A third lane for the M8 in Glasgow – at almost no cost!

For decades I’ve been driving the M8 and as it comes into Glasgow from the east at juction 17 (Great Western Road) at any busy time of day, there will be a queue of traffic in the two lanes marked in yellow below.TowardJct17

The reason for this is that for some unexplained reason, the motorway suddenly changes from 4 to 2 lanes. The result is that for about a mile at busy times, the road is just one slow moving queue in the centre whilst a few people whizz along either side to get off at Junction 17 (left) or the same junction on the right (I think is 18) – whilst a large number of people whizz along and then cut in at the last minute – driving everyone who has waited ten minutes nuts.

Well, this week I worked out that it would be very simple to create another lane so that the mile or so that had only two going west would then have three. And the total cost? We’d need to knock down two fences/bariers & tarmac over about 20m of grass. I think me and my neighbour (and some big machinery) could get a trial track ready in a weekend.

OK, it would not be the fastest lane in the world – there may be a need speed the traffic going off the motorway to prevent queues blocking this lane – but with not much work it ought to be faster than waiting in the queue and could significantly reduce the queuing.

Here’s the first section:

Jct17What happens here, is that the new lane comes off at junction 17 and then we tarmac the grass here:JoinNote how there’s just a gentle gradient from one road to the next. The actual line would be more to the right than shown here, but you can see how easy it would be (even now with a 4×4) to come off at Junction 17 and then go straight back on. And there’s plenty on room down there for two lanes to merge.

But then what happens next? We simply carry on this slip road and then instead of merging right to get onto the two blocked lanes of the M8 we merge left to get on another slip road.

Here’s the place where we need this new split

M8_1

But it’s easier to see it at ground level on the present slip road coming off. Remember this needs to be the third lane, so we need to get back onto the M8. How do we do this? See those bollards – we just take them down dig up the slightly raised bit and draw in some white lines to move the present traffic to the left lane.

Barrier

But this raises a new problem because there are often queues building up from the traffic lights ahead. To reduce these queues we need to stop this traffic going into Glasgow backing up from the traffic lights. We do this by changing its route. Instead of going forward we make them go through the bollards and then left again onto another slip road that is a third lane going to the same traffic lights ahead. This enables us to make the resent “sliproad off M8″ a no left turn at the traffic lights ahead. This sounds complex so I’ll draw the flow in more detail:

M8_2However, you’ll notice I’ve now blocked traffic that used to use this sliproad. So what happens to this? Below I’ve shown the old traffic flow in red. I’ve marked the blockage with a yellow blob. The new traffic on the 3rd lane I’ve shown in light yellow. And the new traffic flow on the lane that is now blocked follows the lines in blue.

M8_3

To do this we need to make Pitt Street two way and allow traffic to take a right turn from St.Vincent St. onto Pitt Street. There should be no problem making Pitt Street two way as it is currently 3 lanes with a lane of parked cars. We also need to find a way to get cars from the Hilton and few office blocks onto the M8. I’ve drawn three options in dotted blue.

  1. The first involves building a ramp about 4-5ft high,
  2.  the second involves a tight U-bend. This might be achieved by a roundabout.
  3. The third just involves reversing the flow along a now very unused bit of road.

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One Response to A third lane for the M8 in Glasgow – at almost no cost!

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