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[Travel] Smart Motorway



Official Old Man

Uckfield Seagull
Aug 27, 2011
8,656
Brighton
Very rarely drive in the left lane on a smart Motorway, but post Villa, driving back down the M6 in the 'slow' lane, doing around 65, cars in front suddenly pulled to the right nearly causing an accident. Suddenly I'm 50 yards from hitting a car stopped in a live lane. I managed to avoid it but a lorry driver momentarily distracted would have ploughed straight into it. Shook me up.
 




chickens

Intending to survive this time of asset strippers
NSC Patron
Oct 12, 2022
1,987
Very rarely drive in the left lane on a smart Motorway, but post Villa, driving back down the M6 in the 'slow' lane, doing around 65, cars in front suddenly pulled to the right nearly causing an accident. Suddenly I'm 50 yards from hitting a car stopped in a live lane. I managed to avoid it but a lorry driver momentarily distracted would have ploughed straight into it. Shook me up.

They are death traps and whoever thought them up, and then allowed them to go into operation wants their heads knocking together.

Glad you’re ok.
 


Horses Arse

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2004
4,571
here and there
Shocking audio recording of stranded car calling emergency services before a lorry collided with it, in the same scenario you describe. Really disturbing. They survived, just. Bikes and camping gear in back just about absorbed enough of the impact l. Kids in back seats too
 








GT49er

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2009
47,051
Gloucester
More than that - they should be made to go and play on them - in the dark - wearing black hoodies!

OK, maybe not quite that, but they should certainly lose their doubtless well paid jobs. Maybe be made to go and assist with clearing the wreckage from a fatality (call it a team-bonding experience if you like). Incompetence, stupidity, complete ignorance of the dangers of fast moving traffic - whoever made those decisions to install 'smart' (actually stupidly dangerous) motorways was not fit for purpose.
 


vegster

Sanity Clause
May 5, 2008
27,939
" Smart " Motorway lanes were conceived as a cheap and quick solution to overloaded motorways. I think that modern cars are more reliable and there was a hope that having the extra lane could speed the flow of traffic.. it works fine until the inevitable happens.

I have had to do several trips to Shropshire this year and genuinely dread the motorways past Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
 


fly high

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
1,353
in a house
They are death traps and whoever thought them up, and then allowed them to go into operation wants their heads knocking together.

Glad you’re ok.
I'd go further and say at the very least they should be sacked, at worst sit them in a dead car in a live lane.
 




Baldseagull

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
11,021
Crawley
South Yorkshire Police looked at prosecuting Highways England over some deaths that occurred on smart motorways, but CPS ruled they did not legally owe road users a duty of care. Someone must be responsible for the system that is supposed to ensure a stranded vehicle is detected quickly, and the lane closed though?
 


beorhthelm

A. Virgo, Football Genius
Jul 21, 2003
35,412
originally was supposed to be using the hard shoulder in peak times to ease congestion. the risk of collison, certainly a high speed one, was expected to be negligable as traffic would be slow. that worked very well, then got hijacked to make an extra lane for free. if there's no congestion, traffic at proprer moterway speed, they are dangerous.
on M23 i notice it doesnt work anyway, drivers seem to ignore the left lane, some going 60 in the second and everyone else bunches up at 70 in the third lane.
 


Charles 'Charley' Charles

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Oct 8, 2005
3,532
The Mile Of Oaks
South Yorkshire Police looked at prosecuting Highways England over some deaths that occurred on smart motorways, but CPS ruled they did not legally owe road users a duty of care. Someone must be responsible for the system that is supposed to ensure a stranded vehicle is detected quickly, and the lane closed though?
The problem also occurs with selfish drivers who see the lanes queuing, so think they’ll just drive up the closed off lane until cutting in at the last possible second to get a few cars in front.
 




Papak

Not an NSC licker...
Jul 11, 2003
1,976
Horsham
The problem also occurs with selfish drivers who see the lanes queuing, so think they’ll just drive up the closed off lane until cutting in at the last possible second to get a few cars in front.
That's what you are supposed to do - merge in turn by taking up all the available space in the lanes up to the closure.

 


Baldseagull

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
11,021
Crawley


Papak

Not an NSC licker...
Jul 11, 2003
1,976
Horsham
Not when there is an X on the signs over a motorway lane, it means don't use it, and is an offence to do so.
1696155703671.png
 




Baldseagull

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
11,021
Crawley
On a Smart Motorway, signs on gantries over the road sometimes display a Red X, it means that lane is closed from where the sign with the red X is. There will be no actual closure by cones or other barriers, it is an emergency situation and you should get out of that lane immediately. You could be prosecuted if you drive along that lane and wait for an actual obstruction before moving over.
 


Papak

Not an NSC licker...
Jul 11, 2003
1,976
Horsham
On a Smart Motorway, signs on gantries over the road sometimes display a Red X, it means that lane is closed from where the sign with the red X is. There will be no actual closure by cones or other barriers, it is an emergency situation and you should get out of that lane immediately. You could be prosecuted if you drive along that lane and wait for an actual obstruction before moving over.
I'm not sure if you are being deliberately obtuse or not.

A red cross does not just appear from nowhere, there are earlier signs on overhead gantries advising a lane ahead is closed (not once have I suggested otherwise or mentioned barriers or cones or any other method of traffic calming etc.) giving notification the indicated lane is closed further up the road.

I have also not mentioned how quickly the traffic situation is assessed and these actions are taken because I have no idea.

If all lanes of a motorway are busy then the traffic will back up from the incident (because it is arriving at the incident faster than it can be processed) and create the situation I think we are disagreeing about - that is stationary or very slow traffic needing to reduce the number of lanes available for future use.
 




Baldseagull

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
11,021
Crawley
I'm not sure if you are being deliberately obtuse or not.

A red cross does not just appear from nowhere, there are earlier signs on overhead gantries advising a lane ahead is closed (not once have I suggested otherwise or mentioned barriers or cones or any other method of traffic calming etc.) giving notification the indicated lane is closed further up the road.

I have also not mentioned how quickly the traffic situation is assessed and these actions are taken because I have no idea.

If all lanes of a motorway are busy then the traffic will back up from the incident (because it is arriving at the incident faster than it can be processed) and create the situation I think we are disagreeing about - that is stationary or very slow traffic needing to reduce the number of lanes available for future use.
A red cross can and does appear from nowhere, they are activated when a situation occurs, causing a hazard in one of the lanes, maybe a stranded vehicle, maybe a lorry has shed something onto the carriageway, it is dynamic and not a planned for event usually. I think you maybe ought to check the Title of this thread, the other posts in the thread, and in particular, the initial post you responded to, which said people make things worse when they drive down a closed lane, to avoid queuing and you advised that this was the correct thing to do. It isn't, and that's a f***ing fact. I know how and when to merge in turn, and hopefully you now know when to move over because the lane is f***ing closed, and why you would be a bellend to follow the advice you were giving.
If you are going to advise people on how to drive, try not to give out duff information that could get someone killed.
 




AIT76

The wisdom of a fool
Jul 29, 2004
448
As mentioned already, the trial concept everyone thought was a good idea and agreed to was three lanes becoming four when necessary. Somehow that changed to the unbelievably dangerous four lanes becoming three.

Still, at least there are now TWO middle lanes for people to hog...
 




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