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    • Aaron702
    • By Aaron702 5th May 18, 9:07 PM
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    Aaron702
    Slowing down in the Dartford Tunnel
    • #1
    • 5th May 18, 9:07 PM
    Slowing down in the Dartford Tunnel 5th May 18 at 9:07 PM
    The Dartford tunnel running northbound from Kent to Essex has a 50mph speed limit with a minimum speed limit of 10mph. Most people that have ever used this dreaded crossing are aware of how awful the traffic is, but after using it a lot recently I have made an observation:
    Even when traffic is medium-light, people will always slow down from 50mph to 40mph when they enter the tunnel. As soon as they exit, they speed up again. This is incredibly frustrating and no doubt adds to the congestion. Do people not realise the speed limit doesn't drop for the tunnel? Are they scared of driving in a dark, narrow lane? Can anybody enlighten me as to why this happens or if anybody else has made this observation.
Page 2
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 7th May 18, 7:28 PM
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    Norman Castle
    is a freeman of London allowed to take his sheep and cattle through the tunnel ?
    Originally posted by note-from-mum
    Yes, but only if they'll fit in his car.
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    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 8th May 18, 10:28 PM
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    Ectophile
    If it's a Friday, then the motorists probably spent the previous 5 miles averaging just slightly over walking pace as they approached the tunnel.

    After that, 40MPH would seem dangerously fast.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 9th May 18, 1:06 PM
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    almillar
    There's no reason (see above) why they should speed up to 70mph if they don't feel the need and they cannot legally move to the nearside lane.It's not their fault that the road layout prevents them from doing so.
    I've no idea what the road is like here, but if they don't intend on doing the speed limit, they shouldn't trap themselves in the overtaking lane. It's obstructive.

    Note the key word highlighted here. It is not a requirement, it is a limit.
    Also note - they're in the outside, fast, overtaking lane. The wrong one.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 9th May 18, 1:14 PM
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    waamo
    I've no idea what the road is like here, but if they don't intend on doing the speed limit, they shouldn't trap themselves in the overtaking lane. It's obstructive.



    Also note - they're in the outside, fast, overtaking lane. The wrong one.
    Originally posted by almillar
    Indeed. As the opening post identifies people are frightened to do 50mph let alone 70mph should they even be on a motorway let alone the outside lane?
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    • TooManyPoints
    • By TooManyPoints 9th May 18, 1:16 PM
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    TooManyPoints
    I've no idea what the road is like here,...
    No you obviously haven't.

    The Dartford Crossing (northbound) consists of two individual tunnels of two lanes each. The two lanes in each tunnel are separated by double white lines. These begin on the tunnel slope. By the time a driver reaches that point he has probably been in a queue of (four lane) slow moving traffic for some time (there is virtually always congestion on the southern approach). For those unfamiliar with the layout (such as you) and even those that know the road, their choice of lane at that point (before they enter the tunnel) almost certainly does not incorporate how the situation might evolve when they leave the tunnel. When they do, they are confronted by continuing double white lines which prevent them moving to the nearside as you suggest. So unless they are able to choose correctly about a mile or more before the tunnel (where the London bound A2 has an adjoining sliproad which is the cause of most of the congestion and which forces much of the traffic already on the M25 to the outside lanes) they are stuffed until well after leaving the tunnel.
    Last edited by TooManyPoints; 09-05-2018 at 1:28 PM.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 9th May 18, 3:50 PM
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    Norman Castle
    Indeed. As the opening post identifies people are frightened to do 50mph let alone 70mph should they even be on a motorway let alone the outside lane?
    Originally posted by waamo
    The opening posts asks if they are frightened, it doesn't identify anyone as being frightened.

    Do people not realise the speed limit doesn't drop for the tunnel? Are they scared of driving in a dark, narrow lane?
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 09-05-2018 at 3:53 PM.
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    • waamo
    • By waamo 9th May 18, 4:03 PM
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    waamo
    The opening posts asks if they are frightened, it doesn't identify anyone as being frightened.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    I took it as a rhetorical question.
    This space for hire.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 9th May 18, 7:01 PM
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    robatwork
    On a related note, I've experimented with both bores and each lane in them. There isn't one lane or bore that seems faster than the others.

    And now I have turned into one of the bores.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 10th May 18, 12:30 PM
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    almillar
    their choice of lane at that point (before they enter the tunnel) almost certainly does not incorporate how the situation might evolve when they leave the tunnel. When they do, they are confronted by continuing double white lines which prevent them moving to the nearside as you suggest. So unless they are able to choose correctly about a mile or more before the tunnel (where the London bound A2 has an adjoining sliproad which is the cause of most of the congestion and which forces much of the traffic already on the M25 to the outside lanes) they are stuffed until well after leaving the tunnel.
    Thanks for the explanation - kind of what I thought, and what I said stands. Congestion or not, if you're in the outside lane, you should be expecting to go fast. If you're not prepared to accelerate properly when the opportunity arises, be it on the other side of the tunnel a mile away, stay out of the outside lane.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 10th May 18, 2:37 PM
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    soolin
    Thanks for the explanation - kind of what I thought, and what I said stands. Congestion or not, if you're in the outside lane, you should be expecting to go fast. If you're not prepared to accelerate properly when the opportunity arises, be it on the other side of the tunnel a mile away, stay out of the outside lane.
    Originally posted by almillar
    It really doesn't work like that, you are virtually streamed for the last bit, in fact the traffic for the two tunnels is split a way back with solid white lines. I travel the route a lot often waiting 30 minutes or so to crawl the final half mile to the tunnel . There is also the issue that locals tend to avoid the left hand lane as well as it's the one the escorted vehicles go through so is often closed with red lights .

    There is also no such thing as a fast lane or a slow lane so you misunderstand that. The outer lanes are for overtaking, so if they move a little faster (and we are talking the difference between 10 MPH and 7MPH on a usual afternoon) then even a slow car would correctly be moving into an outer lane if they wanted to overtake.

    I travel a lot, Dartford is unique in that there is virtually always slow or stationary traffic from Kent into Essex , the traffic flow is appalling . At least one journey in 10 I end up completely stationary for ages with nothing apparently going on at all.
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    • almillar
    • By almillar 11th May 18, 12:28 PM
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    almillar
    There is also no such thing as a fast lane or a slow lane so you misunderstand that. The outer lanes are for overtaking
    I know, but for the purpose of this post, we're talking about speed. I'm saying you shouldn't be in the overtaking lane unless you're prepared to drive at the speed limit. Don't enter it in the first place, traffic or no traffic, if you're not willing to or fit to drive at 70 if conditions allow. That's not in the Highway Code, but it's good driving. The tunnel, the unbroken line, the traffic, are all distractions from people entering the wrong lane.


    then even a slow car would correctly be moving into an outer lane if they wanted to overtake.

    Yes, that's fair enough. But these same 10mph overtakers, are then required to speed up properly when traffic/limits allow. The annoyance is people holding others up, in the overtaking lane, AFTER the traffic.
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