The ArgusCall to slow down at Southwick Tunnel from driving expert (From The Argus)

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Call to slow down at Southwick Tunnel from driving expert

The Argus: Call to slow down at Southwick Tunnel from driving expert Call to slow down at Southwick Tunnel from driving expert

A motoring expert is calling for a lower speed limit to reduce the number of crashes near the Southwick Tunnel.

Neil Greig from the Institute of Advanced Motorists said there seemed to be no other reason than speed for the succession of collisions on the A27 Brighton bypass.

There were delays on both sides of the A27 at rush-hour on Wednesday after two crashes near the tunnel.


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And a collision on January 15 left the road closed for three hours, causing traffic chaos and prompting MP Tim Loughton to call the stretch of dual-carriageway a “safety risk”.

But Mr Greig, who is director of policy and research at the IAM, said there was nothing engineering-wise wrong with the road.

He said: “It seems to be driver error and speed that are the issues.”

Mr Greig said the only way to improve safety along the short stretch of tunnel was to introduce a lower speed limit alongside strict enforcement.

He added: “It is very difficult to change a tunnel engineering-wise.

“The tunnel needs to be actively monitored 24/7 with a view to safety.”

The Southwick Tunnel is relatively new in tunnel-terms, opened in 1996, but is too short to be included on a European wide tunnel safety rating system.

Mr Greig said including shorter tunnels such as the Southwick Tunnel would mean there was an independent body monitoring safety in the tunnel.

“Otherwise we just have to accept whatever the Highways Agency tells us,” said Mr Greig.”

Meanwhile the Highways Agency has confirmed it is in the process of arranging a meeting with Mr Loughton following the West Worthing and Shoreham MP’s concerns.

A spokesman said: “Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency; our roads are amongst the safest in the world and we regularly review safety on the A27. We are working with partners, including Sussex Police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, to further improve safety on the A27 and last year, for example, improved the approach to the A27, towards the tunnel, from Holmbush.

"We are in the process of arranging a meeting with Tim Loughton MP having received his request.”

Comments (13)

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7:31am Fri 31 Jan 14

Made In Sussex says...

"seemed"..well thats very scientific isnt it! How about some CCTV to record what actually happenned and make a decision about changing speed limits based on facts instead of lazy reasoning. Ther rest of us now have to drive slower because of the idiotic actions of as minority. If we took this approach to the whole of the A27 and all its other accident areas then this whole stretch of dual carriageway will end up 40mph.
"seemed"..well thats very scientific isnt it! How about some CCTV to record what actually happenned and make a decision about changing speed limits based on facts instead of lazy reasoning. Ther rest of us now have to drive slower because of the idiotic actions of as minority. If we took this approach to the whole of the A27 and all its other accident areas then this whole stretch of dual carriageway will end up 40mph. Made In Sussex
  • Score: 10

8:39am Fri 31 Jan 14

Withdean-er says...

Excess speed or fiddling with the addictive mobile are likely causes. Almost all drivers find the A27 and tunnel no problem at all. The gentle curve is pretty obvious, to all but dimwits bombing along late for work. After 20 years of successful operation, some bizarre theories have been on Argus comments of late, such as innocent drivers judging the north (eastbound exit) bore entrance, to be the westbound bore entrance. Just some awful drivers about.
Excess speed or fiddling with the addictive mobile are likely causes. Almost all drivers find the A27 and tunnel no problem at all. The gentle curve is pretty obvious, to all but dimwits bombing along late for work. After 20 years of successful operation, some bizarre theories have been on Argus comments of late, such as innocent drivers judging the north (eastbound exit) bore entrance, to be the westbound bore entrance. Just some awful drivers about. Withdean-er
  • Score: 10

8:44am Fri 31 Jan 14

qm says...

Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem.
People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare!
There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents!
Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem. People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare! There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents! qm
  • Score: 7

8:50am Fri 31 Jan 14

The Prophet of Doom says...

How many so-called "experts" who cast their opinion here would be capable of passing the IAM test? Not many.
How many so-called "experts" who cast their opinion here would be capable of passing the IAM test? Not many. The Prophet of Doom
  • Score: 0

9:03am Fri 31 Jan 14

maria m says...

stop people overtaking in the tunnel would help, there were signs for this in the past, but they are long gone, and would the idiots take any notice, I think not.
stop people overtaking in the tunnel would help, there were signs for this in the past, but they are long gone, and would the idiots take any notice, I think not. maria m
  • Score: 3

9:09am Fri 31 Jan 14

Withdean-er says...

qm wrote:
Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem.
People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare!
There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents!
Exactly.
Police to be used on the A27 and other 'blackspots' in unmarked and marked cars to start bringing the selfish planks to book: Speeding, mobile phone use, hanging out in the overtaking lane when not, tailgating, cutting in causing others to brake or swerve - they will have a field day, and it will help finance the cost of this Policing.
[quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem. People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare! There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents![/p][/quote]Exactly. Police to be used on the A27 and other 'blackspots' in unmarked and marked cars to start bringing the selfish planks to book: Speeding, mobile phone use, hanging out in the overtaking lane when not, tailgating, cutting in causing others to brake or swerve - they will have a field day, and it will help finance the cost of this Policing. Withdean-er
  • Score: 11

9:21am Fri 31 Jan 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Expert-wise are we sure-wise that the IAM-wise has the right credentials to judge this engineering-wise?
The fairly banal comment that it is difficult to re-engineer a tunnel casts doubt on the credibility of the quoted view.
Tunnel, road, speed limit all fine. Idiot drivers to blame!
Expert-wise are we sure-wise that the IAM-wise has the right credentials to judge this engineering-wise? The fairly banal comment that it is difficult to re-engineer a tunnel casts doubt on the credibility of the quoted view. Tunnel, road, speed limit all fine. Idiot drivers to blame! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 1

11:38am Fri 31 Jan 14

ThinkBrighton says...

Tailgaters Anonymous wrote:
Expert-wise are we sure-wise that the IAM-wise has the right credentials to judge this engineering-wise?
The fairly banal comment that it is difficult to re-engineer a tunnel casts doubt on the credibility of the quoted view.
Tunnel, road, speed limit all fine. Idiot drivers to blame!
The last line says it all
[quote][p][bold]Tailgaters Anonymous[/bold] wrote: Expert-wise are we sure-wise that the IAM-wise has the right credentials to judge this engineering-wise? The fairly banal comment that it is difficult to re-engineer a tunnel casts doubt on the credibility of the quoted view. Tunnel, road, speed limit all fine. Idiot drivers to blame![/p][/quote]The last line says it all ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 1

11:40am Fri 31 Jan 14

gheese77 says...

Something obviously needs to be done here, barely a week goes by without there being an accident here.
Something obviously needs to be done here, barely a week goes by without there being an accident here. gheese77
  • Score: 1

4:16pm Fri 31 Jan 14

statistician says...

QUOTE: -But Mr Greig, who is director of policy and research at the IAM, said there was nothing engineering-wise wrong with the road.
He said: “It seems to be driver error and speed that are the issues.”
Mr Greig said the only way to improve safety along the short stretch of tunnel was to introduce a lower speed limit alongside strict enforcement.
He added: “It is very difficult to change a tunnel engineering-wise. END QUOTE

This so called expert has not done his homework. All the accidents occur before the vehicles reach the tunnel. It has nothing to do with the tunnel.

The key is a "Tunnel Vision" phenomenon. Westbound 900 yards East of the tunnel has a gradual bend, and then it tightens (surely this is not engineering good practice?) - at the same time the driver will be focussed on the Eastbound Tunnel Portal - that is all he can see - that is his destination. Then suddenly the Westbound portal emerges from behind the bank - his true destination. At that split second he corrects his track, and that coincides with the change in the bend, he over corrects and induces a spin, and / or hits the barrier.

That is why it is nearly always single vehicles, and they end up up the bank or on their roof within a 70 yard area. If it was speed to blame it would be accidents the whole stretch of the A27, and they would not end up on their roofs. 25 accidents in exactly the same spot over 4 years means the road design is to blame.
QUOTE: -But Mr Greig, who is director of policy and research at the IAM, said there was nothing engineering-wise wrong with the road. He said: “It seems to be driver error and speed that are the issues.” Mr Greig said the only way to improve safety along the short stretch of tunnel was to introduce a lower speed limit alongside strict enforcement. He added: “It is very difficult to change a tunnel engineering-wise. END QUOTE This so called expert has not done his homework. All the accidents occur before the vehicles reach the tunnel. It has nothing to do with the tunnel. The key is a "Tunnel Vision" phenomenon. Westbound 900 yards East of the tunnel has a gradual bend, and then it tightens (surely this is not engineering good practice?) - at the same time the driver will be focussed on the Eastbound Tunnel Portal - that is all he can see - that is his destination. Then suddenly the Westbound portal emerges from behind the bank - his true destination. At that split second he corrects his track, and that coincides with the change in the bend, he over corrects and induces a spin, and / or hits the barrier. That is why it is nearly always single vehicles, and they end up up the bank or on their roof within a 70 yard area. If it was speed to blame it would be accidents the whole stretch of the A27, and they would not end up on their roofs. 25 accidents in exactly the same spot over 4 years means the road design is to blame. statistician
  • Score: 1

1:15pm Tue 25 Feb 14

blacktopsoldier says...

qm wrote:
Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem.
People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare!
There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents!
"Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem."

that reads as a contradiction.
but the only problen the A27 has is the people behind the wheel. One example, is white van man, that catagorie of vehicle has a speed limit of 60mph. most of them are travelling along that road in excess of 75 and remain in lane two.
i travel that road and the A23 daily,(oh there's another one,where does it tell anyone to get into lane two of three immediately, as you join from a27 east onto A23 north.exactly same problem coming up onto A27 flyover eastbound,been plenty of colisions fhere over the years!) at 70 mph, conditions permitting, and have difficulty overtaking at times because of excess speed and tailgating in lane two, by others.
one thing that I see all the time, is drivers ignoring all the information given, in the form of road signs and road markings and ignoring the highway code, and before anyone tries to tell me the highway code is just advisory, in can be and is used in court. and try passing the driving test without it.
still, lets keep blaming the road and raise the profile of some, instead of tackling the real issue.
[quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem. People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare! There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents![/p][/quote]"Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem." that reads as a contradiction. but the only problen the A27 has is the people behind the wheel. One example, is white van man, that catagorie of vehicle has a speed limit of 60mph. most of them are travelling along that road in excess of 75 and remain in lane two. i travel that road and the A23 daily,(oh there's another one,where does it tell anyone to get into lane two of three immediately, as you join from a27 east onto A23 north.exactly same problem coming up onto A27 flyover eastbound,been plenty of colisions fhere over the years!) at 70 mph, conditions permitting, and have difficulty overtaking at times because of excess speed and tailgating in lane two, by others. one thing that I see all the time, is drivers ignoring all the information given, in the form of road signs and road markings and ignoring the highway code, and before anyone tries to tell me the highway code is just advisory, in can be and is used in court. and try passing the driving test without it. still, lets keep blaming the road and raise the profile of some, instead of tackling the real issue. blacktopsoldier
  • Score: -1

1:30pm Tue 25 Feb 14

statistician says...

blacktopsoldier wrote:
qm wrote:
Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem.
People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare!
There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents!
"Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem."

that reads as a contradiction.
but the only problen the A27 has is the people behind the wheel. One example, is white van man, that catagorie of vehicle has a speed limit of 60mph. most of them are travelling along that road in excess of 75 and remain in lane two.
i travel that road and the A23 daily,(oh there's another one,where does it tell anyone to get into lane two of three immediately, as you join from a27 east onto A23 north.exactly same problem coming up onto A27 flyover eastbound,been plenty of colisions fhere over the years!) at 70 mph, conditions permitting, and have difficulty overtaking at times because of excess speed and tailgating in lane two, by others.
one thing that I see all the time, is drivers ignoring all the information given, in the form of road signs and road markings and ignoring the highway code, and before anyone tries to tell me the highway code is just advisory, in can be and is used in court. and try passing the driving test without it.
still, lets keep blaming the road and raise the profile of some, instead of tackling the real issue.
But nearly all of these accidents did not involve other cars.. so that is dispels your tailgater theory, no-one has said they were speeding, nor ignoring signs, and none were vans. So your prejudice is wide of the mark.

All the crashes were in the same place - that is the common theme. If the crashes were caused by the other things you mentioned then they'd have happened in the very steep Hove stretch, or the Lancing bit of the A27.
[quote][p][bold]blacktopsoldier[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem. People still drive past my house at 50+ frequently despite it being a 30mph limit, faster sometimes than the emergency vehicles dare! There's little wrong with the tunnel section of the A27, pass through regularly, but there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Legislation, rules, limits and recommendations can't control stupidity! Let's deal with the real issues and enforce the law as it stands instead of trying to lay the blame on a perfectly good piece of road. Suppose that would require a greater Police presence - oops budgets again, but the taxpayer ends up paying in the end so re-organise the budgets and increase Police presence on our roads and on our streets. Too much mindless violence, too many accidents![/p][/quote]"Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem." that reads as a contradiction. but the only problen the A27 has is the people behind the wheel. One example, is white van man, that catagorie of vehicle has a speed limit of 60mph. most of them are travelling along that road in excess of 75 and remain in lane two. i travel that road and the A23 daily,(oh there's another one,where does it tell anyone to get into lane two of three immediately, as you join from a27 east onto A23 north.exactly same problem coming up onto A27 flyover eastbound,been plenty of colisions fhere over the years!) at 70 mph, conditions permitting, and have difficulty overtaking at times because of excess speed and tailgating in lane two, by others. one thing that I see all the time, is drivers ignoring all the information given, in the form of road signs and road markings and ignoring the highway code, and before anyone tries to tell me the highway code is just advisory, in can be and is used in court. and try passing the driving test without it. still, lets keep blaming the road and raise the profile of some, instead of tackling the real issue.[/p][/quote]But nearly all of these accidents did not involve other cars.. so that is dispels your tailgater theory, no-one has said they were speeding, nor ignoring signs, and none were vans. So your prejudice is wide of the mark. All the crashes were in the same place - that is the common theme. If the crashes were caused by the other things you mentioned then they'd have happened in the very steep Hove stretch, or the Lancing bit of the A27. statistician
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Wed 26 Feb 14

blacktopsoldier says...

Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced!
In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem."
that reads as a contradiction!


no predjudice , wasn't any suggestion that tailgaters or white van man were involved in the incidents you are referring to , that was just a comment on a couple of aspects of driving on that road and any others like it,
i wasn't at the scene of any of those that you refer to but information available suggest driver error ,be that speeding, inattention etc. also because only one vehicle is damaged doesn't mean it was only one involved.
given the number of vehicles that travel that route daily and given that the majority of the drivers involved, know the road, and driven on it prior to their incidents just compounds that assumption,so as IAM says at beginnng, speed and driver error would seem to be the underlying cause.
Lowering the speed limit is a waste of time if it is not going to be enforced! In spite of the average speed limit restriction on the A23 roadworks seeming to work quite well, dozens are still being caught weekly and there are still accidents causing mayhem." that reads as a contradiction! no predjudice , wasn't any suggestion that tailgaters or white van man were involved in the incidents you are referring to , that was just a comment on a couple of aspects of driving on that road and any others like it, i wasn't at the scene of any of those that you refer to but information available suggest driver error ,be that speeding, inattention etc. also because only one vehicle is damaged doesn't mean it was only one involved. given the number of vehicles that travel that route daily and given that the majority of the drivers involved, know the road, and driven on it prior to their incidents just compounds that assumption,so as IAM says at beginnng, speed and driver error would seem to be the underlying cause. blacktopsoldier
  • Score: 0

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