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Old 12-01-22, 08:42 PM   #1
Ruffy
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Default Smart Motorways

So the rollout has been shelved for now

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59956911

I did a quick search and couldn't find a recent thread on these. I know as bikers we tend to try to avoid motorways but I'm sure we all use 'em from time to time, in cars/vans if not on bike.

So what's your view on these and this situation?


Personally I think calling them 'smart' was a terrible thing to do. But I appreciate the concepts, hazards, risks and trade-offs involved pretty well and so overall I think they were a reasonable solution in the circumstances to the growing traffic issues we were/are seeing in this country.
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Old 12-01-22, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

Pro's - My employer makes a lot of cash out of 'Smart Motorway' projects.

Cons - No Hard Shoulder = freaking stupid beyond belief!
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Old 13-01-22, 08:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

They are dangerous, period. Even the government cannot bury the statistics about how much more dangerous they are. Ethariel is right, someone is making a **** load of cash out of these projects and want the gravy train to continue despite the evidence.

I have a theory that so many Civil Service 'experts' become consultants straight from college and really have no practical experience in their craft. Wouldn't surprise me to find the idiot who dreamed up 'smart motorways' doesn't even drive.....
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Old 13-01-22, 11:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

like all traffic systems its not the road structure that is at fault its the people driving on them.

smart motorways (lets call then "increased lane") are no more dangerous than dual carriageways.

one of the biggest factors of congestion is narrowing at end point but there is nowt we can do about the cities and towns road structure apart from turn everything one way and open up disused railways as "relief roads" instead of cycle/walk ways or build "stilted roads". or build inner city trunk/access roads at the end of motorways. that way traffic can filter into areas as it goes. but that would mean destroying peoples homes.

Last edited by Bibio; 13-01-22 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 13-01-22, 12:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

Nope, removing the safety lane giving broken down vehicles and their occupants nowhere to go is just plain stupid.
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Old 13-01-22, 12:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

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Originally Posted by Luckypants View Post
Nope, removing the safety lane giving broken down vehicles and their occupants nowhere to go is just plain stupid.
This.

Absolutely agree with Mike here.
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Old 13-01-22, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

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Originally Posted by Luckypants View Post
Nope, removing the safety lane giving broken down vehicles and their occupants nowhere to go is just plain stupid.
well that same statement would apply to any road.

lets take a dual carriageway for instance. the speed limit is the same but there is no hard shoulder so what happens if you break down on one of those as its exactly the same as a dual lane motorway?

what if you cant reach the hard shoulder when your on a motorway?

having a hard shoulder is not a guarantee of safety or use. dont know if its the same down south but up here in scotchland the hard shoulder on some MW's are being turned into buss lanes.
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Old 13-01-22, 05:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

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Originally Posted by Luckypants View Post
They are dangerous, period. Even the government cannot bury the statistics about how much more dangerous they are. Ethariel is right, someone is making a **** load of cash out of these projects and want the gravy train to continue despite the evidence.

I have a theory that so many Civil Service 'experts' become consultants straight from college and really have no practical experience in their craft. Wouldn't surprise me to find the idiot who dreamed up 'smart motorways' doesn't even drive.....
There was an MP (A Tory one IIRC) who was part of/petitioning for the lowering of Motorway speed limits (this was some time ago - it featured on TG) & would you believe no Motorways went through his constituency
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Old 13-01-22, 05:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibio View Post
well that same statement would apply to any road.

lets take a dual carriageway for instance. the speed limit is the same but there is no hard shoulder so what happens if you break down on one of those as its exactly the same as a dual lane motorway?

what if you cant reach the hard shoulder when your on a motorway?

having a hard shoulder is not a guarantee of safety or use. dont know if its the same down south but up here in scotchland the hard shoulder on some MW's are being turned into buss lanes.
On a single lane road, everyone behind you has no choice except to stop . . . & usually most single lane roads have a place to pull to safety (Path, grass verge, turning etc). That's a safe place to have a break down.

Most dual carriageways i've been on (all over the UK) have an open grass verge/a space between this and the lane 1 where you could get most of your vehicle off the carriageway, and get yourself to some sort of safety.

They've specifically made these Motorways unsafe by choice. They have removed the safety aspect (and an access road for emergency vehicles) and replaced it with a small cut out every few miles.
The AVERAGE time for the response to a broken down car & shutting off a lane is 17 minutes. How many vehicles pass by on a Motorway in 17 minutes?!
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Old 13-01-22, 08:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Smart Motorways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibio View Post
like all traffic systems its not the road structure that is at fault its the people driving on them.
I suspected it would be a polarising topic but I'm generally wth Bibio on this - the main problem is the behaviours and expectations of road users, not the infrastructure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckypants View Post
Nope, removing the safety lane giving broken down vehicles and their occupants nowhere to go is just plain stupid.
What I can't get my head around is when we suddenly allowed lack of observation to become legitimate. Your vehicle should always be within the zone visible to other drivers so why are those other drivers not expected to notice and deal with that?

Surely if drivers aren't noticing and responding to hazards then they're not really driving safely enough?

The hard shoulder is not the 'safety lane', in just the same way as the outside lane is not the 'fast lane'. Maybe we've all just become lulled into thinking we should always be able to travel on motorways at 70mph (or more)? And we're not prepared for any different? Entitlement fallacy?
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