Motorists will drive on hard shoulders after ministers scrapped plans to widen the overcrowded motorway network. An extra lane was to be added to 220 miles of motorways but it was decided it would cost too much.
Long sections of the M6 the M1 the M62 and the M25 will now have ‘hard shoulder running’. It is proposed that this will happen at peak times to relieve congestion. Traffic flow will be monitored by CCTV with maximum speed limits of 62 mph; speed limits will be reduced if necessary. In case of breakdown or other problems there will be ‘emergency refuge areas’ set up every 800 yards.
Road safety group Brake said they have serious concerns about using the hard shoulder as it is used by emergency vehicles to get to the scene of an accident as quickly as possible without endangering other vehicles. The AA have similar concerns and also added that hard shoulder running only addresses short term congestion and it is really road widening on the cheap.