Yesterday I was driving along the M1 motorway part of which has now been converted into a smart motorway.
Driving along the smart motorway stretch, on two separate occasions I noticed the remains of HGV tyres from blow outs. Both lots of debris encroaching onto lane 1. Perhaps the debris would have previously been on the hard shoulder.
In fairness I do not know how regularly the motorway is patrolled and therefore how quickly this debris gets removed. But it is a safety concern. Half a lorry tyre can cause a lot of damage.
I have difficulty in accepting that motorways with a safety refuge can be as safe as those with a hard shoulder. I fear that it is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident when a vehicle ploughs into a broken down one which has had to stop in a live lane 1.
My evidence for this concern?
· Every year vehicles stray over onto the hard shoulder and hit stationary vehicles. If this already happens then it is not too much a leap of common sense to work out the high risk of drivers in lane 1 running into stationary vehicles which have not been able to seek sanctuary within the safety refuges
· How many drivers move over when they see a red X over their lane? How many drivers actually see the red X? How many drivers know what a red X means?
· How many drivers look further than a few cars in front of their own vehicle, let alone well ahead looking out for broken down vehicles in lane 1?
Safety v traffic flow? For me it has to be safety every time. Smart Motorways? I am not convinced. Safe smart motorways……?
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