? They are not in the greater area of Europe and it stops bunching and allows traffic flow.
    They tried it for about 4 miles as an experiment on the M 42 and where toes the HA end it? Halfway up a long uphill stretch of two lane, so the lorries all pull out and struggle to take one another…you could not make it up …without a degree in trafic managment!
    My view is that we should all write as often as possible to the HA to complain, copy to your MP. There are some who actually agree and support raising the limit to 80mph on motorways. The HA should not be the arbiters of their own sucesses.
    We need a seperate Oftrans to deal with this progressive tax raising agency.

  50. Pete

    “Smart motorways”
    So far slow traffic down with no obvious reason and fine people for exceeding it?
    How much has that cost?

  51. Mike Williams

    I agree with almost everything that has been said but how can we get the authorities to use common sense. In almost every walk of life, it has been replaced with regulation.

  52. Den S

    Why do the highway’s agency have roadworks up to 15 + miles which cause unnecessary congestion and while traffic is stationary pollution is increased. For the taxes paid by the motorist we get a very poor service.

  53. Phil from Swindon

    Does the Government not realise that causing congestion or so called ‘Traffic Jams” by The Highways Agency contribute significantly to the pollution of our roads ?
    Would it not be more efficient and cleaner to keep traffic moving ?

  54. Andrew Buchanan

    I think it was the Houses of Parliament Transport sub-committee that, a few months ago, criticised the Highways Agency for the coning off miles and miles of road (especially Motorways) for roadworks. They suggested these roadworks be no more than a few miles in length. As you travel around the country it is obvious that this has been totally ignored.

  55. Steve

    I regularly drive 400/500 per day, M6/61/60/62/1/40 and have seen many mindless control experiments that end permanent so after reading all the replies what is evident we are all frustrated with the lack of coordinated intelligence of the said agencies that can’t do maths or responsible for the economic viability of TAX paying business that need to use the road, it’s not just for cyclists and buses.
    If we want change then we need to make it a political challenge to any party that wants to be in power or to keep in power as the case may be. Stop being anti motorist!!!!!!!
    We voted out from the EC to stop the mindless control that 3rd parties have hold over our lives but express our frustrations over road management but that’s is all.
    It’s up to us, are we players or just spectators, what do you say?

  56. david

    traffic lights are as bad,whereby now a lot of t jubctions have them when they never had before, this is causeing a lot more queing,and the length of time they take to change..they are red both directions for ages,all this is causing more pollution with stationary traffic. what do traffic lights cost to install?.thet never used to be on roundabouts either

  57. Dave Dibble

    Smart motorways (Definitely the wrong name) are going to kill people before long. If you breakdown you have no choice but to stop! If you have a flat tyre I personally would keep on driving until I could get somewhere safe. I think that my life is worth more than a tyre and possibly a wheel.

  58. John Frewen-Lord

    Prime example of why roundabouts are better than traffic lights. Brigg, Lincs. Town bypass. One 5-way roundabout entering bypass, two sets of traffic lights controlling VERY lightly used access to either small housing development or to supermarket, then a three way roundabout exiting bypass. SAME traffic flows through bypass (i.e. negligible traffic turning off or joining at traffic lights), BUT the big rush hour jams are caused by the traffic lights, NEVER the roundabouts.

  59. Mike John

    M4 Newport South Wales is a right pain in the bum when they enforce a speed limit by the Brynglas tunnels, absolute nightmare when a decent speed of 60?2 would be much better. Whoever is in charge should be sacked and never work on traffic management again

  60. David T

    We are paying for this agency to keep roads open & moving. They should be fined every time traffic comes to an unacceptably long halt, then the work should be given to a new body that can do it competently. Instead of parking up in service stations these people should be doing all they can to guide traffic around and through hazards.

  61. Malcolm

    In Blackpool there are 5 roads that all come together controlled by traffic lights, it’s called Spen Corner, I was always in a traffic jam there and then one day all the light were out, all the traffic flowed beautifully everyone took their time and all was well………..until the lights were fixed……Sigh

  62. Allan Ford

    My local Solihull paper has run a story about the new average speed cameras in the area, these are almost covert average speed cameras they are small yellow cameras are but mounted on lamp posts about 20ft off the ground.
    The story goes onto say that one driver has been caught 7 times.
    The same story goes onto say that 1000 drivers were caught on a Sunday recently
    By a camera on the m6 north between jtn7&8, this camera is a Haydecs 3 camera mounted on the side of the gantry, this camera is just after the M5 exit and is on a down hill section.
    I think these cameras are fitted to generate revenue, some on the M1 are on down hill sections.
    The speed on some gantrys does not always seem appropriate for traffic conditions. National speed limit is also displayed somtimes I assume this is to catch speeders as cameras will be live when the signs are lite.
    The goverment put insurance premium
    Tax up to 11% so more points means more expensive insurance means for tax for the goverment, take about a self generating fund.

  63. John Rickard

    A452 Chelmsley wood Birmingham. They decided to change this road to a single lane and make the other into a cycle lane. We now have traffic congestion every day. The reason for this is to bring the community together. It does because you can’t move. This route is a diversion road when the M6 is closed between junctions 4&5N/B,or 6&4 S/B so when the motorway is closed the roads are horrendous. The cycle path is not used and debris from overhanging trees makes itimpassonle

  64. John Rickard

    A452 Chelmsley wood Birmingham. They decided to change this road to a single lane and make the other into a cycle lane. We now have traffic congestion every day. The reason for this is to bring the community together. It does because you can’t move. This route is a diversion road when the M6 is closed between junctions 4&5N/B,or 6&4 S/B so when the motorway is closed the roads are horrendous. The cycle path is not used and debris from overhanging trees makes itimpassonle

  65. Eddie Whittingham

    Agree with everyone’s comments it drives you mad and takes your focus of driving your vehicle
    The one thing I would love to know is how much each new smart gantry cost, I bet each one costs tens of thousands with all the technology that’s installed to watch/ catch us. The best of course is pay for it and have no say whatsoever

  66. Ianos

    My biggest frustration in life is traffic lights! For one week I timed all local journeys; total time and time waiting at traffic lights. I was amazed to find that 40% of my journey time was wasted sitting at lights (this doesn’t include connected deceleration and acceleration) Time only not including wasted fuel and excess pollution. Whenever lights are out of action the traffic ALWAYS flows more smoothly. Are the English too dumb to introduce turning non essential lights at non peak times (eg. at night) to yield (or English verbosity- give way) as more enlightened countries. eg. US, Thailand.

  67. Angela Frost

    We were travelling on the M25 at 3am the other day, there was no traffic, but the overhead gantries were telling us to slow down to 40mph and caution queue ahead!! What queue? There was no traffic!! What a joke!!!

  68. Ianos

    My conspiriteational friend would put this down to causing frustration -pain & suffering for the beneficial life blood of the alien lizards that control, thro’ the Illuminati; who ultimately control the world, including purported democracies. The aliens thrive on negative suffering of the human race; engineered by wars & all other means of inflicting pain.

  69. Brian

    Driverless cars are coming and it’s a way of making us used to a longer journey time and tracking every vehicle on the road.

  70. liz Turner

    There is a temporary 30mph average speed limit soutbound just after the Blackwall tunnel, its been there for months,there is no apparent reason, if they are doing works at night they should remove the speed restrictions in the day, its just a money making trap.

  71. Simon

    “Smart” section of M25 to South of Heathrow. Gantries are less than 1/2 mile apart and you go from de-restricted to 40 to 60 to 50 to 40 to 60 at successive gantries. Clearly there have been no changes in traffic conditions in the space of around two minutes to justify all of these changes. So the only reason has to be revenue raising. CROOKS!

  72. Tad

    When aproaching roundabouts, traffic lights or other junctions, I remember when you could judge the correct lane or position to aproach in, to suit the road direction you intend to turn onto, simply by using observation and simple common sense. Then along came the ‘Road Management’ nut.

  73. Michael S

    Highways bods don’t have a clue. They wanted to form a one way system in our town and showed a model. People living in the area of this simply couldn’t believe would work, never mind cutting out an important centre of town. It was howled down at a meeting as simply dishonest. We have needed a by-pass for 40 years and now finally begun. More visible cops too, never mind hiding in un-marked vehicles. Catch a mobile phone user, no problem, on the spot crush the phone and pay £100 on the spot or have the car impounded. HGV’s too. These folk are a danger to all.

  74. Harry

    We are basically an over crowded little island. I recently arrived home from New Zealand after spending three weeks touring on open uncongested roads, only to arrive back into Heathrow and drive into a car park ( also known as the M25 ). Anything that the government can do is now too little, too late.

  75. Rob H

    Certain of us have been saying this for years, and wondering when somebody would trigger a campaign.

    Try living next to the M1 near Sheffield. Count the speed cameras and the cones. You can often drive for 20 miles yet see barely any reason for them. We even have illuminated message trivia from the friendly “Motorway Team”. It’s quite bizarre.

    What is the point in “smart motorways” if we never get to use them? Why are we not imposing penalties on the construction companies for seemingly needless disruption?

    Arguably, we may not need more highways. We merely need to open those we’ve got already, and keep them in good repair.

  76. Stella H

    Just don’t get me started. I work nights in Moorgate and travel from the south coast. M23, M25, A2. Why is it that when I come home about 11.00 – 01.00 there are cones galore, 30mph speed limits and one or two people working? Shut the flipping road and get it done in a week or two. Can’t be that difficult.

  77. Peter Slater

    It’s all to do with quangos and jobs for the boys, in blue or yellow, makes no difference. We’re gradually being brainwashed by Big Brother into ‘one size fits all’.If they have no idea what to do they invent another problem/solution from their ivory corporate towers where bull++++ reigns supreme.

  78. Gerry Foran

    Everytime I am on a so called smart motorway and there is congestion it is because the idiots keep dropping the speed on the variable speed signs everyone knows that if they left the damn speeds alone there wohld not be any congestion unless there was an accident it is just a money spinner

  79. Mr D

    Just back from Spain where I drove past a pretty bad accident on a two lane motorway traffic was moving and a cop waving traffic to keep moving. Just back on M6 three lanes closed for an accident nothing moving for over two hours this constant closing of roads is costing £billions to trade and people its becoming a joke

  80. Matt

    Anyone seen the variable speed limit nonsense on the M4/5 at Bristol? There used to be jams at the interchange at peak periods, as you’d expect, but in I’ve 20 years of passing through I have never been caught that badly and really delayed. However now with these variable speed limits, it appears entirely possible for an operative to completely block the whole place just by reducing the speed limit way back up the approach road. On more occasions than you can point a stick at, I’ve gone through there mid afternoon, and been slowed from 70 to 60, then down to 40, at which point you were just parked. And guess what just as you get to the junction the speed reverts to 70, and there is no sign of any hazard at all, or congestion. That hazard and congestion has been fabricated entirely by an operator, way back up the road. If this lot would just stop meddling with traffic we would all be better off. My other bugbear is traffic lights holding you up at quiet times, surely it must be possible with modern technology to have them on timers, or sensors to operate when needed, and no more. Have the amber light flashing to warn motorists of the crossing/junction just like on the continent, then we would be able to use our own judgement when it was safe to proceed. Simples!!!

  81. Terry Paling

    Does this help? I seem to recall an ancient bye-law which allows drivers to pee against the offside wheels of a stationary vehicle.

  82. john race

    Yes,highways agencies cause congestion with their roadworks need whatsoever to restrict speeds as much as they do[apart from revenue raising from speedtraps]. also no earthly reason to do 15miles of roadworks instead of doing 1 or 2 mile stretches at a time.

  83. James

    why don’t you start a petition that we could all sign up to that could be more effective than just venting our spleens on the issue ?

  84. Carroll

    The HA seem accountable to no-one – must be the case given the amount of sh1t ‘improvements’ they force on us which are mostly anything but.

  85. john mccheyne

    We’ve all been there.Roadworks where nothing seems to be happening. 1 bloke over there leaning on a shovel having a smoke , 2 blokes over there chatting about Eastenders last night , and loads of blokes walking from 1 bit of the site to another. Presumably after that they’ll walk back again. How do roadworks ever get completed. With some tighter contract terms on how long the HA or whoever is prepared to accept as a time for the project, maybe they would get done in half the time.
    And do they really have to ‘work’ on 20 mile stretches at a time ?!

  86. PeterM42

    I used to work at Luton airport. The main access was via a roundabout from the A505 which worked reasonably well. “They” decided to put traffic lights on the roundabout. They had to turn them off within 24 hours!

  87. Haydn Freebury

    I agree Adam, a lot of our money has been spent on alleged improvements on the M4/5 interchange at Bristol and the Brynglas tunnels at Newport. it has made the traffic worse. It now takes 20 minutes longer to make the same trip.

  88. Virsanctus

    Have people ever thought what they would do if they were in the traffic light business? If I were selling the things there would be a strong temptation to sell as many as possible. How to do that? As they say in Brooklyn – Go figure …..

    The contributor mentioning the Brigg situation is dead right – the place is littered with traffic lights.

    The latest York traffic light system at the junction of the northern ring road and the southern bypass, together with massive expenditure on new roadways has resulted in regular traffic jams. They are so bad that the council is saving up to re-jig the whole set-up. I bet the final plan will include even more traffic lights !

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