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If I'm on a smart motorway and my car starts to break down, can I pull over into a lane that's already marked with a red X?

Let's say, hypothetically, lanes one and two of a four-lane smart motorway have large red crosses on them so you are travelling in lane three. A problem then occurs with your car so you need to stop. Are you allowed to pull over into lanes one or two, or do you stop in lane three and reduce the number of running lanes even further?

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Try to get to the hard shoulder, ideally. I don't think it's a case of 'being allowed to stop'. If your car is going to stop, it's going to stop. It would very much depend on the circumstances. If there's an accident already in lanes 1 & 2 - don't contribute to the problem. If it's clear for several miles and you end up stranded there, probably less of an issue if you've tried to make it to the hard shoulder. But it is illegal to drive in a lane closed by a Red X sign. If you’re caught, you could receive a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points, and in some cases more severe penalties or a court appearance.

The Gov website has a specific section of advice concerning emergencies and breakdowns on smart motorways:
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