Frequency of VSL set below 40MPH

Thomas Jarvis made this Freedom of Information request to Highways England Company Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

I am requesting information on how often and why a Variable Speed Limit has been set below 40MPH on motorways managed by HE over the past TWO years.

1. Please state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set (in the past two years) on each road that Mandatory Variable Speed Limits are in place on.

2. Please also state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set (in the past two years) for each reason (i.e. congestion, stranded vehicles, obstruction, pedestrian on road. etc.).

3. Please also state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set (in the past two years) for each month.

4. Please provide the doctrine (/requirement/justifications) for use of 20MPH speed limits.

5. Please provide the doctrine (/requirement/justifications) for use of 30MPH speed limits if differs from 20MPH.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Jarvis

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Packer, Garry, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Jarvis,

 

I am writing regarding your request for information, received on 18^th
September. In that request, you asked us for frequency of Variable Speed
Limits set below 40mph.

 

We have estimated that the cost of compiling your request will exceed
£450. Section 12 of the Act does not oblige us to comply with requests if
they exceed this limit.

 

To enable Highways England to comply with Section 12 of the FOI regulation
could you please reduce your requirement to receiving 3 months of data for
all regions of the road network.

 

Please note that if we cannot agree a revised request by 11 October 2019 I
will have to refuse your request in reliance on the section 12 exemption.

 

If you wish to discuss any of the above, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 100353 in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Garry Packer BA(Hons) MSc MCIHT MORS | Lead Performance Analyst, Head of
Technology Calibration & Optimisation, Information & Technology
Highways England | Temple Quay House | 2 The Square, Temple Quay | Bristol
| BS1 6HA
Tel: +44 (0) 300 4704220 | Mobile: + 44 (0) 7825 317395
Web: [1]www.highwaysengland.co.uk

For traffic technology related queries please contact
[2][email address]

 

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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
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[4][Highways England request email]

 

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4. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Garry Packer,

A three month reporting period will be sufficient.
Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Jarvis

Packer, Garry, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Jarvis

Thank you for your prompt response, I will start the process of compiling the data.

Kind regards

Garry Packer

show quoted sections

Packer, Garry, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Jarvis,

I have had an update from the analysts compiling the data for your request. I expect to have the data early next week for checking and formatting. I would estimate we should be able to send it to you by Friday 18th October 2019. I will keep you updated on progress if anything changes. If I am able to get the data to you earlier I will.

Kind regards

Garry Packer

show quoted sections

Dear Packer, Garry,

Okay, thanks for keeping me updated

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Jarvis

Packer, Garry, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jarvis,

 

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for the
information, which you requested on 17 September 2019.

 

A copy of the information is attached and I have provided an answer to
questions 4 & 5 below along with some guidance on equipment referencing
included in the data.

 

Most documents supplied by Highways England will be Crown Copyright. Most
Crown Copyright information can be re-used under the [1]Open Government
Licence. For information about OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright
information please see [2]The National Archives website.

 

The file is attached (OBS37531) includes the following:

 

 1. Please state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set (in
the past Three months) on each road that Mandatory Variable Speed
Limits are in place on.
 2. Please also state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set
(in the past Three months) for each reason (i.e. congestion, stranded
vehicles, obstruction, pedestrian on road. etc.).
 3. Please also state how many times a 20MPH or 30MPH limit has been set
(in the past Three months) for each month.

 

Also included in the attached file is the raw data used to calculate the
summaries requested.

 

The data is largely self-explanatory except for the equipment reference.
This is a unique address made up of the motorway, a code which represents
the distance along the motorway the device is located, a carriageway or
slip identifier and a lane identifier.  For example M62/1234A1 represents
a device located over lane 1 of the A carriageway.  The main carriageway
is represent by A or B, slip roads by J, K, L or M.  You will notice that
there are individual data for each lane device.  This means that for a 3
lane carriageway there will typically be 3 instances of the same speed
setting at one location.

 

Data is collected for each device, this means the simple sum of the raw
data in this report overcounts by a factor of around 3.  Furthermore
because of the countdown rules 20MPH and 30MPH are set briefly before a
lane closure and 30MPH set before a 20MPH. As an example below are the
data for the M25 at just one location at around 04:04 on 20 August 2019.
You will see that there are 6 setting associated with  one closure. For
this reason simple totals should be treated with caution.

 

20/08/2019 04:04:57 SIG M25 M25/4116B2 30R ROAD WORKS-CONING
20/08/2019 04:04:57 SIG M25 M25/4116B3 30R ROAD WORKS-CONING
20/08/2019 04:04:57 SIG M25 M25/4116B4 30R ROAD WORKS-CONING
20/08/2019 04:05:03 SIG M25 M25/4116B2 20R ROAD WORKS-CONING
20/08/2019 04:05:03 SIG M25 M25/4116B3 20R ROAD WORKS-CONING
20/08/2019 04:05:03 SIG M25 M25/4116B4 20R

 

 4. Please provide the doctrine (/requirement/justifications) for use of
20MPH speed limits.

 

20MPH speed limits are set in a limited number of circumstances, these
include for an oncoming vehicle or immediately upstream of a full
carriageway closure.  20MPH will also be set briefly as part of a
countdown to a closure.  This is where 20 will be displayed for between 5
– 10 seconds prior to the red X being displayed.  20MPH may also be set
where there is a hard signed 20MPH advisory or mandatory speed limit,
typically these occur on slip roads where a sharp bend or adverse camber
make it unsafe for heavy vehicles to travel at higher speeds.  This
ensures that electronic speed limits do not conflict with a signed speed
limit.

 

 5. Please provide the doctrine (/requirement/justifications) for use of
30MPH speed limits if differs from 20MPH.

 

The doctrine for setting 30MPH is similar to that for 20MPH, 30MPH will be
set for a brief period as the system counts down to 20MPH or a full lane
closure. These countdowns are included in the data even though they were
only displayed for a very short time period.  30MPH is also set where
there is a hard signed 30MPH advisory or mandatory speed limit, typically
these occur on slip roads where a sharp bend or adverse camber make it
unsafe for heavy vehicles to travel at higher speeds.  Additionally 30MPH
may be set where the sequence of lane closures coupled with road layout
mean significant weaving or lane changing could take place.

 

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If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number100353 in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Garry Packer BA(Hons) MSc MCIHT | Lead Performance Analyst, Head of
Technology Calibration & Optimisation, Information & Technology
Highways England | Temple Quay House | 2 The Square, Temple Quay | Bristol
| BS1 6HA
Tel: +44 (0) 300 4704220 | Mobile: + 44 (0) 7825 317395
Web: [5]www.highwaysengland.co.uk

For traffic technology related queries please contact
[6][email address]

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[7]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[8][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

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8. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Garry Packer

Thank you very much for providing this information

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Jarvis