Drivers are criticising emergency lay-bys on smart motorways as being too far apart.
Guidance from Highways England say stopping places should be no more than 1.6 miles apart on motorways. Hard shoulders are now often used for traffic to alleviate congestion.
But furious motorists says these emergency refuges are too far apart and could lead to motorists being forced to stop in moving traffic in emergencies.
Smart motorways are already in operation on sections of the M42, M1, M6, M4 and M5.
Motorists give alternate names to lay-bys
An AA survey of more than 20,000 motorists found than nearly 8 in 10 motorists think the lack of hard shoulders makes motorways less safe.
People were asked to rename emergency lay-bys. The names given show how little drivers think of them, with suggestions such as “death zones” and “foolish planners’ promised land”.
AA president Edmund King said: “Our members came up with some scary names for the emergency refuge areas, which indicates just how worried they are.
“If drivers can see the next lay-by, they are much more likely to make it to the relative safety of that area even if their car has a puncture or is overheating. If they can’t see the lay-by, they often panic and stop in a live running lane.
Call for scheme to be made safer
The AA wants more lay-bys to be included in initial plans, saying it will be less expensive and safer. They want the government to design a safer scheme for drivers to prevent road accidents increasing.
With the emergency refuge areas typically 2km apart on smart motorways, motorists driving at 60 miles per hour would pass one every 90 seconds.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has given the green light for hard shoulders to be permanently used for traffic on a 32-mile stretch of the M4 from Hayes, west London, to Theale, Berkshire.
MPs on the Commons Transport Select Committee held an inquiry earlier this year which concluded that such schemes – known as all lane running – are too dangerous and have not been properly considered.
Source: The Daily Mail
Date Published: October 11, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown