UK motorists allowed to drive on the motorway hard shoulder

UK motorists allowed to drive on the motorway hard shoulder

Motorists will benefit from faster journeys when hard shoulder running is in operation on the M42 near Birmingham with the speed limit being raised to 60mph (96.5kph) following a successful test.

The increased speed limit, which will take full effect from tomorrow (16 October), will apply to the whole Active Traffic Management stretch between junctions 3A and 7 of the M42 to the south east of Birmingham, with electronic overhead signs clearly displaying the speed limit. Drivers may see sign changes as the new limits are introduced today.

The Highways Agency undertook a test earlier in the year which found that increasing the speed from 50mph to 60mph improved journey times by up to 8% with no discernible impact on safety.

Roads Minister Andrew Adonis said:

“Hard shoulder running has proven to be a great success in cutting congestion and we have already announced our plans to look at similar schemes on other motorways across England.

“We don’t want to slow drivers down unnecessarily so, after closely monitoring the test to make sure safety was not compromised, we are from tomorrow increasing the speed limit while the hard shoulder is in use to 60mph. This will maximise the benefits of this innovative scheme and further improve journey times for motorists.”

Highways Agency Director of Traffic Operations, Derek Turner said:

The Active Traffic Management scheme, which allows road users to drive on the hard shoulder during busy periods, has shown significant benefits for motorists, the environment and the economy. Use of the hard shoulder in peak periods saw average journeys fall by more than a quarter on the northbound carriageway and drivers’ ability to predict their weekday journey times improved by 27%.

Alongside these results, fuel consumption reduced by 4% and vehicle emissions fell by up to 10%. Importantly, road safety was not compromised, with the personal injury accident rate falling from an average 5.1 per month to 1.8 per month on this section of the M42.

Work has recently started to extend Active Traffic Management on to other motorways around Birmingham. Two new stretches of hard shoulder running will be added on the M6, with variable speed limits to be used on parts of the M42 and M40.

Sounds like common sense to us, but do you think it will come to New Zealand in the near future? No, we don’t either.

Motorists will benefit from faster journeys when hard shoulder running is in operation on the M42 near Birmingham with the speed limit being raised to 60mph (96.5kph) following a successful test.

The increased speed limit, which will take full effect from tomorrow (16 October), will apply to the whole Active Traffic Management stretch between junctions 3A and 7 of the M42 to the south east of Birmingham, with electronic overhead signs clearly displaying the speed limit. Drivers may see sign changes as the new limits are introduced today.

The Highways Agency undertook a test earlier in the year which found that increasing the speed from 50mph to 60mph improved journey times by up to 8% with no discernible impact on safety.

Roads Minister Andrew Adonis said:

“Hard shoulder running has proven to be a great success in cutting congestion and we have already announced our plans to look at similar schemes on other motorways across England.

“We don’t want to slow drivers down unnecessarily so, after closely monitoring the test to make sure safety was not compromised, we are from tomorrow increasing the speed limit while the hard shoulder is in use to 60mph. This will maximise the benefits of this innovative scheme and further improve journey times for motorists.”

Highways Agency Director of Traffic Operations, Derek Turner said:

The Active Traffic Management scheme, which allows road users to drive on the hard shoulder during busy periods, has shown significant benefits for motorists, the environment and the economy. Use of the hard shoulder in peak periods saw average journeys fall by more than a quarter on the northbound carriageway and drivers’ ability to predict their weekday journey times improved by 27%.

Alongside these results, fuel consumption reduced by 4% and vehicle emissions fell by up to 10%. Importantly, road safety was not compromised, with the personal injury accident rate falling from an average 5.1 per month to 1.8 per month on this section of the M42.

Work has recently started to extend Active Traffic Management on to other motorways around Birmingham. Two new stretches of hard shoulder running will be added on the M6, with variable speed limits to be used on parts of the M42 and M40.

Sounds like common sense to us, but do you think it will come to New Zealand in the near future? No, we don’t either.

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