M3 - barney100

Now it's been upgraded how do backroomers feel about the long stretches without a hard shoulder? Imagine a foggy winter morning and the car breaks down, you can only pull in the side, get out asap and seek somewhere safe. Meanwhile your car sits there awaiting the first driver who dosen't see it. Will the AA/Rac etc want to put their patrols in obvious danger?

M3 - gordonbennet

Ah, haven't been down the M3 for years, has it had the not cheap and cheerful 'smart motorway' lash up?, only some pen pusher or half baked politician could have thought live hard shoulder running would be a good wheeze.

Safer bet for breaking down on than elevated motorway sections i suppose, unless you happened to have packed a parachute for such an event, quite where are you supposed to hide.

M3 - RT

Now it's been upgraded how do backroomers feel about the long stretches without a hard shoulder? Imagine a foggy winter morning and the car breaks down, you can only pull in the side, get out asap and seek somewhere safe. Meanwhile your car sits there awaiting the first driver who dosen't see it. Will the AA/Rac etc want to put their patrols in obvious danger?

Presumably, that's been done under a "smart" system of gantries with lane restriction display possibility.

Going back (quite a way) the M25 trial established that variable speed limits could actually increase average speeds and reduce accidents - the next trial was the M42 smart system which included hard-shoulder running at peak times, it too showed that average speeds increase and accident rates reduced. That smart system has been rolled out on many congested UK motorways.

The problem with managed motorways is they're dependent on the level of the staffing in their control rooms.

M3 - Wackyracer

I don't like it and I don't like it when hardshoulders are used as running lanes during busy times either.

The idea of having a road with a 70MPH speed limit and no safe place to stop is not something that instills confidence, especially after a truck ran into a parked car on the A12 and turned over a few years back.

The last time I went on the M3 it still had that 50mph speed restriction from the M25 out towards Camberly.

Edited by Wackyracer on 19/08/2017 at 21:11

M3 - RT

Having had a cambelt failure at 70mph in the 3rd lane of a busy motorway, which kills engine power, assisted steering and brake servo - there's nothing magical about a hard shoulder.

Given the number of people killed on hard shoulders, there's a misplaced sense of well-being in having them.

M3 - mss1tw
Also the amount of times I see people pull straight out from the hard shoulder onto a motorway (With miles of clear H.S. they could have used to accelerate) and the ensuing braking and avoidance manoeuvres means it might not be such a potential disaster.
M3 - galileo

Having had a cambelt failure at 70mph in the 3rd lane of a busy motorway, which kills engine power, assisted steering and brake servo - there's nothing magical about a hard shoulder.

Given the number of people killed on hard shoulders, there's a misplaced sense of well-being in having them.

On a "Traffic Cops" programme the other week a West Yorkshire traffic cop said the average period between a car stopping on the hard shoulder and being hit was 11 minutes. ( I think this figure was produced by the Highways Agency in 2014 )

M3 - Smileyman

I was on the M3 last month, returned home via the A3, two reasons, firstly because I detest the 50mph zone, to have such a long section and for so many years is a national discrace and the people responsible should have been sacked years ago, and secondly because travelliing via the A3 reduced my journey on the M25, which is always a good thing to do (even though it meant a longer journey on the M27).

Will be there in September, back to Southampton, considering avoiding the M3 both ways.

As for question posed by barney100, all the motorways that have been converted to use the hard shoulder as a running lane are inherently more dangeous as a result. Although the reason may be sound, the application is a madness that one day will cost lives. To add insult there is a lack of instruction on what to do in the event of breakdown - hazard lights on, all other lights off (so there is less chance of being mistaken by approaching traffic as a vehicle that is being driven). I'd like to think there are additional call points and the road is being watched by CCTV operators more closely (just how many miles can one operator safely watch?) but I'm not sure.

Also, these roads have an enchanced level of speed control, including the newer roadside cameras (which at first were not painted yellow) that can monitor all lanes at once.

M3 - gordonbennet

So far in West Mids area, i've found three vehicles stopped (presumably broken down) on the live hard shoulder, broad daylight and cruising only at a max of 55mph in the lorry it's quite shocking just how quickly you come up on the stranded vehicle and how little time there is to sort out going past without resorting to a panic stop behind.

Add some rain, winter road salt, the nights drawing in etc, and it doesn't take a vivid imagination as what could be the outcome.

Smart motorway is a cheapskate sticking plaster already falling off the soon to be regular worsening mayhem of complete traffic gridlock, its inevitable due to lack of space/infrastructure and population increasing exponentially.

Twice this week i've had to resort to my old routes and discovering B roads which haven't yet been weight limited in order to get round serious major route closures and crashes, in such events satnav is your enemy because almost everyone will be following auntie safe space's instructions and those alternatives rammed solid, lateral thinking is the order of the day once more.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/08/2017 at 00:50

M3 - RichT54

The speed limits on the M3 south of junction 4 have gone. I can't confirm north of Junction 4 as I haven't been that way recently.

Government advice on how to use smart motorways can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-drive-on-a-smart-motorway

This mentions in an emergency trying to drive to an emergency refuge area. I don't know how far apart they are, but I haven't noticed any between 4 and 4A. The pictures I have seen of them they look quite small, just enough room for a car and a breakdown truck, so you might not find any space if you did make it that far!

M3 - barney100

Interesting stat that a car lasts 11 minutes stranded on the hard shoulder before being hit, I expect the stat for stranded on the new nearside lane will soon emerge. I use the M3 quite a bit and have broken down once in 27 years, straight on the hard shoulder, out of the car and up the bank. Guess all you can do is keep your car well maintained and check it over very regularly.

M3 - KB.

I believe I might have replied to a similar thread in the past and said that it was this particular stretch that prompted me to take whatever measures I could to stay out of trouble. At the time I was using it reasonably regularly and did encounter a broken down car in a live lane within the roadworks (the roadworks to "upgrade" to Smart Motorway status). Nothing dreadful happened as traffic was moving so slowly - but I envisaged breaking down/getting a puncture in a stretch with no hard shoulder, at night, and having nowhere to go and ordered an additional orange flashing LED magnetic beacon (Britax A100) and even went so far as to order a red revolving magnetic beacon too. I have them handy to access and will take the chance of being told off by the police for using a red one... if it saves me from being rear ended I'll plead my case in court.

In addition there are several bright, reflective jackets, both waterproof and not, and I even made up a brightly coloured and reflective square of material to hang from the rear wiper if time allowed.

I suppose if the worst did happen and I was stuck in a live lane with nowhere to go I might only have time to evacuate the car and dive on to a safe area (if there was one) but I'm a firm beliver of making myself as conspicuous as possible if parked in a hazardous area if circumstances allowed..

Edited by KB. on 20/08/2017 at 14:25

 

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