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Hardknott Pass

Post by titchy_
Hardknott Pass is a single track road in the Lake District and shares the title of steepest road in England according to wikipedia. I thought that was somewhere in Cornwall to be honest but I digress.

I've driven it myself and it's pretty sketchy in places. Not exactly a nice relaxing drive where you can take in the beautiful scenery.

I've had a UR from someone saying it is not suitable for motor vehicles. This is more personal opinion than fact, although that is also dependent on other factors.

The sign at the beginning of the steep bit says "Road suitable for cars and light vehicles only", "Unsuitable for all vehicles in winter conditions".



Obviously we cannot set weather based restrictions, other than to keep an eye on it and set closures, but should we add restrictions for the winter months? I've looked at GM and they have somehow deprioritised it. A route from Eskdale to Ambleside completely avoids it, as does the 2nd option. You have to set Hardknott Pass as a stop for it to consider it.

You know what people are like these days for blindly following their sat nav. I think if you're a tourist then you'd prefer the longer route from A to B. Those that are familiar can just ignore Waze if conditions are suitable. Worst case scenario you're going to spend a bit more time and fuel versus plummeting to near death.

Thoughts?

 
 
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Post by ditchi56
Your reporter is wrong - Hardknott is a perfectly suitable route for standard-sized cars (those Waze is aimed at), in good conditions. It's slow, but then so are the alternatives.

We've often asked for more things like vehicle height and weight to be added to the user details in the app and the restriction settings in WME, but so far HQ have shown no signs of giving us these tools. Until then, if you have an oversize car or a camper van, my recommendation, sadly, is not to use Waze.

I do think it would be helpful if Waze would give a "mainly highways" alternative when the first route it comes with is mostly not highways. We've done our best to make it clear that Hard Knott is a minor road by making it "street", not even "primary street", but if the routing engine won't take this as a hint, there's not much we editors can do about it.

Winter conditions apply to many other places. We can't go and inspect them all. Our weather is too variable to have a blanket restriction repeating each year, I remember one year when February was mild and then everything froze for the whole of March. All we can do is pick up the closures which the police/highway authorities come up with. Closure Monitor and SteveSnail do their best on this (and could always use some more help).

Ian
 
 
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Post by ditchi56
It's already a "street", which is the lowest category, so can't be further unfavoured.

A section, even a short one, of "private road" would totally stop Waze routing along it (except to a destination on the private bit).

Likewise a section of "unpaved" if the user has "don't allow unpaved roads" set.

We could create a fake "difficult turn", perhaps splitting the existing road segment into two on the summit, and marking the join as "difficult" in each direction. This would add a penalty, I think 7 minutes, to the route calculations. (It won't add seven minutes to the journey time it predicts for the user, but it does mean it would prefer an alternative route which was less than seven minutes longer). However, I've looked at Windermere to Ravenglass, and the alternative is more than seven minutes longer, so it wouldn't affect that.

There might be some scope for creating a fake toll or congestion charge type thingy, possibly enabling Waze to come up with a message like "steep mountain road, dangerous in icy conditions".

I don't really like fiddling the map; if HQ wanted to give us tools to deal properly with situations like this, they would. Since they don't, I assume they want Waze to continue to pick the fastest route, and are happy to lose users who don't like this.
 
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Post by gareth71
titchy_ wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:43 am On a cold wintery day with ice on the ground we're going to be sending people that way with no other alternative. 
 

 
Waze might offer it as a route - but the signage is clear enough. "Unsuitable for all vehicles in winter conditions". Every car has an external temperature gauge to give warning of icy conditions. Every driver has a pair of eyes to read the sign, observe the conditions and make a judgement. If they lack the intelligence to do that, it's kinda their problem, not Waze's!
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Post by Kevintiobraid
A few years ago (pre-Waze), I chose to use the Hardknott pass to get back from the Seascale to the place we were staying in Hawkshead.  Stupidly set off at around 4pm.....in November.  Driving in the dark with the car thermometer dipping down to -3 degC wasn't funny.  That said, I agree that theres no reason to add any restriction here.  There are plenty of other similar routes in Wales, Scotland, even the Peak District where you should make a personal choice before driving on them in winter.
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Post by Kevintiobraid
This was the worst bit:  https://goo.gl/maps/jpDEQ4WqA5apiC688  You can see the water seeping off the hill....was petrified it would be ice and I'd slide off to my doom.
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Post by PealRinger
Just catching up on the forum after my holiday so here's my 2p.

I too am against artificial penalites on the map.
Which route is 'correct' is very much a personal preference so however many people say, I'd rather go the longer route and avoid this narrow road, just as many others will say they want to take the quickest route and save the time.

A recent review on Tom's Guide put Waze on top for navigation for this reason.  
Waze, on the other hand, is built exclusively for car and motorbike users. Rather than finding the quickest single path to your destination and leaving you to it, Waze is always analyzing conditions to try and get you there the fastest possible way.Provided you're happy taking weird routes, Waze is the way to go.
Winner: Waze


For me, this is the defining purpose of Waze, to find the fastest route for private car use.    It's one of the things that makes Waze Waze-y, and users can always review the alternative routes on offer and pick a different one, and if you just want less agressive routing then go use Google Maps.
 
 
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Post by PJ_Aitken
Would it help to change routing from "Neutral" to "Unfavoured" ?
 
 
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Post by thetapeworm
In circumstances like this it's a shame Waze can't use the same sort of messaging system they had during the pandemic to check that the person planning that route is aware of what lies ahead.

As editors we could be be tasked with adding notes to sections of some of the more well-known roads like this that are "difficult" and then if a user is routed that way they at least get a warning in advance, I suspect most would just instantly hide it without reading but at what point do you stop trying to protect the public from themselves?

It would have to be limited and the notes approved by higher level editors to stop it being abused.

I love roads like the Hardknott but it would be a whole lot less stressful if they made them one-way it was only nature we had to worry about and not someone flying towards you with fading brakes and a caravan :)
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Post by titchy_
It's just not particularly helpful that Waze doesn't offer any alternative routes. On a cold wintery day with ice on the ground we're going to be sending people that way with no other alternative. 

With GM it's the opposite way around. You could set off from Holmrook and all 3 routes go in the wrong direction just to avoid it. As the most used sat nav platform do we not take that into consideration?

Would a discreet private road segment offer enough of a time penalty for it to consider another route? I don't know what the penalty is. 

I have Twitter alerts setup from Cumbria Highways but as you know it's not always possible to action these in time.
 
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