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Other Hondas & General Topics => Off Topic (Non-Honda) => Topic started by: Jocko on September 10, 2017, 03:52:42 PM

Title: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on September 10, 2017, 03:52:42 PM
I used the new Queensferry Crossing in anger yesterday and what a wonderful piece of engineering. The problem is that everyone and their dog are visiting it and the queues are horrendous. It was fine going over it in the morning, busy but moving steadily, but on my return, at lunch time, the queues had formed. I decided it was better to continue up river and cross with the Kincardine bridge. As I drove back through Fife I crossed the M90 and the southbound queue stretched 9 miles - both lanes, pretty much stationary.
According to the Traffic Scotland Twitter page, it is the same today, and it is raining, bleak and a day for staying at home. Hopefully, for people who need to use the bridge in anger, the novelty will soon wear off.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: pb82gh3 on September 10, 2017, 08:40:47 PM
There's a fantastic animation showing this incredible build here http://www.queensferrycrossingarc.co.uk/
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on September 10, 2017, 09:51:55 PM
That is superb. Thank you. I watched it going up but never realised the intricacy of it all.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: culzean on September 12, 2017, 08:27:44 PM
One sad part of the new bridge........

149 segments of bridge deck, each of which is 12 metres (39 ft) long and 40 metres (130 ft) wide, were constructed in China and Spain

(1.8 kilometres)

The builders were a consortium of Spanish, German, American and token British company (Morrison Construction / Galliford who probably did some of the roads LOL ).

Engineering has been a dirty word in UK for many decades,  produced too much carbon apparently (unlike the financial sector which is low carbon apparently) - so we asked the Chinese and Spanish to do the 'dirty' work and have the carbon in their countries while we just put the bolts in and paint stuff - I am ashamed that we cannot even make our own bridges any more.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on October 02, 2017, 09:46:06 AM
Looks like the new bridge has passed its first "trial by combat". With winds currently a steady 50 mph and gusts to 70 mph there has been no need for restrictions, other than the blanket 40 mph currently in force 24/7. The wind deflectors must be doing their stuff, despite the fact they rather spoil the view from the bridge. Mind you, no view means no rubbernecking tourists.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on October 28, 2017, 08:49:00 PM
Once again a real windy day and the Forth Road Bridge, which is now open to service buses, was closed to double deckers. However, the Queensferry Crossing had no restrictions other than the 40 mph average speed cameras. That should be lifted shortly, and not long after that it will be uprated to full motorway status, albeit with Smart Speed Limits.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on November 06, 2017, 07:19:52 AM
That's them finally raised the speed limit on the new bridge to 50 mph. Hopefully it will soon be up to full motorway and 70 mph before too long. There is Intelligent Traffic Management in place, so smart speed limit signs can adjust the limit in force, depending on traffic conditions.
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNnkzG1WsAAt_I-.jpg)
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on November 14, 2017, 01:34:05 PM
Made my first crossing of QFC in the dark this morning. Unlike the FRB, it is not lit, with only lights on the approach viaducts. However, these lights are like bright bulkhead lights at eye level, and are most distracting. It is like driving towards a stream of approaching cars, all with their headlights on. Not great road safety design! You can see the lights, every six feet below the rail, in this photograph.
(https://e3.365dm.com/17/08/1096x616/5c3cdfefc83c6a051d43972b079abfead01d01a914d846109685ff36efb288a9_4084052.jpg?20170826233806)
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: culzean on November 14, 2017, 04:13:54 PM
They have to warn people with epilepsy when they have flashing images on TV in case it triggers a fit,  even sunlight flashing through trees on a road can do it so surely those lights on the new bridge are a hazard for certain people.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: John Ratsey on November 14, 2017, 06:17:56 PM
Perhaps someone decided that changing the bulbs on proper streetlights would be too much hassle (not that LED lamps would need much maintenance) or maybe the worry was the extra wind drag caused by the poles. However, it wouldn't have been too challenging to have installed lights near the top of the wind barriers and shaded such that they illuminate the road without annoying the drivers.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on November 14, 2017, 07:10:59 PM
The lights don't flash as you pass them, there in nothing between you and the light, but they should be baffled from the driver's direct view. they do that with railway signals near roads, and there is station beside the M8 where all the bright lights have baffles so drivers don't get dazzled/distracted.
There is no need for the lights on the QFC. There is nothing on the motorway either end, and none between the north and south towers, so why the have them for a couple of hundred yard each end is anyone's guess.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on November 17, 2017, 03:11:46 PM
Received the following email from Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors.

Lighting of the highway is not required over the full length of the bridge but is needed at each end to fulfil the requirement to light the carriageway within a safe distance from the start or finish of the slip road merge. This lighting on the bridge has been provided by low height lighting bollards for the following reasons:
Minimum risk to maintenance workers in the upkeep of the lanterns as there is no working at height from mobile elevated working platforms required to change or clean lanterns.
Reduction in light pollution and hence minimum intrusion on adjacent properties and World Heritage views.
 
The design of the lighting has recognised the apparent flicker that would be observed by vehicle occupants travelling past these lights at design road speeds. There is guidance within the British Standards that provides limits on flicker that are to be avoided to prevent visual discomfort. The design complies with these requirements in particular the duration over which the occupant observes flicker and frequency of the light pulses. The design and the arrangement has been reviewed by the independent Road Safety Auditor.
 
Additionally, the design was assessed against other international guidance and also clinical research papers into the frequency ranges that present a risk of photosensitive epileptic seizures; and found to be satisfactory. When travelling at 70mph or less, the frequency of flicker is outside the risk envelope defined in the studies. Further mitigation exists in that the light is directed downward and the flicker is only projecting into the periphery of vision of a driver. An existing installation was inspected to assess the impact of flicker and was considered to be less obtrusive than dimmed headlights in oncoming traffic on single carriageway roads.
 
Currently the brightness of the lighting cannot be controlled and they are at the brightest setting.  In the coming months, an Intelligent Light Control System will be installed which will be able to dim the lights taking into account local ambient light levels.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on November 30, 2017, 07:23:03 AM
Going to be a nightmare crossing the Forth this weekend, with repairs due to poor workmanship needing to be carried out on new bridge.
All brought to light a week ago by an article in the Daily Record from whistle-blowers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-42165899 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-42165899)

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/workers-tell-families-avoid-queensferry-11582292 (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/workers-tell-families-avoid-queensferry-11582292)
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on July 07, 2018, 05:55:19 PM
The Queensferry Crossing is a wonderful structure, and being motorway allows 70 mph travel when conditions allow.

(https://i.imgur.com/HcBSVeU.jpg)

Unfortunately, that is not very often. The Scottish government's short sighted approach was to replace a heavily congested  dual carriageway crossing with exactly the same. Approaching from the south there are 4 lanes, merging into 2, as the A90 (main route from Edinburgh city centre), joins the M90 (bringing traffic from the south and from Glasgow and points west). Then right at the bridge a 2 lane sliproad brings traffic from Falkirk and Grangemouth into the mix.
Today, a fairly normal summer Saturday, had queues backing up for 4 miles before the QFC. Meanwhile, the old bridge carries a couple of dozen buses an hour and the odd taxi.
You can guess from this rant I was stuck in the 4 mile queue!

Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: ColinB on July 07, 2018, 09:35:30 PM
I was all set to post a sarky comment asking why people chose to sit in the queue when they could simply use the old bridge, but luckily I looked it up first. So for all soft southerners (like me) who might not understand the subtlety, I believe the old bridge is now a Public Transport Corridor that is closed to private cars. Your splendid Scottish Government seems to be trying to persuade folks to change their travel habits by providing an easier route across the water for anyone prepared to use public transport (or bike, foot, skateboard, etc): that implies they are specifically wanting to hinder car users. Not sure why they think that might work when the adjacent rail bridge provides a similar public transport function, but if thatís really whatís going on they have no incentive to ease the congestion. Time to get the bike (or bus pass) out Jocko ? :(
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on July 07, 2018, 09:46:59 PM
Anytime I am going into the centre of the city I use the bus. Silly not to, particularly when it is free. On a Saturday I take shopping to my 93 year old mother-in-law, who lives south of the city. I could bus it, but it is two buses and three long walks in each direction. Add to that she often wants to go into the nearby town to do her banking.
I don't really think it is a plan to get motorists to use public transport, as weekdays the queues are trucks and lorries transporting goods the length and breadth of the country. And rail is not really an option there either, as Scotland's rail network - barring the central belt - is pretty non existent.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: sparky Paul on July 07, 2018, 10:36:26 PM
Perhaps I'll give the QFC a miss when I travel up in August. Mind you, we should pass through at around 3am, so you wouldn't think it would be that busy.  ;)

I'm a big believer in heavily subsidised public transport systems, they need to be comprehensive and cheap. I grew up in South Yorkshire in the 70s and 80s, when public transport went everywhere, cost pennies and was always busy. When deregulation came in 1986, Sheffield and Rotherham seemed to be gradually choked with car traffic over the following few years, I guess as long held habits were changed.

Where I live now no longer has any bus service, it was scrapped during the 'austerity' period cuts. When I see buses in town, they seem to be mostly populated by bus pass wielding pensioners, I find it quite sad that the only other people to use buses are perhaps those who have no other option.

If I walk a couple of miles to the next village, I can catch a bus and pay £6 for the return trip into town. You have to be careful with the timing in town though, there's only a few buses a day. For about £2 worth of petrol on the Jazz, I can make the return journey from the doorstep, with up to 3/4 passengers. The whole thing's screwy. I thought they wanted to cut pollution?
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on July 08, 2018, 09:05:02 AM
Only trouble with the QFC at 3 am is it isn't lit, so you will cross it without seeing it! The thing about the QFC is you have to use it or drive 20 miles further up the Forth, to Kincardine. The next crossing after that is another 10 miles to below Stirling.

We have a good bus service, here, but as you say, mainly bus pass passengers. Not only pensioners, either. When I was driving, I was surprised at how many younger people had bus passes. They seem to give them out like blue badges.

My late aunt moved to a tiny village (not even that, no shop, pub, nothing - just a group of houses) in the Spey valley. She was told there was a regular bus service into Granton-On-Spey. There was. One every Thursday morning, returning Thursday afternoon!
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: culzean on July 08, 2018, 11:34:10 AM
I was all set to post a sarky comment asking why people chose to sit in the queue when they could simply use the old bridge, but luckily I looked it up first. So for all soft southerners (like me) who might not understand the subtlety, I believe the old bridge is now a Public Transport Corridor that is closed to private cars. Your splendid Scottish Government seems to be trying to persuade folks to change their travel habits by providing an easier route across the water for anyone prepared to use public transport (or bike, foot, skateboard, etc): that implies they are specifically wanting to hinder car users. Not sure why they think that might work when the adjacent rail bridge provides a similar public transport function, but if that’s really what’s going on they have no incentive to ease the congestion. Time to get the bike (or bus pass) out Jocko ? :(

The truth is the old suspension (as opposed to the new 'cable stay' design) bridge is falling down,  the cables are rusting away even as we speak.  They did not build a new bridge for the fun of it,  but they had to because the old one may well be condemned and closed.   The truth is that every traditional suspension bridge in the world has a limited life,  the large cables are made up of thousands of smaller diameter steel strands that are quietly failing (well not so quietly really,  they have microphones on the cables of suspensions cables listening for the telltale 'ping' as another strand parts company). They have delayed this decay a bit by blowing dry air up the inside of the cables,  but the cables cannot be repaired.  The reason 'cable stay' designs are now popular is that it gives maintenance crews the chance to replace individual cables should the need arise.   Looks like the rail bridge will long outlast the upstart suspension road bridge next to it,  and then there is the Severn bridge and the Humber bridge, and ........................

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-34983063

https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/bitstream/2134/9199/2/014-Humber%20Bridge%20Paper%20ICC%202011.pdf
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: sparky Paul on July 08, 2018, 11:37:39 AM
I'm coming from doon sooth and heading oop north, so I will probably stick to the usual M74 - M73 - M80 - M9 - A9 route.

Not many kids have bus passes around here, they can't afford them.

Incidentally, I am just looking at school bus passes, my eldest is stopping on to do A levels. Although she is still classed as a minor for schooling purposes and cannot leave full time education down here, and has had a free bus pass for the dedicated school bus service for the last 5 years, she will be liable for full adult fare from September, which is about £4 each way.

I can buy a pass for £120 per year which will give her half fare travel, of I can buy a fare-paid season pass for the cost of the full year's half fares, plus the £120, paid up front - the best part of £1000 in total.

It would be cheaper to drive her to school in the Jazz, making two round trips. There has to be something wrong with that.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: Jocko on July 08, 2018, 01:16:59 PM
I'm coming from doon sooth and heading oop north, so I will probably stick to the usual M74 - M73 - M80 - M9 - A9 route.

Not many kids have bus passes around here, they can't afford them.
You won't be anywhere near the QFC with that route.

The bus passes I am referring to are free, handed out for the least reason. I believe you get a free bus pass if you are on Methadone!

Quote
The truth is the old suspension (as opposed to the new 'cable stay' design) bridge is falling down,  the cables are rusting away even as we speak.

The latest thinking is that the bridge is nowhere near as bad as they first thought. The immediate repairs necessary are being carried out this year and they are about to paint it, for the first time, which will take 10 years. They are also talking about replacing the cables, now that they can open and close the bridge as fancy takes it.
So perhaps, sometime in the future, we will have both bridges up and running at full capacity, though not in my lifetime I am afraid.
Title: Re: Queensferry Crossing.
Post by: sparky Paul on July 08, 2018, 04:53:14 PM
You won't be anywhere near the QFC with that route.

No, if was going to go over the QFC, I would go up the A1 and skirt Edinburgh. I find going over the A66 and up the A74M quite a bit quicker from here, if less scenic.