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Smart Motorway ready to launch

Tuesday March 15 2016

Motorway Motorway

MOTORISTS are being urged to drive smarter with the launch of new motorway rules.

Parts of the M1 in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire are being officially relaunched as smart motorway, with the hard shoulder permanently converted to an extra 'live' lane - resulting in four lanes of traffic.

Highways England is testing technology between junction 28-31 and will open the route in phases by Thursday (March 17).

A 50 mph speed restriction is in place but once testing is completed, all four lanes will operate at 70 mph. 

Drivers are advised to take note of the overhead electronic signs, which operate variable speed limits.

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Reply Posted by nw on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 09:20
myself i thinks it is going to cause more deaths or more accidents as there is only so many small areas were people can pull over if they have any problems ,as people will still drive like idiots and not pay attension ,who ever fort of this is mad and didnt think about what dangers it will cause ,the new signs are good and gives warnings but i still think theres going to be a lot of injurys or worse , just me thinking this or is there anybody else thinking the same

Reply Posted by John on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 09:24
Will only cause more accidents when you get idiots egnoring the red x above lanes

Reply Posted by Courtney on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 09:54
What happens if someone breaks down?

Reply Posted by Bill on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 10:33
The same questions are always put, but never answered. The questions are what frighten most people - a car full of small children breaks down in a live lane, what does the driver have to do? A multi vehicle pile up occurs in fog, how do the emergency services get to it quickly? The creators of these Smart Motorways say they wouldn't create something that is dangerous, but they still refuse to answer these questions.

Reply Posted by Jacko on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 13:22
I work with the design of smart motorways, if you want to know just search online. It’s all there, as mentioned when the schemes were announced.

I had never really used one daily but now I do they work well, created to keep flow going when there is an accident or if someone breaks down. There are data centres with people monitoring the sensors and traffic cameras so when an incident occurs it is dealt with quickly, with speed limits reduces and lane closures.

Just read the signs and you will be fine, and of you break down just move to the inside lane and exit the car as you would normally do.

Reply Posted by Dave on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 12:20
And what about the driverless car we ALL wil be having to watch out for god you couldnt make it up

Reply Posted by Jacko on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 13:17
I was very sceptical of Smart Motorways but someone who drives upto Leeds daily I had no reason to be.

They work just fine as long as you’re not an idiot, which to be fair a lot of people who use that stretch of the M1 are.

If there is an accident it slows traffic down and closes a lane, just read the signs its simple and there are more than enough recovery points.

No need to worry, cause unnecessary fuss. Just do what you are told. They do what they need to do.

Speed camera’s are necessary for how they work, mainly because people are idiots, with water you can reduce flow to slow it down, but idiots who drive and ignore the signs end up with 3 points, so the cameras are there to reduce flow into and out of busy congested areas.

Reply Posted by Chris Oates on Thursday March 17 2016 at 12:20
They do not work. We have it on the M62 in the Leeds/Bradford area,congestion is the same if not worse,they put stupid speed limits on for no reason and cause traffic to bunch up. I believe the first of these was the M42 and that features daily on Radio 2 traffic news with accidents and congestion. Only yesterday a breakdown occurred on the M62 between J26 and J27 and those cretins took over five hours to clear it.

Reply Posted by Kate on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 15:11
It will be like driving in America and those idiots can't even merge traffic properly. Under taking and overtaking. It will be a nightmare.

Reply Posted by Duncan on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 18:36
I live and work in the Midland and we have this around Birminham for about 2 years. As long as you follow the signs and directions it works fine

Reply Posted by Jacko on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 21:46
That's the thing Duncan you will still get lane swapping idiots trying to overtake when it says stay in lane with a set speed limit. Easy if you just follow what it says in the sign.

Been in Brum a good while longer hasn't it? Remember going down there around 10 years ago when I was looking at Uni's.

People have no need to worry or get annoyed,just follow the signs and you will be fine. If you get a ticket, well just don't speed and you will be fine.

Reply Posted by Steve on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 23:07
The new motorways worry me. Yes cars are much more reliable than they used to be but there are so much more traffic on the roads there is still a very high chance of broken down vehicles
The AA say that many breakdowns are associated with electrical failure- how do you indicate you are in distress if hazard warnings don't work. Also when vehicles are getting ever larger then narrowing the lanes to make room for 4 lanes is bonkers. No margin for safety between vehicles especially in wet or windy conditions. The only way to deal with congestion in this country is to firstly acknowledge we are FULL.

Reply Posted by Ben on Wednesday March 16 2016 at 23:56
Is it just the hard shoulder where the 50mph is or all 4 lanes??

Reply Posted by Jacko on Thursday March 17 2016 at 16:55
All lanes when it’s fully open will be national speed limit unless there is an incident. If and when there is an incident move to the inside lane and the lane will be closed.

To ease congestion and maintain traffic flow speed limits may be reduced. These procedures do work as its makes for steady traffic flow and not stop start traffic.

If it wasn’t for idiots speeding up and slamming breaks on which it has been proved this starts a trigger, which causes a jam and traffic stopping miles back with the number of cars who brake one by one resulting in traffic stopping, then this would not be needed.

It’s not stupid or dangerous. It’s proven to work. Anyone who travels North to Leeds everyday will confirm this. What is stupid and dangerous are the people who make these things required.

Not sure why people are against these. I drive all over on the motorways and these and proved to work.

If you break down, just do as you did before, inside lane, exit vehicle and get out of the car and ring the breakdown company. From that moment you will find lane closures, and there are more than enough emergency bays. If you have any sense at all you will be fine.

Reply Posted by AHR on Thursday March 17 2016 at 12:46
Stupid and dangerous.

Reply Posted by Flip on Friday March 18 2016 at 10:42
Question for Smart Mway boffins - do the HADECS 3 systems fitted on these sections work as a fixed point system (like a GATSO does - although that's a set speed and not able to adjust it's threshold/settings) or do they work like SPECS/VECTOR systems? Relaying your "average" speed over a set distance? Just curious :)

Reply Posted by Jacko on Friday March 18 2016 at 13:10
It depends on the region. They are mostly just normal speed camara’s. Go through them over the set speed limit and you will be done. Some are on when the variable speed limit is not set and the limit is 70 too. But some operate on the average speed.

Just don’t speed as there are sensors camara’s which pick anyone up speeding and will flash you if you speed and go through the camara slower. Basically if you speed and ignore the signs, expect a letter though the post. But anyone who ignore them, I’ll just ask why would you.

Just don’t speed, as it defeats the point in smart motorways, inpatient drivers are why these are used.

Reply Posted by Flip on Friday March 18 2016 at 15:56
@Jacko - thanks for the info.

I'm not condoning speeding - but let's face it, most people do. Even if it's a few miles an hour over. Particularly at motorway speeds. Also, I do understand the theory of "smart" motorways. And can see the benefit of constantly flowing traffic.

I do see them as a backwards step to some extent though. Motoring organisations, advisory bodies and independent associate's are all recommending upping speed limits - these cap it at 70. Having no hard shoulder is a risk imo. Regardless of pull in area's, lane control etc. Emergency service access for incidents will be compromised.

The thing that I find really sly is the introduction of the limits set on the HADECS cameras. I'll repeat again - speeding is what it is - but to stick conspicuous cameras up with no real warning or indication for motorists is very sneaky. More stealth tax for the coffers at Westminster I suppose.

Overall, these stretches of motorway appear to be sticking plasters on the transport infrastructure we have.

If we properly invested in current roads and built new ones - we wouldn't need to mess about with ideas like this.