Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Scotland gets its first "Managed Motorway"

Artist's impression of the Forth Replacement Crossing alongside the existing Forth Road Bridge

The Forth Replacement Crossing project is delivering a second road crossing across the Firth of Forth at Queensferry, to relieve the existing Forth Road Bridge of almost all traffic. The Forth Road Bridge will be kept as a dedicated public transport corridor for buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians.

Oldest Motorway in Scotland


The section of the M90 motorway that runs from Admiralty Junction at Rosyth (Junction 1) to the Masterton Interchange at the south east end of Dunfermline (Junction 2) was the first section of road in Scotland to be given motorway status when it was opened along with the Forth Road Bridge in September 1964. (See http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m90/timeline and http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m90/exitlist).

Managed Motorway


It is this section of motorway that is going to become the first in Scotland to become a "Managed Motorway". This involves overhead gantries with variable mandatory speed limits enforced by speed cameras. The idea is to smooth traffic flow, reduce traffic jams and reduce the number of accidents. The hard shoulder on the southbound M90 has also been modified to make is suitable for use as a combined hard shoulder and bus lane.

For information on the Forth Replacement Crossing "Managed Motorway" system (also called ITS - Intelligent Transport System) visit www.FRCits.info. The above map shows the layout of the whole Forth Replacement Crossing scheme, and when each part of the new "Managed Motorway" will open.

Phase 1 of the "Managed Motorway" scheme north of the Forth has now been confirmed as going live from Tuesday 4th December 2012. From this date, buses travelling southbound will be allowed to use the hard shoulder of the M90 from the Halbeath Interchange (Junction 3) all the way to the start of the existing bus lanes on the approaches to the existing Forth Road Bridge at Inverkeithing. Junction and lane layouts have been slightly modified to accomodate this change.

At the same time, new variable mandatory speed limits will be enforced in both directions from Halbeath to Admiralty, and on the A823(M) Pitreavie spur using overhead gantries - see www.FRCits.info for details.

Seamless Resurface 


A complete "seamless" resurfacing of the M90 southbouth from Halbeath down to Masterton was carried out in Spring / Summer 2012, using a process known as "echelon" surfacing. This involves laying the entire 3 lane width of the motorway (2 running lanes plus combined hard shoulder / bus lane) at once - the idea being that the usual joins between lanes which tend to break up after a few years don't happen. The surface is also designed to be as quiet as possible, while still providing a good level of grip in all conditions.

Forth Replacement Crossing will be part of the M90 Motorway 


The Forth Replacement Crossing will be an entirely motorway class road, linking up with the existing M90 at Rosyth to the north, and with the existing M9 Spur to the south of the Forth. It now seems that the plan is to extend the M90 designation right along the new motorway to the mainline of the M9, so that M9 Junction 1A will become the southern end of the M90: the existing M9 Spur becoming part of the M90. The currently un-numbered junction on the A90 at Scotstoun will become M90 Junction 1, and a new Queensferry Junction west of South Queensferry will be M90 Junction 1A. On the north side of the Firth, the existing Ferrytoll Junction on the A90 will be extensively modified and upgraded and given the number M90 Junction 1B. Finally the existing Admiralty Interchange (M90 Junction 1) will become M90 Junction 1C. 

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