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TheQ

The Northern Distributer Road AKA Norwich Northern Bypass

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I can think of a large percentage of the driving public that dont understand a solid line means yo cannot cross it, many cars go through the dartford tunnel in the right hand tunnel, then cross the solid line to exit at junction 31 (the solid line extends past junction 31) the number of accedents that happen here and shut at least one of the tunnels is legendary. before they took the toll booths away the signs said no exit at junction 31 for the right hand tunnel.

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We use the Postwick to Wroxham section  regularly and, whilst undoubtedy convenient, neither of us like using the road. Every roundabout seems to be different in layout and number of lanes . People drive too fast on the roundabouts and many of those travelling along the NDR seem to think they have right of way over  drivers who are already on the roundabout but are turning off across their paths. We have had a number of "near misses" , none of which were our fault and it is only a matter of time before there is a very serious accident on that stretch of road.   For my money, the roundabouts should be reduced  in size and limited to 2 lanes - the same as the road itself. This would slow things down at the exits and make the driving experience safer and less of a free for all.

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Ignore my last posts on this topic where I mentioned how the road and roundabouts are different, lack flow and so on.  This afternoon I went for a spin down Broadland North Way as they now call the NDR - and well, actually much has changed.

I did not cover every part, but a good chunk and all the roundabouts had advance warning signs of a roundabout approaching, countdown markers and many also had 'get in lane' signs to further aid navigation. This leaves me to wonder why so many crash on this stretch of road, or also how people continue to be so confused by the roundabouts.

I therefore pulled over and set up my camera to film some, and in so doing caught two near misses - one where a car would have likely ended up in my side had I not been aware and cautious of what she was about to do (changing lanes before exiting the roundabout) she was in lane two and me in lane one - she moved over to lane one without a blind spot check, but that is at the end of the video so look out for the red Fiat 500 - and what happens to the BMW 1 Series and the Horse lorry... P.S I also made some errors showing everyone is fallible.

 

 

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Forgive yourself Robin, you’ve only been driving for five minutes compared to most on here. Don’t knock yourself out over a few minor boo boos.

personally I take great pleasure in doing things right, at the right time and in the correct way. That’s my pleasure in driving. After 40 years of at fault accident free driving I’m happy with that. 

 

M

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I had my at fault accident on the second day i had my first car, all the rest of the accidents I have been involved in have been the other drivers fault and unavoidable, including 1 at just a couple of miles per hour when a bus had pulled out at a junction onto the road I was on, and the back of the bus was still just in my lane, i slowed right doen to crawl past and just as I got level with the back end a post office van pulled out to turn right from behind the bus, i had a whole foot in which to react. ever since that first accident I have taken great care to watch out for what traffic around me is doing.

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Grendel my friend, 

That would have read a huge amount better if you’d said both or all three of the others rather than ALL THE REST! 

He he 

M

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where that it had only been three!

, I have been tail ended by a lorry, I stopped at the red light, he assumed I wasnt going to.

twice I have been driven into from the side as someone pulled out from a side turning, then there was the post office van, I was tail ended by a women in a car as I pulled away from a roundabout and had to stop as a vehicle came round from out of sight. then I have had several rubber on the road near misses as people pulled into the spot I would have been occupying if I had not braked (both cars and lorries), one of the hazards of doing 33,000 miles a year mostly on the M25, but then again that is spread out over 38 years of driving.

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Posted (edited)

Once had this one, I`m joining the major road from a minor, to my right is a bus at a bus stop still indicating left yet I`m at fault as  I cross infront of the bus to turn right as the bus leaves the bus stop whilst still indicating left!

Edited by OldBerkshireBoy
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I'm not understanding the posts where comment is made about the roundabouts being low...?

I mean they don't have a big 'hump' in the middle, or trees growing out the middle for example but does it need to have any height when it has the chevrons on the roundabout itself and the warning 1/4 mile away there is a roundabout and then the countdown markers. In other words you've got a lot of visual indicators one is approaching before you see the 'hill' ahead.

 

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All I can say is that anyone who has a problem with the NDR had better not move to Milton Keynes!

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Having lived in MK the design of the MK roundabouts is much better than those on the NDR..

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6 minutes ago, TheQ said:

Having lived in MK the design of the MK roundabouts is much better than those on the NDR..

Putting to one side for the moment that I was being facetious, the roundabouts at MK are generally speaking much lower speed roundabouts with lower speed approach roads. I have driven the NDR a few times and see no real problem with it. If there is a problem at all, and this applies to many of the roundabouts in this country, it's because the design hasn't changed to allow for the fact that cars have got faster acceleration coupled with the general driving population forgetting they need to turn the steering wheel.

My car does 0-60 in 4.7 secs. There are many roundabouts near me which form major junctions with A roads where the roundabout is built incorporating two bridges over the main road below. Some of these roundabouts are big enough for cars on the straight bit of the roundabout to easily achieve 50 - 60 mph. My car could easily hit the national speed limit. If you are trying to enter such a roundabout and constantly being confronted with cars coming from your right at that kind of speed it can be virtually impossible at times. The solution in many places is to introduce part time traffic lights to hold the traffic on the roundabout to allow other traffic onto the roundabout. What is really needed is for all roundabouts to have an appropriate speed limit and traffic calming on all approaches and on the roundabout itself if it is a very large roundabout. With faster approach speeds and faster speeds on the roundabout itself, too many people straight line or take the path of least resistance leading to no lane discipline and it is that which causes most of the problems.

A lower speed roundabout near me has two lanes onto the roundabout and one lane of on the left and two off straight across. Time and time again I see people approach in the left lane too fast and go almost to the centre of the roundabout and then turn left taking the first exit. If you were in the right hand lane and trying to negotiate the roundabout alongside them, you would be forced onto the centre of the roundabout. The problem is the car in the left hand lane going too fast and taking the line of least resistance and treating the roundabout like a left hand turn. If they approached at the correct speed they would be able to turn the steering wheel left, followed by a short bit of right to follow their lane on the roundabout and then left again to go off the roundabout. There is nothing wrong with the design of the roundabout, just inappropriate entry speed and lane discipline by the majority of drivers. 

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9 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

I'm not understanding the posts where comment is made about the roundabouts being low...?

I mean they don't have a big 'hump' in the middle, or trees growing out the middle for example but does it need to have any height when it has the chevrons on the roundabout itself and the warning 1/4 mile away there is a roundabout and then the countdown markers. In other words you've got a lot of visual indicators one is approaching before you see the 'hill' ahead.

 

Robin I agree with you there and would add that it is an advantage giving anyone approaching a better view of the traffic already on the roundabout, there are  roundabouts on numerous roads with a built up island in some cases a brick or concreate wall where the traffic is obscured till the last minuet a far worse situation.

 

26 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Putting to one side for the moment that I was being facetious, the roundabouts at MK are generally speaking much lower speed roundabouts with lower speed approach roads. I have driven the NDR a few times and see no real problem with it. If there is a problem at all, and this applies to many of the roundabouts in this country, it's because the design hasn't changed to allow for the fact that cars have got faster acceleration coupled with the general driving population forgetting they need to turn the steering wheel.

My car does 0-60 in 4.7 secs. There are many roundabouts near me which form major junctions with A roads where the roundabout is built incorporating two bridges over the main road below. Some of these roundabouts are big enough for cars on the straight bit of the roundabout to easily achieve 50 - 60 mph. My car could easily hit the national speed limit. If you are trying to enter such a roundabout and constantly being confronted with cars coming from your right at that kind of speed it can be virtually impossible at times. The solution in many places is to introduce part time traffic lights to hold the traffic on the roundabout to allow other traffic onto the roundabout. What is really needed is for all roundabouts to have an appropriate speed limit and traffic calming on all approaches and on the roundabout itself if it is a very large roundabout. With faster approach speeds and faster speeds on the roundabout itself, too many people straight line or take the path of least resistance leading to no lane discipline and it is that which causes most of the problems.

A lower speed roundabout near me has two lanes onto the roundabout and one lane of on the left and two off straight across. Time and time again I see people approach in the left lane too fast and go almost to the centre of the roundabout and then turn left taking the first exit. If you were in the right hand lane and trying to negotiate the roundabout alongside them, you would be forced onto the centre of the roundabout. The problem is the car in the left hand lane going too fast and taking the line of least resistance and treating the roundabout like a left hand turn. If they approached at the correct speed they would be able to turn the steering wheel left, followed by a short bit of right to follow their lane on the roundabout and then left again to go off the roundabout. There is nothing wrong with the design of the roundabout, just inappropriate entry speed and lane discipline by the majority of drivers. 

While I agree with you regarding the speed and acceleration of modern cars I would suggest that some roundabouts not necessarily those on the NDR could be better designed, if many had smaller islands enabling the lanes to be straightened rather than the sharp sweep they currently have that would alleviate a lot of what you are saying, unfortunately as with a lot of things the so called expert desk jockeys base them on theoretical modelling rather than practical experience.

Fred

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I've only driven the NDR from Postwick to the Wroxham roundabout but I don't find anything unusual about the roundabouts. They are round, which is always a good start and not always the case where I live where weird shape roundabouts seem to be in trend. You only go one way around them, unlike some and they are correctly signed for the road's designation with good advance signage.

What you can't account for is the idiots who drive around them, as shown in the EDP video. 

As for your video Robin, I don't see where you crossed lanes on the roundabout, all looked good to me. 

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3 minutes ago, rightsaidfred said:

Robin I agree with you there and would add that it is an advantage giving anyone approaching a better view of the traffic already on the roundabout, there are  roundabouts on numerous roads with a built up island in some cases a brick or concreate wall where the traffic is obscured till the last minuet a far worse situation.

 

While I agree with you regarding the speed and acceleration of modern cars I would suggest that some roundabouts not necessarily those on the NDR could be better designed, if many had smaller islands enabling the lanes to be straightened rather than the sharp sweep they currently have that would alleviate a lot of what you are saying, unfortunately as with a lot of things the so called expert desk jockeys base them on theoretical modelling rather than practical experience.

Fred

The problem with smaller islands and straightening the lanes is that this encourages people to take the roundabout at a faster speed, leading to more errors of judgement and last minute decisions. On the A127 near me there used to be a roundabout which they decided to partially close. On the main road you can either turn left off the roundabout or go straight ahead and you don't need to give way as it is blocked to the right. If joining from the side roads you can only turn left, you are blocked from going straight across. Effectively it is no longer a roundabout, just a big bulge in the central reservation. For years lorries would approach it too fast and end up toppling over. They lowered the speed limit to 40 from 70 and still it happened. They banned lorries from the right hand lane on approach and across the junction and still it happened. They painted a Red barrier strip between the lanes to try and segregate traffic further and still it happened. In the end they put speed cameras on the last bit of the approach to the junction set strictly for 40mph and it has pretty much stopped happening. For years people have been campaigning to have the remains of the roundabout removed, but unless the two side roads were closed off, those junctions would become too unsafe for the speed of the road, and there is not enough land around to allow for longer entry and exits into the side roads.

At the end of the day the junction is not laid out the best, but if negotiated at the proper speed and with proper use of the steering wheel it is not a problem. A whole host of measures were put in place to try to educate people to use the junction at the proper speed but they all failed until the speed camera went in. Now with drivers using it at the proper speed it works.

Fortune.JPG

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On the following roundabout it is so easy with modern cars to reach 70 mph across the bridges highlighted in Red. Traffic trying to join the roundabout has a very difficult job at busy times to find a big enough gap. I would put a speed limit of 30mph on the roundabout and enforce it with average speed cameras across the bridges.

A127.JPG

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9 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

The problem with smaller islands and straightening the lanes is that this encourages people to take the roundabout at a faster speed, leading to more errors of judgement and last minute decisions. On the A127 near me there used to be a roundabout which they decided to partially close. On the main road you can either turn left off the roundabout or go straight ahead and you don't need to give way as it is blocked to the right. If joining from the side roads you can only turn left, you are blocked from going straight across. Effectively it is no longer a roundabout, just a big bulge in the central reservation. For years lorries would approach it too fast and end up toppling over. They lowered the speed limit to 40 from 70 and still it happened. They banned lorries from the right hand lane on approach and across the junction and still it happened. They painted a Red barrier strip between the lanes to try and segregate traffic further and still it happened. In the end they put speed cameras on the last bit of the approach to the junction set strictly for 40mph and it has pretty much stopped happening. For years people have been campaigning to have the remains of the roundabout removed, but unless the two side roads were closed off, those junctions would become too unsafe for the speed of the road, and there is not enough land around to allow for longer entry and exits into the side roads.

At the end of the day the junction is not laid out the best, but if negotiated at the proper speed and with proper use of the steering wheel it is not a problem. A whole host of measures were put in place to try to educate people to use the junction at the proper speed but they all failed until the speed camera went in. Now with drivers using it at the proper speed it works.

Fortune.JPG

I know that one well, its only a few miles further along the A127 from where I work

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5 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

On the following roundabout it is so easy with modern cars to reach 70 mph across the bridges highlighted in Red. Traffic trying to join the roundabout has a very difficult job at busy times to find a big enough gap. I would put a speed limit of 30mph on the roundabout and enforce it with average speed cameras across the bridges.

A127.JPG

I know that one too, but have never had occasion to use the roundabout, just drive straight under on the A127.

That said, the standard of driving on the A127 does leave a lot to be desired, barely a day passes without queues of traffic along the A127 past our office due to collisions, and as the entrance and exit is only off the east bound carriageway and there are no back entrances if there are traffic hold ups, we either cant get into- or sometimes out of the estate where I work.

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To illustrate that roundabout see the pictures below. The first is my approach coming off the A127 from London. The speed limit on the A127 is 70mph and there is the usual roundabout ahead and slow down, but nothing lowering the speed limit. The second picture shows my view to the right which means I have to slow almost to a stop. The last picture shows my view to the right once at the give way line. Note how long the bridge is and that cars coming across can easily reach 70 mph. Finding a suitable gap at busy times can be tricky leading to people taking chances on smaller gaps. Appropriate speed limits on the roundabout, if required enforced by average speed cameras would resolve the issue. Or just people using the appropriate speed in the first place.

Pic1.thumb.JPG.60dc533c52392c596eb3cd9b2adb1260.JPGPic2.thumb.JPG.f3700e62a554701e63a6a4d0198fd3b7.JPGpic3.thumb.JPG.a6a335fb747923bc36d4b57b137eeb5f.JPG

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Yes I to know that roundabout well in fact all the A127 from before there were any roundabouts on it, the Kursaal was a regular weekend jaunt, I agree shallow roundabouts would encourage speed but as you said that is already a problem, the long term answer is more underpasses but that wont happen due to cost 

Fred

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Another bug bear of mine is people not following the lane markings on roundabouts. A classic example is this set of pictures from Google street view. Ironically it features a learner driver doing what 90% of drivers do on this roundabout. The lane markings are clear and where the leaner is in front the lane is about to open into two clearly marked lanes.C1.thumb.JPG.3f740c337314556bf040b64f76c563cb.JPG

In the picture below I would now be moving out to the left hand lane of the two lanes if heading towards Benfleet.

C2.thumb.JPG.33a5f5679258e0187116f27c6fd5a38b.JPG

In the picture below I would be alongside the learner or almost alongside slightly faster cars.

C3.thumb.JPG.1051a9ec4e50c406f15148685fa6847b.JPG

In the picture below I would now be on a collision course with the driver where the learner is, and most likely receiving abuse for undertaking even though that driver is clearly in the wrong lane,

C4.thumb.JPG.88126511105c889bb6f19eca2aeca86d.JPG

The final picture bellows shows the full transgression and by now we would have crashed, or I would be up the grass or heading for the lamp post.

C5.thumb.JPG.50ac72d84fa47903a819d044da2f4d90.JPG

The problem occurs because the fastest way around that roundabout is to keep close to the roundabout and then spiral out at a point just after picture 2 when you are clearly in the wrong lane. The pictures don't show it too well, but to get into the correct lane as soon as it opens up means you need to keep straighter for longer and then a more pronounced right at a slower speed or you end up on the traffic island. With correct speed and more input on the steering wheel it is not a problem.

 

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there is a similar situation near where I live in canterbury, between two roundabouts, entering from a right hand lane needing to turn left at the next roundabout, usually facing a solid queue of traffic from the slip in to the left all wanting to turn right at the next roundabout, complicated by a bus lane and traffic lights, in just a few hundred yards I need to cross two lanes to the left. streetview shows this road as nearly empty - must have been early sunday morning, its usually a solid queue.

its common to get to the top, start pulling into the left lane only to find a bus or taxi coming up at a fair lick, but only having a very short section of lane to get across, also once at the roundabout the traffic turning right will swing across that left turn lane to hug the outer kerb, as they are not thinking there will be vehicles entering the roundabout on their left to take the left turn, ok it all happens at a lot slower speed, but gets frustrating all the same, once I was forced to stay in the right lane and do a full trip around the roundabout to make the left turn, as people just dont want to make a space to let you across.

1.JPG

2.JPG

3.JPG

4.JPG

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ok so this shows the normal flow and where I come from and need to get to.

4.JPG

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The rather badly illustrated hand drawn picture below shows the issue a little clearer. The Red incorrect line is the one taken by most drivers because it requires less steering input and can be done faster. The Green line is the correct way but requires more steering input, some a little sharper and less speed. However two into one doesn't go and there is only one lane off onto Canvey Road. However the 90% of drivers who take the Red line will always abuse the 10% of drivers who take the green line if the driver on the green line ends up on the inside of the one taking the red line.

Capture.JPG

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1 hour ago, Paul said:

I've only driven the NDR from Postwick to the Wroxham roundabout but I don't find anything unusual about the roundabouts. They are round, which is always a good start and not always the case where I live where weird shape roundabouts seem to be in trend.

Except they're not, the outer lanes are sometimes concave and sometimes convex with some roundabouts a mix of both.

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