UK News: Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsVehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder

17:30  30 july  2019
17:30  30 july  2019 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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A shoulder , or hard shoulder is an emergency stopping lane by the verge of a road or motorway , on the right in countries which drive on the right, or on the left side in India, Japan, the UK, Australia

Last year saw 29 collisions on smart motorways where a vehicle was broken down in the hard shoulder . This means drivers who break down on the high -speed roads could be forced to sit in lanes exposed to live traffic, where other drivers are unaware the hard shoulder has been closed

There were more vehicle breakdowns on motorways and major routes last year than there have been for half a decade, new figures from Highways England reveal.

An investigation by motoring title Auto Express revealed 224,225 recorded breakdowns between April 2018 and 2019, up from 189,256 four years earlier in 2014 to 15.

It's a worrying statistic considering the number of smart motorways with all-lane running enforced, meaning there is no hard shoulder for drivers and passengers to move out of danger and seek refuge away from fast-moving traffic immediately.

The M1 was found to have the most breakdowns - and it's the motorway with the most all-lane running sections in England.

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Why do motorways have a hard shoulder ? When the motorway network was introduced across Firstly, the hard shoulder acts as a refuge for any broken-down vehicles safely away from the flow Tell the operator the number on the phone so that they can locate you and give as many details as

THOUSANDS of Brits were stranded on motorways across the country as drivers abandoned their Worried locals grabbed bread, milk and other essentials from Tesco Extra in Cardiff as snow lashed Cardiff Council bosses said a "vast number " of people stocked up on groceries because of the Drivers on A30 junction 7 of M3 motorway after three lorries jackknifed leaving drivers stranded in

Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Breakdowns hit a 5-year high: More drivers and passengers are being stranded on England's motorways and major roads, according to new figures. And with more routes having their hard shoulders removed, motoring groups and worried about the safety implications

Statistics from Highways England - the agency responsible for all motorways and major A-roads in the country - showed a 15 per cent rise in the number of vehicle breakdowns year-on-year.

Some of this can be attributed to the fact that fewer motorists are buying new cars, influenced by concerns about rapid depreciation of diesels and additional taxes and inner-city driving charges that are being enforced.

Auto Express found that the average age of vehicle in the UK has increased to 8.2 years in 2018, up from 7.8 years in 2015 and 6.8 years in 2003.

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A smart motorway (formerly managed motorway ) is a section of motorway in Great Britain that uses active traffic management (ATM) techniques to increase capacity by use of variable speed limits and hard shoulder running at busy times.

AN ALARMING number of British drivers are still confused about speed limits on smart motorways - despite them being in use for more than a decade. According to a study by Europcar UK, just two in five drivers knew how the speed limit worked if the hard shoulder had been activated for use.

And with traffic volumes remaining almost unchanged in recent years, the figures indicate that the increasing number of breakdowns could be linked to a wider use of ageing cars.

Vehicle breakdowns on motorways and major routes

2014/15: 189,256

2015/16: 187,913

2016/17: 186,319

2017/18: 195,292

2018/19: 224,225

Source: Auto Express/Highways England

The figures make for worrying reading when you take into account that fewer major routes now have hard shoulders.

With more motorways being converted into all-lane running routes with no hard shoulder lane - and dynamic hard shoulder motorways, where the emergency lane can be used as a normal moving traffic lane during peak periods - it suggests that there are more drivers who find themselves stranded with no place to go.

There are currently around 100 miles of motorways that have been converted into ALR routes, with another 225 miles planned by the government.

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Drivers are being warned that smart motorway speed cameras used to enforce variable speed limits can catch you even when lower speeds are not Only unclassified narrow lanes with passing points were deemed more treacherous than a four-lane motorway with no hard shoulder in an AA poll of

What are Smart Motorways ? Any section of motorway that has been upgraded with new technology — electronic signs, intensive CCTV The earliest trials of hard shoulder running opened it to traffic between junctions simply for use as an extended exit lane, so traffic leaving at the next junction would

While these do have emergency refuge areas for motorist to use if they have broken down, they only appear every 1.55 miles on existing ALR motorways and every mile where applicable on planned roads.

Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited All-Lane-Running smart motorways have an emergency refuge area every 1.55 miles. Experts have argued they need to be closer and the pull-off sections extended to make it safer for drivers to re-enter lanes with moving traffic

Where are ALR smart motorways?

There is currently more than 100 miles of ALR smart motorways in England, with more due to be installed.

Here's where you'll find existing ALR sections:

M1

Junction 16 to 19

Junction 23a to 25

Junction 28 to 31

Junction 32 to 35a

Junction 39 to 42

M3

Junction 2 to 4a

M4

Junction 19 to 20

M5

Junction 4a to 6

Junction 15 to 17

M6

Junction 10a to 13

Junction 16 to 19

M25

Junction 5 to 7

Junction 23 to 27

M62

Junction 25 to 26

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, previous said in an interview earlier this year that ALR smart motorways do not offer sufficient provisions for drivers who have a breakdown, and can cause motorists to panic if they cannot find somewhere safe to pull off fast-moving carriageways.

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If you experience a vehicle breakdown , your first and most important priority is making sure you and any Exit the vehicle from the passenger side. If you have pulled over onto the hard shoulder , don’t get If you’re driving with pets in the car, under most circumstances it is safer to leave animals in the

RAC Breakdown Cover for £4.50. Penalties for drug driving include a driving ban of at least one year , an unlimited fine and six months in prison. If you drive a vehicle without insurance on a public road, you risk it triggering a police ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) camera and being hit

This is especially the case for those who suffer tyre punctures, immediate loss of engine power or are involved in collisions with other vehicles.

'It's expansion on the cheap,' Mr Cousens said as part of a report into smart motorways earlier this year.

'We get the need to deal with congestion but safety can't be the compromising factor.

'We want [Highways England] and the Department for Transport to go back to the drawing board and make sure this is the best thing we could be doing.'

Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Highways England bosses overseeing smart motorways have said that they are safer than fast-moving routes with hard shoulders. Motoring organisations have broadly disagreed

He added: 'Breaking down on a motorway can be a frightening experience, so spending a few minutes before you set off checking your car over could make all the difference.

'With more stretches of all lane running motorways, drivers will want to avoid the prospect of stopping in a live lane. Our long-held criticism of these schemes continues as we believe the spacing of emergency refuge areas are too far apart.'

Cousens said it was important for all motorists to understand that they need to move out of a closed lanes immediately, which is marked on overhead gantries by a red cross.

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The hard shoulder : A narrow emergency lane along the left of a motorway Pull onto the hard shoulder if you can't make it to a service station - try to stop near an emergency SOS phone if you can. Ingenie Services Limited offers general insurance policies from a limited number of insurers.

COPS have warned drivers they will be hit with penalties if they speed over 70mph on a smart BRITS can be snapped by speed cameras 24-hours-a-day on smart motorways , according to traffic The M1 is just one of a number of stretches being converted into smart motorways alongside the

These notify when there's a breakdown or incident ahead.

Since 10 June 2019, motorists who fail to move out of a closed lane will receive a £100 fine and three points on their driving licence.

'We also need people to recognise the seriousness of the red ‘X’, as it is there to protect vulnerable vehicles and workers,' he told This is Money.

Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jack Cousens from the AA says it is imperative for motorists to move out of closed lanes to ensure the safety of passengers in broken down vehicles up ahead Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Overhead gantries on smart motorways will show a red 'X' to notify motorists that the lane is closed due to an incident ahead. This could be a crash or a vehicle breakdown, and motorists need to exit the lane immediately

Highways England tends not to agree with the AA and believes ALR motorways are safer than routes with hard shoulders.

In an interview with the BBC, Matt Pates, the East Midlands regional traffic operations manager for Highways England, said hard shoulders were not a 'hospitable' place for drivers to be and smart motorways were 'as safe, if not safer' without them.

That's despite recent cases of motorists being killed on sections of smart motorway, vehicle recovery operators stating that it puts their breakdown technicians in danger, and police and ambulance services complaining they make it more difficult for them to attend emergencies.

In total, Highways England is responsible for 4,300 miles of the country’s motorways and strategic main roads.

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Smart motorways work by using the hard shoulder as a fourth lane, with variable speed limits to control She told BBC 5 live Investigates they were "a sitting duck" with no hard shoulder . ' Smart motorway ' offenders could be offered retraining. Plans to fine drivers flouting smart motorway rules.

Getting stranded at the side of the road, be it the hard shoulder of a motorway or a remote country lane with no This means drivers coming up behind you will be alerted to the presence of your car on the hard shoulder far sooner. Make sure everyone in the car leaves via a left -hand door, to keep

While the organisation’s network makes up just two per cent of England’s network, these roads are by far the nation's busiest and carry a third of the country’s traffic.

MOTORWAYS AND MAJOR ROADS IN ENGLAND WITH THE MOST BREAKDOWNS
Highway Name FY 14-15 FY 15-16 FY 16-17 FY 17-18 FY 18-19 Grand Total
M1 26,648 25,738 26,476 28,380 32,152 139,394
M25 23,823 24,369 24,130 24,818 27,941 125,081
M6 23,510 23,374 23,895 24,645 29,428 124,852
M5 14,893 13,312 13,591 14,187 15,420 71,403
M62 11,501 11,020 10,761 11,686 13,332 58,300
M4 10,640 10,496 10,050 10,862 12,462 54,510
M40 7,225 7,326 7,140 7,687 9,692 39,070
A1M 6,489 6,534 6,508 7,310 8,545 35,386
M60 5,448 5,920 6,109 6,302 6,379 30,158
M3 5,053 6,151 5,073 5,744 7,033 29,054
M42 4,698 4,427 4,160 4,441 4,457 22,183
M11 3,700 3,861 3,737 3,707 4,268 19,273
A1 3,630 4,134 4,025 3,755 3,187 18,731
M20 3,282 3,091 3,016 2,982 4,244 16,615
M56 2,805 2,755 2,670 2,749 3,421 14,400
Grand Total 153,345 152,508 151,341 159,255 181,961 798,410
Source: Auto Express/Highways England

The M1 is the motorway with the highest recorded breakdowns in the last five year.

A total of 139,394 breakdowns were recorded between 2014 and 2019, which account for almost 18 per cent of the total, according to Highways England figures.

Currently there are five sections of the M1 that have been converted into ALR smart motorways.

The M25 and M6 both had more than 100,000 breakdown incidents - both of which have two all-lane-running sections being enforced.

Vehicle breakdowns hit a five-year high leaving a worrying number of drivers stranded on 'smart' motorways with NO hard shoulder © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited There are currently over 100 miles of all-lane running smart motorways in England, with another 225 miles due to be converted

Auto Express' investigation also revealed that Friday is the day of the week where vehicles breakdown most commonly, with 16 per cent of all recorded issues reported on the final working day of the week.

Sunday, unsurprisingly, is the day with the fewest breakdowns, at 14 per cent, which can be attributed to the lower volume of traffic at the weekend.

July and August are the months with the highest volume of breakdowns.

The government agency told Auto Express that almost half of all breakdowns are caused by 'simple mechanical problems' and - like the AA - advised drivers to check their vehicle's tyres, screenwash and oil levels before setting off on long journeys.

The 3 types of smart motorway

1. Controlled Motorway

Multiple lanes, variable speed limits and a hard shoulder for emergencies only.

2. Dynamic Hard Shoulder

Variable speed limits and a hard shoulder that can be turned into a fourth lane when needed.

Drivers are told via electric overhead signs to use the hard shoulder during peak hours.

3. All-Lane Running

Variable speed limits and a permanent fourth lane instead of a hard shoulder.

Emergency refuge areas can be found every 2.5km (1.55 miles).

There are 24 cases EVERY WEEK of vehicles crashing into stationary cars on motorway hard shoulders, new figures reveal.
Shockingly, almost a fifth (19%) of incidents involving a vehicle colliding with a car that's stopped on a motorway or main road hard shoulder resulted in serious injury or death, says DfT stats.

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