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Super

Smart Motorways

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I'm still struggling to work out why they are in use? Dangerous is an understatement! Am I missing something?!

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I can't see the benefit of them, the hard shoulder used to be for broken down vehicles and emergency services,  if you happen to break down away from these layby areas then you are in effect a hazard that can be ploughed into by a motorist not paying attention, then of course the emergency services will be unable to reach you! Whoever came up with this idea should be slapped about the head until they wake up!

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Can’t comment on their safety but as for the why...there were over 5m more cars on the road in 2018 than in 2000. And that’s just cars, not including bikes, vans and heavy vehicles  

Many parts of the UK’s road infrastructure just aren’t fit for the current capacity of vehicles on the road. No data to hand but I suspect that there’s been a rising trend in the last decade of people - especially in cities - moving further away from work due to house prices and using motorways more, adding to the overall congestion.

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I thought these was a report about this recentlybwhere the person who thought up the idea has now backtracked and said they are dangerous. I think it was mentioned how many people had been killed after being hit on the hard shoulder. Think it was about 40 oddthe last 5 years. I believe the idea is now being scrapped or at least put on hold after millions have been spent.

And yes it was to increase motorway capacity at busy times without the cost of adding additional lanes. Crazy idea, not only proven to be dangerous but the hard shoulder is often full of debris, I wouldn’t want to be driving along it. 

 

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8 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Can’t comment on their safety but as for the why...there were over 5m more cars on the road in 2018 than in 2000. And that’s just cars, not including bikes, vans and heavy vehicles  

Many parts of the UK’s road infrastructure just aren’t fit for the current capacity of vehicles on the road. No data to hand but I suspect that there’s been a rising trend in the last decade of people - especially in cities - moving further away from work due to house prices and using motorways more, adding to the overall congestion.

I'm sure what you say is true but when this was on the radio a couple of weeks back the death rates on smart motorway stretches had increased by a factor of four or five - way ahead of traffic I would think.

The point that the AA chap was making was that there was little change in the rate in the early years of smart motorways when there had to be a refuge every 500m but once that went out the window and they were every mile or two it was far worse.

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Trouble is it was a good idea on the M42 which is a fairly slow moving congested stretch. On that bit did and continues to mostly work well between j3-10. Where they’re went wrong was assuming it would work on longer stretches that are faster etc where it’s just to increase capacity.   I’d be curious to see where the most problematic bits are - I bet it’s the M6/1 stretches.. 

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42 minutes ago, Nibor said:

I'm sure what you say is true but when this was on the radio a couple of weeks back the death rates on smart motorway stretches had increased by a factor of four or five - way ahead of traffic I would think.

The point that the AA chap was making was that there was little change in the rate in the early years of smart motorways when there had to be a refuge every 500m but once that went out the window and they were every mile or two it was far worse.

Is that because of breakdowns on what would be the hard shoulder and tailgaters slamming into the back of the car in trouble? 

In the last decade, the decline in driving standards is absolutely staggering, the number of times I shake my head in disbelief on motorways at the gaps people (don’t) leave or pull into....absolutely zero chance of avoiding a collision if you had to stop suddenly. 

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Interesting programme on Panorama about this subject. As @TomF says the idea was based on M42 but this motorway had smaller distances between recovery pull in places. 
 

The concern now appears to be the recovery pull in areas are now too far apart. The advice if you breakdown is to now stay in your vehicle and put your hazards on. I genuinely hope I’m never in that position.

Personally, a big concern is the number of drivers who use the hard shoulder with the red X in sight. I fear people don’t understand these motorways and the length of distance between pull in areas

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Was at a meeting with Highways England recently, where they described the lay-bys. Supposed to be positioned so that it’s no more than 60 seconds drive to a lay-by at most. His answer was that, even with a hard shoulder, anyone who broke down in any lane other than the slow lane was unlikely to make it anyway!

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2 hours ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Is that because of breakdowns on what would be the hard shoulder and tailgaters slamming into the back of the car in trouble? 

In the last decade, the decline in driving standards is absolutely staggering, the number of times I shake my head in disbelief on motorways at the gaps people (don’t) leave or pull into....absolutely zero chance of avoiding a collision if you had to stop suddenly. 

It was because there was nowhere to go, people were unclear on what to do when they broke down and were staying in their cars and getting slammed into.  You're supposed to get out of the car and get the other side of the barrier - but often this is hard because of traffic in the next lane and sometimes there's a sharp fall away from the barrier too.  Basically if you can't get the car into a lay by or a hard shoulder you are at far more risk.

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I have worked on the hard shoulder and they are no place to be. You might be amazed at how many nutters there are out on the roads who will deliberately swerve towards you for a laugh. I could never understand why smart motorways were considered a good idea.

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If smart motorways reinstate a permanent hard shoulder, is there not a much greater risk of congestion fume exposure to those in close proximity? 

Could there then be a balanced or biased argument for harm to personal health over the risk of an accident on a smart motorway?

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3 hours ago, daored said:

Personally, a big concern is the number of drivers who use the hard shoulder with the red X in sight. I fear people don’t understand these motorways and the length of distance between pull in areas

Surely those driving in those closed lanes are easily caught on camera? Give them instant bans, just like you would with drink driving. Both put lives at serious risk. 

And if you are driving in those lanes and crash onto someone or have a near miss with someone because you have missed the clear and obvious road closures then you should also face the full force of the law. 

It really does baffle me how people will drive like a idiot, risk lives, risk their own lives all to get somewhere a few seconds quicker. They can destroy lives, destroy families just because they want to get somewhere quicker. 

I cried watching that panorama show a few weeks back, where the little boy who was visiting his seriously I'll brother in hospital died on the way home after breaking down on one if these smart motorways. That was terrible.

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7 hours ago, Super said:

I'm still struggling to work out why they are in use? Dangerous is an understatement! Am I missing something?!

They were made to help traffic flow which they do. Unfortunately the safety implications were underestimated 

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1 hour ago, RedDave said:

They were made to help traffic flow which they do. Unfortunately the safety implications were underestimated 

What would help traffic flow is if people learned how to drive on a motorway. Very rarely should one need to use their brakes on a motorway. When one person brakes, so does the other behind and then it creates a snake and before you know it there is a phantom traffic jam. If people kept the correct distances, used their throttle to control their speed then brakes do not need to be applied. When people are driving bumper to bumper in heavy traffic, again that creates a snake effect. Everyone's getting to the car in front, braking, stopping and then going again, and then repeat that over and over. If people just drive at a slower consistent speed then that doesn't happen. 

I drive along the Portway for most home games, I'm one of those that drive at like a constant 10mph and keep a gap, I might be driving slow, but I'm moving forward and not constantly stop starting.

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8 hours ago, Up The City! said:

I drive along the Portway for most home games, I'm one of those that drive at like a constant 10mph and keep a gap, I might be driving slow, but I'm moving forward and not constantly stop starting.

I think there may be a reason for that if your prior comments on the amount you drink per game are accurate.

Mate. In all seriousness. If you’re having 5 pints a game and would do more if the queues were less as stated in the attached thread, whether you feel fine or not you’re likely way over the limit. I understand and agree with several of your sentiments in this thread, but please practice what you preach.

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22 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

I think there may be a reason for that if your prior comments on the amount you drink per game are accurate.

Mate. In all seriousness. If you’re having 5 pints a game and would do more if the queues were less as stated in the attached thread, whether you feel fine or not you’re likely way over the limit. I understand and agree with several of your sentiments in this thread, but please practice what you preach.

Understand your sentiments but I dont drink and drive.

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They're extending the one they've got between Aztec West & Cribbs Causeway right down to Avonmouth it seems. 

On Fridays in the summer, that stretch of motorway is horrendous. But if they're that dangerous ( I can see why they are, but not seen any figures) then I don't understand why they're putting peoples lives at risk by extending it/adding more. 

 

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They're good for controlling traffic flow over 3 lanes, the problem is extending it to the hard shoulder which shouldn't be allowed, not all of them have automatic detection, some still rely on people watching screens and therefore have a delay in activation from someone breaking down 

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As someone who uses mostly M40, M1 and M25 for work, I can happily say that i'm most at ease on the M40 which isn't smart m-way technology, as opposed to the M25 and most of the M1 which is.

I fail to comprehend how taking the hard shoulder away to create the inside lane (or 'lane 1') is in anyway smart or safe.  The fact that the average time for assistance to be sent to you on a smart m-way is 30+ mins merely highlights this.

The randomness of the gantry signs and their operation should also be a concern.  Only yesterday, 'report of pedestrians' on the M25 for junction after junction, unless these pedestrians are running a marathon.....they're not there.  On the M1 after the end of the smart roadworks southbound junc 13, the speed limit applies, only for the gantry signs to bring you back to 60mph immediately through the Luton stretch, then back to national speed limit then back to 60mph for juncs 7/8 & 9.  This in itself creates problems with late or dramatic braking, lane changes etc, nothing of which allows for smooth, consistent driving.

The flow of traffic of traffic should also be eased and spread across the m-way to utilise lane 1 more frequently, as how many times do you see this blocked off with a red X, with no incidents reported?

I'd be an advocate of the smart m-way works being scrapped, and proper training and education given for m-way driving.  Standards are generally shocking, middle lane hoggers, tailgating, no lights in dark and/or rainy conditions (drivers instead relying on daylight running which is effectively sidelights for front of vehicle but no lights at the rear), lack of indication when changing lanes (something that should be a prerequisite when piloting a car weighing on ave a ton at 70mph - decency to other roadusers to at least let us know where your next move is).

Truly smart m-ways would be fining middle lane hoggers automatically and identifying dangerous late lane changes with retrospective fines.

The M25 anticlockwise for those in the know is currently undergoing roadworks to revise the position of one of the safe refuges around junc 24-25, as it currently exits on a blind brow back into the m-way flow - the very opposite of smart!

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20 hours ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Is that because of breakdowns on what would be the hard shoulder and tailgaters slamming into the back of the car in trouble? 

In the last decade, the decline in driving standards is absolutely staggering, the number of times I shake my head in disbelief on motorways at the gaps people (don’t) leave or pull into....absolutely zero chance of avoiding a collision if you had to stop suddenly. 

My biggest pet hate on a motorway or dual carriageway (especially in rain) is leaving a suitable car length or two gap infront of me and people seeing that as space to move into. Lorry’s are just as guilty for this too, they’ll do anything to avoid slowing down even if that means leaving minimal gaps between them and the truck infront or moving suddenly into another lane.

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4 hours ago, Up The City! said:

Understand your sentiments but I dont drink and drive.

So you either don’t buy 4/5 pints per game, or you don’t drive most games? Can I still not say you post shite 🤣

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28 minutes ago, MarcusX said:

So you either don’t buy 4/5 pints per game, or you don’t drive most games? Can I still not say you post shite 🤣

I stay in Knowle after a game, or I go to a gig with my musician friend who then takes me home. Sometimes park and ride and then bus it home or Uber, other times share the driving duties. Thanks for your concern and interest in my fluid match day routines. 

Screenshot_20200206-143815_Monzo.jpg

Edited by Up The City!

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