M1 hell - martin
It\'s probably big news back in Blighty, but i saw this one today and thought it worth a mention. It seems as though the M1 will be out of action for some time. With a pile up of this magnatude is any other course of action available, probably not. Just what can have happened will need to be clarified with the upmost rigour.

However, it is an often sited fact about motorways that the UK crash barriers are not strong enough to sustain a hit from a large vehicle at a good speed. Here in France we have enforced crash barriers that are often seperated but a small strip of ground. I have seen photos of lorries that did not manage to break through this (occaisionally the do however). What about some sort of safety feature being used in the UK????

M1 hell - Dynamic Dave
It\'s been mentioned in another thread in a slightly different context.

M1 hell - Bob the builder
Martin, I have lived and worked and travelled many thousands of miles in Austria, Germany and France, for over 34 years. Of the three countries mentioned, only Germany is comparable in terms of traffic volume. German autobahns are fast (and sometimes dangerous) roads, BUT advisory speed-limited stretches eg down inclines / over viaducts are generally well-adhered to. German motorway police are generally vigilant and on hand.
In contrast, my experience of French motorways is that it's a free for all. Bear in mind that France is about 4 times the size of UK with less vehicles. Motorways, except around cities, are toll paying and consequently there is much less traffic. Speed control is virtually non-existant except when the "Flics" want to pull in a few Brits going on holiday in response to media coverage of Rosbifs who don't drive on their side of the road. I still travel about 5000 miles each year on French autoroutes and it's fair to say you NEVER see any patrol cars. French roadworks and their set -ups are often highly dangerous , usually a few cones and a bloke waving a flag, and their contra- flow methods must be dreamed up by Micky Mouse.This does not stop me travelling to, or loving, France, but to even suggest that French motorways are afer than Britain's is an over-simplification to say the least. Check out the statistics for the respective road deaths . Rant over !!
M1 hell - J Bonington Jagworth
"Here in France we have enforced crash barriers.."

Like vertical concrete pillars in Parisian underpasses? Sorry, cheap shot, but a bit of Armco there would have altered history...
M1 hell - 3500S
Reading about this tragedy this morning in the paper, the story went that the whole accident was caused by a motorist pulling out in front of the transporter causing the jack-knife.

Also the photo of the accident scene was really grim. A scimitar tank landed over the cab of the Transit completely flattening it.

Either way, no amount of protection is going to stop a jack-knifing transporter from crossing the reservation.
M1 hell - Altea Ego
>Either way, no amount of protection is going to stop a jack-knifing transporter from crossing the reservation.

Yup - the transporter could easily just dump them over the top. The berlin wall wouldnt stop that lot
M1 hell - Gen
At the risk of being vilified in another thread could I suggest that the army should move tanks etcetera at another time, other than 7.30am in the morning? The roads are awfully quiet at 4am when I often do a few hundred miles on the motorways...I do my bit to lower traffic problems (okay, I just like quiet roads) so I think the army, as a part of government, should too. Though, on the other side, at least they usually drive with headlights on.
M1 hell - Clanger
I live near Catterick Garrison, a large Army base in North Yorkshire and have a generally low opinion of the driving capabilities of soldiers behind the wheel. Routinely, they will pull out of side roads on me or others and they seem to have no conception of speed limits. Army vehicles are often to be seen being recovered when they have broken down. I wouldn't be surprised if driving ability and poor maintenance were contributary factors.

M1 hell - Stargazer {P}
The driver was a civilian contractor

Ian L.
M1 hell - pdc {P}
Didn't realise that the Army is a part of the Government. I thought that the Monarch was at the head of the services, not Tory Blair.
M1 hell - Gen
Nope, Blair (or Bush -wink) controls the army, which does as the government wants, so is part of government. Let me put it this way, how many speeches did the queen make about iraq???

The Monarch controls the army the same as she owns all the land in england and we are all just her tenants...
M1 hell - davo
Like vertical concrete pillars in Parisian underpasses? Sorry, cheap shot, but a bit of Armco there would have altered history...

Only if you believe it was an accident.
M1 hell - Stargazer {P}
Forget the armco....only one of the four occupants was wearing a seatbelt and he was in the side of the car that hit the concrete pillar. He survived.

Ian L.
M1 hell - Clanger
For the truth about this incident, I refer you to Alexei Sayle's short story, "Barcelona Plates".

M1 hell - J Bonington Jagworth
Thank you for that, Hawkeye. An interesting bit of bedtime reading!
M1 hell - J Bonington Jagworth
"Only if you believe it was an accident."

That's another (interesting) subject, but no-one would have been killed if the Merc had not run head-on into one of the pillars. It seems madness to me to have such a barrier between carriageways, when a cheap bit of Armco would deflect errant vehicles back onto the road.
M1 hell - zm
\"Here in France we have enforced crash barriers..\"
Like vertical concrete pillars in Parisian underpasses?
Sorry, cheap shot, but a bit of Armco there would have altered history...

If she was wearing a seat belt history would have been altered...........
M1 hell - v8man
I have recently come back from Belgium touring on my motorbike and the French are unbelievable. On the Autoroute they were replacing light bulbs in the central reservation with an hydraulic platform parked in the fast lane guarded by a man waving a red flag! No prior warning until about 50 yards. How he survived I don't know.
M1 hell - Tim Allcott
Was it a real man with a red flag, or one of those plastic ones?
Speaking of large concrete barriers (over a metre high) we were heftily delayed on the way South to Paris last year by an incident with an articulated car transporter; the trailer had ended up balanced like a see saw on the separating wall. Mind you it made a nice spot for the pompiers to eat their sandwiches...
M1 hell - THe Growler
Oh I can beat that. Try unlit truck with 40\' container on semi-trailer broken down in the fast lane in tropical rain, with one sodden bare-chested guy waving his t-shirt at oncoming traffic...
... or similarly broken down bus with 80 passengers all taking their chances to dash across the expresway, hauling vast amounts of baggage to boot, to the hard shoulder. Can\'t count the number of times I\'ve seen that in the Philippines.


Value my car