Hard shoulders are for driving - Jonathan {p}
Just seen on sky news that trial are going to start on using the hard shoulder to reduce congestion on motorways.

Anyone care to comment?

Hard shoulders are for driving - Dwight Van Driver
Where are they going to put those that breakdown?

In an inevitable snarlup of an major accident how are the Emergency Services going to get to the scene?

Hard shoulders are for driving - Armitage Shanks{P}
The hard shoulder of a motorway is already the most dangerous place to be, in a stationary or broken down vehicle. Trying to make it into a useable 'lane' will lead to a great deal of trouble I suggest.
Hard shoulders are for driving - Flat in Fifth
The report I read cited two countries where it had been tried. In one it had worked (Netherlands?) and in the other (?) had been an unmitigated disaster.

As for getting rid of broken down vehicles seems they intend to build refuge areas at intervals. In order to be useful and allow you to get to a refuge area they would have to be so frequent I would suggest that they might as well just let the moths out the purse and build extra lanes and keep a proper hard shoulder.

Personally totally against this, as it reduces an escape route in event of it all going pear shaped whilst the traffic is flowing.

Hard shoulders are for driving - Ian (Cape Town)
Here it is permissable, but only during daylight hours.
Our national roads have a hard shoulder, and when you approach another motorist from behind, he is sure to pull aside IF he can see ahead of him.
Unfortunately some drivers take the 'you will move aside' as a moral right, and tailgate horribly. If I'm approaching a bend/blind rise, there is NO WAY I'm pulling over!
Hard shoulders are for driving - Morris Ox
Without having read the story (or, indeed, where it came from - some sources have their own exagerrated agenda), it's difficult to pass a definitive judgement on this.

But if it is true, it sounds like another cheap and nasty solution to congestion.
Hard shoulders are for driving - martin
sounds like a real cheap option this one! Another way to fiddle statistics and make Herr Chancelor Blair look like every motorists angel in grace, which he surely aint.

Hardshoulders should stay where they are, out of use except for emergencies. I can't see the Brit public adapting to their usage in a sensible way, and i live in a place where people follow the ambulances down the road with their hazard lights on - a hanging offence in my opinion.
Hard shoulders are for driving - Morris Ox
The trial will take place next year on a section of the M42 in the Midlands. The AA and RAC have both caned it as unsafe.
Hard shoulders are for driving - Jonathan {p}
The trial will take place next year on a section of
the M42 in the Midlands. The AA and RAC have both
caned it as unsafe.

Frankly I'm not surprised. Both organisations lose several people a year due to dozy drivers, this will only increase the danger for them fixing cars at the roadside.
Hard shoulders are for driving - teabelly
I think it would be better to find ways to reduce the amount of traffic actually using the motorways in the first place or at least spread it over the day better. Freight and perhaps Sales Reps seem to be the bigger users of motorways. If we could get as much freight as possible using rail over night then that should reduce the need for big trucks to use motorways. Or if we were really mean then trucks over a certain tonnage would only be allowed to use motorways at night, thus freeing up the motorways during the day. To encourage reps to use public transport then it should be possible to have some online booking system that would allow someone to book a taxi to a station, get the right train and get a taxi at the other end and have them all nicely syncronised. If it was door to door then the reasons for not using public transport woud reduce. It would also reduce accidents on the motorway due to tiredness as people wouldn't have to drive for such distances over so many hours. Perhaps the time has come to put tachos in all business vehicles to make sure that company car drivers are limited to so many hours driving and legally have to take breaks in the same way lorry drivers are supposed to.
Hard shoulders are for driving - SteveH42
The way things are at the moment, there is no way reps could do their job by public transport. Even if the city to city times aren't that much different, the main way a car scores is that you can get straight to a business, while if you arrive somewhere by train you have to try and find which bus to get, or spend a lot more on a taxi. I was recently chatting to a rep who visits us, and she drives 700 miles a week at least as part of her job, covering most of the north of England with trips to the company HQ in Colchester. Granted this sort of thing is pushing it a lot, but it's not untypical.

IMO, the best ways to reduce congestion are traffic flow monitoring to either cater for demand or let people know how they can alter their journey times to help the flow, and, very simply, better driver instruction. The vast majority of holdups are caused by poor or inconsiderate driving. Not using all three lanes effectively and not getting up to overtaking speeds in all but lane 1 being the main problems there.

Lorries especially are a problem due to either lack of power to keep to their limited speed, or slightly variations in that limit. A better system would be either to have some sort of network of radio-based limiters so all lorries were limited to the same speed and need not crawl past slightly slower ones, or a 'turbo' button where a driver can momentarily cancel the limiter to speed up an overtake. This of course would have to be carefully monitored to prevent abuse. (I'd best be careful here and say that I'm not accusing lorry drivers of bad driving - they have a hard job and probably make the best of it, but it does cause a lot of problems.)
Hard shoulders are for driving - dave18
Hard shoulders are not for driving. My 18 year old friend passed recently and how I do not know; he bullied somebody onto the hard shoulder and they looked terrified. Basically he had left it too late to join the main carriageway thus ending up panicked and forcing the car in front of him to use the shoulder. Point being a, they were left to stop then proceed as if they had broken down and b, unrelated to the incident, what happens in respect of breakdowns? Cordoned off areas or whatever are fair enough if you are overheating or something but what if you suffer a major mechanical failure?
Hard shoulders are for driving - Oz
The whole idea sounds great to me - why not develop the idea further and give more flexibility to those with breakdowns by allowing them to change their tyres in the overtaking lane?? ;-)
Oz (as was)
Hard shoulders are for driving - googolplex
Yes, don't knock it. At least they are trying to do something that might work. Hopefully it won't involve years of preparatory roadworks to create these additional breakdown areas. Give it a go, I say.
Hard shoulders are for driving - Another John H
There is already one short section on the M6 southbound in Birmingham where the "hard shoulder" is used as access and runs along to the next exit as "live traffic".

The thing that amazes me about it is that it is around a left hand bend.
Hard shoulders are for driving - NorthernKev {P}
Why don't they use the hard shoulder for driving on, then build another lane running constantly along side the 'new lane' where people if they break down can pull on to...
Well, it's worth a shot...


P.S. Why is it called a hard shoulder anyway? What a silly name!
Hard shoulders are for driving - CM

P.S. Why is it called a hard shoulder anyway? What a
silly name!

There are 2 types of shoulder

Hard - where the surface is tarmac'ed

Soft - where the surface is basically not - ie earth.

As to why it is called shoulder, I think that it is appropriate and not that silly.
Hard shoulders are for driving - NorthernKev {P}
Oh dear, I appear to be falling out with everyone!

Have just checked a dictionary (maybe should have done it before... Lol) and they appear to agree with you that a 'shoulder' is a border at the side of the road. So maybe not silly (maybe I am? Hmm!). But if the dictionary definition came after it was called a shoulder...

Thanks for clearing the adjective bit too. Do 'soft shoulders' exist anymore? Or are they the grassy verges on 'A' roads and such like?

Thanks, Kev
Hard shoulders are for driving - volvoman
An accident waiting to happen IMO !

Like so much which emanates from Westminster this 'soundbite' strategy hasn't been thought through properly and will probably be quietly dropped never to be heard of again. Periodically ministers have to come up with something to prove they're not always on holiday and justify their very luxurious existance. How many times have they made similar 'cheap quick fix' annoucements only then to drop them having wasted yet more time and tax payers money ?

There are only 2 real options - either increase the size of the roads (very costly = more taxes) or cut the volume of traffic (very unpopular = less votes). I doubt whether this Government has the will or integrity to do either so I'm sure we're all in for a lot more procrastination and fine sounding hot air.
Hard shoulders are for driving - sean
I think, managed properly, this will be a good idea.
In most things, you should plan for the normal, not for "worst case".
Most times the hard shoulder is empty, just like bus lanes.
In the event of meeting broken-down vehicles, alert drivers will pass them as they do on dual carriageways etc.
Why have a whole lane unused on a motorway?
Emergency vehicles can access via sirens etc and squeeze through traffic lanes by people letting them past.
Hard shoulders are for driving - king arthur
It's the sort of idiotic, hair-brained, and downright dangerous idea you get when you have a transport department run by someone who doesn't drive...
Hard shoulders are for driving - volvoman
Can you imagine the chaos which will be caused when someone breaks down on the hard shoulder and all the traffic in that lane has to rejoin lane 1 ? The emergency services will have huge problems accessing the scene of any accident.

Furthermore, what happens to anyone who breaks down or has a serious problem of some description whilst driving in lanes 1,2 or 3 ? Where are they supposed to go ? This idea is idiotic !
Hard shoulders are for driving - sean
What is the difference between breaking down on a motorway and breaking down on a dual carriageway?
Both have 70mph speed limits and multiple lanes.
If you break down on the latter, you pull as far over to the left as possible.
What's the difference on a motorway then?
Hard shoulders are for driving - Dwight Van Driver
Non motorways generally have bags of minor roads joining and cut throughs in central reservation so that you can attack the scene from a different direction.

Hard shoulders are for driving - volvoman
Yeah - and how many accidents and how much chaos result when that happens on a DC ?
Hard shoulders are for driving - Gen
With respect, I think you're all missing the point of why this is going to be done.

It is not intended to work. When it doesn't work the government will be able to say "Look we tried everything else, so now we will have to do road use charging"

And the sooner the better if you ask me. If I do a return journey for London to Leeds and back it's going to cost me 35£ petrol. If charging saved me an hour of driving it'd be worth 20£ I think.

Or what about having a 100 to 150£ roadtax as now, but a £1000 road tax which gives the additional privilege of motorway use during peak hours.

Why do I think someone is going to disagree with me??
Hard shoulders are for driving - paul swindon
There will be one almighty accident where loads of people are killed due to the a)idiocy of the idea and b) the idiocy of drivers. What recourse is there on the government if your beloved is killed as as result of an experiment?
Hard shoulders are for driving - Nsar
I seem to recall reading that hard shoulders nearly weren't on the first M/ways, ie they were going to be only partially made up cinder tracks to save money, but someone forced the day and they were constructed properly. This is perhaps why they're called hard.
This is a stupid and unneccessary idea. The rationale I read yesterday is that congestion around London and in some parts of the N West is that it's worth trialling...in the Midlands. Shome mishtake shurely.
The hard shoulder is a critical safety valve on an overpressurised system and compromising it is short-sighted and carries a clear safety risk. As well as railing against it here, visit faxyourmp.com and make your views known there.

Value my car