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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
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"smart" motorways

Anyone watch the program on them last night? The whole concept worries the pants off me. Surely you need a hard shoulder for immobile vehicles, emergency vehicle access, etc. and "refuges" how pray, am I to ensure my car is going to break down just as I'm approaching one?

Having the possibility of a stationary vehicle in a lane where people are going at motorway speeds is utter lunacy surely? The average driver, self included, just doesn't have the reactions to cope with it when they are not expecting it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: "smart" motorways

They have been around quite a while.

They do keep traffic moving in some capacity such as slowing cars to get more cars into the space (smaller gaps) however i've worried about the concept of what happens if someone does break down, how quickly can they see and close the first lane?

I've driven on many of them in the last few years but not had any problems.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: "smart" motorways

I don't mind the whole variable speed limits part and being able to close lanes for broken down Cars
But they should all still have a hard shoulder

The ERA are a good idea that should be on all motorways
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: "smart" motorways

I live 1 mile from J28 M1 and go on the Smart Motorway nearly every day. I would prefer a hard shoulder.

It seems like a backward step. It doesn't feel much safer than the A1 now.

The 2 men on last nights programme who had a puncture threw the puncture repair tin onto the grass. That cheeses me off as well.

Another annoying thing are Lay-by areas just before the junctions. They are full up all day with people using them as free car parks.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: "smart" motorways

I've never received any direct Highways Agency official information on what to do if you break down on a "smart" death trap.

The AA have will now no longer come to your rescue on a "smart" motorway. I expect the RAC, Green Flag & others will rapidly follow suit. They [AA] will wait at a safe location for you to be recovered to them by the Highways Agency or their contractors.

I'm just waiting for the pranksters to cause some ones death.

When I first got my 500X with TPMS, which I had forgotten about, an unmarked builders van came up along side of me pointing with intensity to the rear wheel of my car as though I possible had a deflating tyre. I could feel no [yet] obvious signs but decided to pull over onto the hard shoulder. I put on my hi vis vest and checked the car. Nothing. These **** heads were taking the piss etc. Pulling the same prank on a "smart" motorway could get somone killed.

Afterwards I initially thought I was a plonker for falling for the prank realising I had TPMS, BUT it was only my assumption that they were referring to to my rear offside tyre. It could have been another real issue not visible or detectable by me at that stage so to ignore it and were it genuine would have been a mistake.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: "smart" motorways

I was told if you use the refuge..

Even just to check if vehicle is fit to safely continue...

YOU MUST call the control centre.. and you will be 'Assisted' back into the live lanes
As you have very little 'acceleration space'

This can apparently get you fined via ANPR..

I did a course:
'SMAAARRT motorways' ..as they are apparently termed in South Wales..
tidy
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:31.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: "smart" motorways

The scariest stat was it takes 17 minutes to be spotted broken down in a live lane with no hard shoulder and another 17 to be reached!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: "smart" motorways

people get hit and injured or killed when there is a hard shoulder to stop in, so its common sense that removing them is going to create a greater danger.
But its typical tory money saving madness, rather than invest in making a wider road just use the shoulder no matter the risk.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
people get hit and injured or killed when there is a hard shoulder to stop in, so its common sense that removing them is going to create a greater danger.
But its typical tory money saving madness, rather than invest in making a wider road just use the shoulder no matter the risk.
The first smart BN motorways were around 2007 when Tony Blair was running the country
So not just a Tory thing

Still a stupid idea using the hard shoulder we should be building miles of new motorway's for the extra capacity
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: "smart" motorways

Quote Originally Posted by chris3234 View Post
The first smart BN motorways were around 2007 when Tony Blair was running the country
So not just a Tory thing

Still a stupid idea using the hard shoulder we should be building miles of new motorway's for the extra capacity
Tony Blair is a tory in a red tie everyone knows that
in 2007 did they use hard shoulder or just have the speed things?
edit seems they did use hard shoulder but its was experimental and speed was reduced to 50mph when hard shoulder was in use, it was raised to 60 mph as an experiment in 2008 with emergency refuges extended to every 800 metres ( how far apart are they now?)
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Last edited by dave; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:51.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: "smart" motorways

Don't worry "The System is making sure we get HS2 and then all problems will be solved.

Tesla self driving will be great - already shown to be 6 times safer than human drivers. BUT who can afford to buy a Tesla and if we could they'd not be able to make enough of them.

Actually I lied "Autopilot" is nearly an order of magnitude safer than humans.
https://futurism.com/the-byte/tesla-...average-driver
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: "smart" motorways

This link will take you to Highways England's advice, prepare to be underwhelmed.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-d...y-or-breakdown

My experience of using smart motorways is that generally traffic is moving more slowly than normal. This does reduce the risk a little, but I'm still not happy about them. They are just a cheap way of moving more traffic. Creating a new lane and keeping the hard shoulder is significantly more expensive, so a cheap quick fix. If incidents are low, there will be no incentive to upgrade to proper lanes and hard shoulder later. And of course we do not want incidents just to prove a point.

That programme gave some statistics about incidents, but as usual, no comparison with normal motorways. The clowns with the puncture failed to examine the tyre before heading off to buy a tin of goo. The split in the tyre suggests a serious tyre issue, perhaps a 'part-worn' purchase, or they might be in the habit of running over stuff. Does highlight the silliness of not having a spare.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: "smart" motorways

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
perhaps a 'part-worn' purchase, or they might be in the habit of running over stuff. Does highlight the silliness of not having a spare.
more like due to all the pot holes weakening the wall. i had a big bulge on sidewall of a brand new uniroyal van spec tyre after a big pot hole that looked like a puddle
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: "smart" motorways

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post

My experience of using smart motorways is that generally traffic is moving more slowly than normal.
parts of the m25 now have no hard shoulder at all, its not just used as a lane at busy times its gone completely
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Re: "smart" motorways

Hard shoulders allow you to pull off the road more easily but you still have to get out of the car as anyone straying out of the Lane 1 will take you out. Rear end impacts are common on the old hard shoulders. Hard shoulders are also strewn with tyre shredding debris. The thought of stopping on there only to find you pick up a puncture (or three) is scary to say the least.


The smart motorway refuges/Laybyes are at least tucked away so once in there, the car is much safer from rear ending. That's not to say you can always reach one just saying its not black and white.
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