Road transport in New Ingerland
Template:Infobox road transport New Ingerland has developed a complex road transport system to connect the major population centres as part of the national transport network. In almost all areas of roads policy in New Ingerland, there is a clear influence from both the Ingerland and New Zealand. Despite this, New Ingerland has created it's own system of route numbering and classification, with it's own features and idiosyncrasies that distinguish from systems used elsewhere.
New Ingerland's roads owe their origin to the stock droving routes that were surveyed by the Lands and Survey Office between 1835 and 1854. The droving routes allowed cattle and sheep to be herded from one location to another, with refuges known as Travelling Stock and Camping Reserves (TS&CR) being situated at intervals of 3 1⁄2 miles (5.63 kilometres) to allow overnight watering and camping of stock. The other notable feature of these routes was their width, with most being surveyed to be 1⁄2 furlong (330.00 feet; 100.58 metres) wide. The development of road haulage for livestock after the Second World War has largely made the droving routes redundant from their original purpose, although the TS&CRs continue to be used as refuges for livestock during droughts and floods.
Until the development of the railway network in the 1880s, the droving routes also came to be used by ordinary people in order to travel between the major population centres. The roads that formed along the routes were notoriously poor, with very little money spent on their upkeep. Some, such as the Great Central Road, were macadamised (gravelled) as the development of the stagecoach network warranted their improvement. However, many minor routes remained unimproved, and were often impassable during periods of wet weather. Coinciding with the coming of the railways, a major reform of road management came with the passage of the Local Government Act. The Act placed the care and maintenance of roads under the control of the newly formed county councils. Despite it's intention to improve road quality, this had the effect of stymieing the further development of roads, with the counties varying wildly in their approach to care and maintenance of roads. Most however, took the attitude that transport between cities and towns was better undertaken by rail, and the road network was largely neglected for the next forty years.
The invention of the motor car in the first decades of the twentieth century led to a slow and inexorable call for the improvement of road conditions. With the formation of municipalities in 1907, the opportunity was taken to reform the hitherto hapless management of roads by local government. Under the provisions of Local Government Act, the control of almost all roads fell to the new tier of local government. The Act also introduced the first attempts at road classification, with important roads being categorised as "highways". Whilst the municipalities took on the bulk of road management, the counties would retain control of any road that was proclaimed by the King-in-Council to be a highway. However, there was no serious attempt to change the actual quality of roads until after the conclusion of the First World War, which in meantime severely hampered attempts to maintain the network, with resources diverted to the war effort.
The end of the war allowed for the resumption of domestic development. In 1920, the Williams government enacted the Highways Act, which established for the first time a central government agency in the form of the Highways Board. The control of existing highways was transferred to the board, with the counties briefly losing responsibility for roads for the first time. The board was also empowered under the Act to proclaim other public roads to be a highway, and in doing so transfer the control, construction, and maintenance of any such road from the care of the municipalities to the control of the board. Route numbering, based on the system employed in Ingerland, was introduced for the first time. The board also undertook a successful improvement of the highways, with an asphalt sealing programme beginning on the A2 road in 1923. The scheme was hampered by the Great Depression and later the Second World War, but was nevertheless largely completed by 1955.
After the Second World War, the National Roadways Plan was developed, and a series of plans for the expansion of road transport in the major cities was enacted. The plan allowed for the construction of motorway-grade roads for the first time, with grade-separation of interchanges, and median strips separating oncoming traffic. However, the sheer cost of building these roads, coupled with the relatively low patronage of roads compared to other nations, meant there was a never a plan to develop a nation-wide system of motorways. Road patronage did however increase throughout the 1950s and 60s, and pressure grew to make some further improvements to roads in order to make them safer. Instead of embarking on nation-wide scheme, successive governments took an incremental approach to road construction and maintenance, preferring to upgrade particularly poor roads on "as needs" basis. Initial programmes focussed in on asphalt sealing and replacement of dangerous bridges and bends, which greatly improved vast stretches of hitherto poor quality roads.
However, these improvements only sought to encourage more road use, with unfortunate consequences resulting. By the 1970s, the sharp increase in road traffic saw a steady rise in fatalities, many of which were caused by the poor safety standards of the time. Seat belts became mandatory in 1972, and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol were dramatically increased. The roads themselves also proved to be dangerous, with an increase in fatalities from head-on collisions caused by motorists overtaking in dangerous situations. In response, road engineers embraced the idea of the 2+1 road, which today forms the basis of the modern trunk road network. After trials on existing roads, the first permanent 2+1 road was opened in 1980 with the construction of the Hillsborough bypass. The success of the road, led to it's slow roll out across the country. However, this expansion was accelerated after a series of severe road fatalities in 1989, leading to it becoming the standard for all trunk roads. It has been proposed by the government that the trunk road network will be built entirely to the 2+1 standard by 2018.
The 1980s also saw the development of new road signage, the first major change in that field since the implementation of the original signage in the 1920s. Under this change, New Ingerland moved away from using a system based on pre-1950s Ingerish signage, and embracing some of the standards covered in the Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The new signs were rolled out from 1983, with the programme finally completed in late 1991.
There are four levels of route classification in the National Roadways Plan, plus a number of additional classifications for special circumstances. The classifications themselves are very similar to the guidelines used to classify roads in Australia and the Ingerland. The National Roadways Plan has a stated aim to link all the major centres together by the quickest route. The plan outlines that roads are to be defined and marked according the following hierarchy:
|A routes provide provide a consistent high standard of driving conditions on a single carriageway, with three traffic lanes, sealed shoulders and line marking that is easily visible in all weather conditions. A routes are the primary road links connecting the major cities and towns|
|B routes are sealed roads, wide enough for two traffic lines, with good centre line and edge line marking, shoulders, and a high standard of guidepost delineation. B routes provide the primary link for major regions not served by trunk roads and for highly significant tourist areas|
|C routes are generally two lane sealed roads with shoulders. C routes provide important links between population centres and between these centres and the primary transport network|
All remaining roads and categorised as unclassified roads.
Administration and funding
The administration of New Ingerland's roads is divided between several agencies, both national and local. All roads and related policy matters is the responsibility of the Directorate of Roads, which is part of the Ministry of Transport. With the ministry stand a number of executive agencies which manage much of the administration of the road network. The two most important of these agencies are the Roads Agency, which overseas construction and maintenance of all trunk roads; and the Motor Licensing Agency, which manages driver and vehicle licensing.
Main, secondary and local roads are the purview of the local authorities. The local authorities also have some policy influence on the management of trunk roads, but play no part in their funding or maintenance. The counties may create their own agencies to administer the roads under their control. These agencies carry out the various statutory responsibilities required for managing classified roads, while also maintaining local unclassified roads within their own independent guidelines.
The laws of driving are specified in the New Ingerland Road Code, to which all motorists must conform when driving. New Ingerland follows the convention of driving on the left, just as New Zealand and the Ingerland. Speed limits vary around the country, but are determined by road quality and the urban density surrounding a roadway. The maximum speed limit in New Ingerland is 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), which is allowed only on certain sections of the major trunk roads.
The average age that most New Ingerish obtain a driving licence is 18.
Road and traffic signage in New Ingerland broadly conforms to the anglo-european standard, although influences from Australia and New Zealand are obvious. In a nutshell, may be of instructional, warning or informative in nature. Instructional signs are generally circular, warning signs are diamond and the informative signs are rectangular. Motorway informative signs use white text on a blue background, trunk roads are indicated by yellow text on a green background, whilst all others roads use black text on a white background. All signage continues to use imperial measurements, with the rejection of the metric system in 1975.
References and notes
- Notwithstanding the distance between Travelling Stock and Camping Reserves, the Pastures Protection Act (Public Act No. 69 of 1902) required livestock to travel at least 6 miles (9.66 kilometres) per day to avoid all the roadside pasture from being overgrazed by an individual flock or herd.
- Local Government Act (Public Act No. 80 of 1885).
- Local Government Act (Public Act No. 35 of 1907).
- Highways Act (Public Act No. 24 of 1920).
- "Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals". United Nations. 8 November 1968. http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/conventn/signalse.pdf. Retrieved 12 August 2014.