Damian James' Blog: 26 October 2007
26 October 2007
How can three become four? It's easy, according to Ruth Kelly as she announced this week that the motorway hard shoulder running scheme is going to be extended.
When three become four
How can three become four? It's easy, according to Ruth Kelly as she announced this week that the motorway hard shoulder running scheme is going to be extended. It currently operates on the M42 during heavily congested periods (is there any other?) and when active, traffic is limited to 50mph and can use the hard shoulder. There are strategically spaced breakdown pull-ins and overhead gantries giving clear information about which lanes are open.
Having used it a number of times I think it generally works well. There are two issues with the scheme that I can see:
1) What happens if a breakdown occurs and the vehicle is unable to make it into one of the lay-bys? The gantries would be redirecting traffic off the hard shoulder into lane one but how quickly does this happen? One thing is for certain: I wouldn't like to be the one to test this out.
2) The amount of drivers who actually use the hard shoulder is limited. In my experience if you own a particular make of car you don't drive anywhere but in the outside lane and then cut everyone up when you want to exit the motorway. These drivers seem to be under the mistaken impression that this scheme is not applicable to them.
The idea is to extend the scheme out to parts of the M25, M4, M20, M1 and M6 within the next two years so if you haven't experienced three into four yet you soon will.