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Press release: 100 miles of extra lanes coming to North West motorways

first_img Smart motorways have been proven to be effective at tackling congestion, with the smart motorway on the M62 in West Yorkshire saving commuters an average of 30 minutes each week. We’ll be starting work on four new smart motorways in the North West over the next 18 months and will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, including only closing parts of the motorway overnight when traffic levels are much lower. The North West’s new smart motorway routes will provide over 100 miles of extra lanes benefiting the hundreds of thousands of drivers who use our motorways every day for commuting, business and leisure. Drivers can find out more about the work being carried out to complete the Manchester smart motorway upgrade in a new video:Manchester smart motorway nears completionSmart motorways use the latest technology to monitor traffic levels so that variable speed limits can be automatically set on overhead electronic signs to keep traffic moving at a steady speed.The hard shoulders on each new smart motorway route will be converted into permanent extra lanes and new emergency areas will be created for drivers to use if they break down.New CCTV cameras will also provide 100% coverage of the routes and Highways England will be able to display red Xs on overhead signs to close any lane, allowing its traffic officers and the emergency services to get through.Construction work will begin on a 3-mile stretch of the M62 near junction 12 this summer. Temporary narrow lanes will be introduced to allow contractors to work at the side of the motorway, and a 50mph speed limit will be needed for the safety of drivers and workers.The roadworks will be gradually extended to junction 10 by the autumn and the smart motorway scheme is due to be completed by spring 2020.Variable speed limits will also be introduced between junctions 10 and 18 on the M60 later this summer when the remaining section of the North West’s first smart motorway goes live. The speed limit will remain at 50mph until then while the new technology is being fine-tuned.Overnight resurfacing work will continue into the autumn on parts of the M60 once the smart motorway is operational. This work will take place at night so that the route can remain fully open with no impact on drivers during the day.Other schemes taking place in the North West include a 20-mile-stretch of smart motorway on the M6 in Cheshire where construction work is due to be completed by spring 2019, providing 40 miles of extra lanes for drivers.Work will start in spring 2019 on a 4-mile smart motorway on the M56 near Manchester Airport, and on a 10-mile stretch of smart motorway on the part of the M6 which links the M62 near Warrington to the M58 near Skelmersdale.Finally, a new 19-mile smart motorway will be created over the Pennines on the M62 between Rochdale and Brighouse. The route will link up with other schemes on the M62 to create almost 60 miles of smart motorway between the North West and Yorkshire, with construction work due to start in autumn 2019.Find out more details about driving on a smart motorway.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. Four new smart motorway schemes, worth around £500 million, are due to start construction work within the next 18 months.Contractors for Highways England will begin work on the first one later this summer – on a 9 mile stretch of the M62 which links the M6 near Warrington to the M60 near Eccles.Drivers have already been able to use over 10 miles of extra lanes on the M62 near Rochdale since December last year, and a stretch of smart motorway has also been completed on the M60 near the Trafford Centre.The final temporary narrow lanes were removed earlier this week on the Manchester smart motorway scheme, and more than 200 electronic signs are due to be switched on later this month on a 9 mile stretch of the M60 between Trafford Park and the M62/M66 interchange at Simister Island.Mike Bull, Highways England’s smart motorways programme manager for the North, said:last_img read more

Hercules looks strong as profits soar

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Who’s worth more: the team or the player?

first_imgWhen Valve introduced the new Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), the way we viewed the competitive Dota 2 scene drastically changed. Back before teams were penalized for changing their rosters, we would see teams dropping players weeks before a major tournament. The magnitude of these changes meant that teams who trained together for months were suddenly left trying to obtain a $23m (£16.2m) dollar prize pool with new teammates. The effect that these last minute changes had on teams left players scrambling to synergize. The expectations of the fans and their organizations added more weight onto their first place aspirations. The chaos of the pre-DPC shuffle emphasised the success a potential line-up would have over the developed and cohesive team they could build. It was a system rules by instant gratification over patience.  These last minute drops weren’t too commonplace but they did occur.The Aegis of Champions, the ultimate aim for any Dota 2 player. Credit: ValveTake Evil Geniuses (EG) as an example. Back in January of 2015, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg very abruptly left EG to join Team Secret. This sudden line-up change occurred about a month before the Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC). Luckily EG was able to fill the two spots with the recently released Kurtis  “Aui_2000” Ling and the pub star Syed Sumail “Suma1L Hassan. EG went on to win the DAC and succeed against the odds. This emphasis on the team meant that potential investors saw  value in the team rather than the individual players. It also meant that teams could drop players at a moment’s notice without suffering any consequences. So how did the DPC change all this?An Emphasis on the PlayerThe introduction of the DPC forced teams into regulated roster changes and doesn’t allow teams to change their line-ups without a penalty. This gave a much needed protection to players who previously were seen more as pawns rather than the foundation of a good team. Suddenly players were given more value as they were the holders of the new DPC points, not the teams. The eight teams who had acquired the most points would receive a direct invite to The International 2018 (TI8) and the points would be based on the top three players who have accumulated the most points.The new DPC system places a much larger emphasis on the player which changes the dialogue for investors. Just recently we saw Fnatic drop Khoo “Ohaiyo” Chong Xin and then pick up Sahil “Universe” Arora. This change saw Fnatic jump from 11th place to 9th place, leaving them to just one place away from automatically qualifying for TI8. No longer is the emphasis on the team but rather on the player. The Wild West of Dota 2Esports is an ever growing industry with new investors waiting to see what’s a worthy investment. What’s worrying about the sudden emphasis on players instead of teams is that it turns potential investors away from the Dota 2 competitive scene. Are team organisations still a worthy investment if the emphasis is now placed on the player rather than the team? If teams can drop points as quickly as they achieved them, is the Dota 2 landscape a stable investment? It’s hard to create an argument that supports the stability of the current Dota 2 competitive scene. While it seemed that Valve was attempting to regulate the movement of players amongst teams, it really feels like Valve created more chaos than order. Valve’s regulations have now changed how players are valued and thus, changed how investors view both the player and the team. The two are now separate entities with players potentially being seen as commodities, not integral members of a squad. This year has proven that the Dota Pro Circuit isn’t flawless and still needs further development. The Dota 2 competitive scene has come a long way. What’s worrying is potentially seeing what happened with Ohaiyo happen next season at the mid point of the circuit – or even just before The International this year. Will more teams recognise their ability to shuffle their teams to accumulate points without having to play in the tournament ? Will Valve see this flaw in their system and add more provisions to ensure teams don’t capitalise on this ‘flaw’? The type of swing that Fnatic had might please their investors now but this won’t always be in favour of the organisation. Future shuffles could see bigger highs and lows – and not just in the favour of the organisation or their investors.last_img read more