Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

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falkor
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Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

Post by falkor » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:11 am

By David Millward, Transport Editor
Last Updated: 9:45AM GMT 26 Nov 2008

Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, said the areas where extra lanes will be opened up are to be announced early in the New Year, several months ahead of originally planned.

A number of stretches of motorway are under consideration for the new scheme, which is intended to ease gridlock on the road network.

Candidates include several stretches of the M1, such as between junction 19 in Warwickshire and the M6, and a section further south in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Elsewhere, similar schemes could be brought in around the M4-M5 motorways near Bristol, on part of the M20 near Maidstone and sections of the M3 and M4 approaching the M25, on the fringes of London.

It is estimated that carrying out the necessary work could take around two years, meaning the extra stretches would be open some time in 2011.

The plan to use these stretches of road is separate from proposals for toll lanes, which could also be created on some parts of the hard shoulder.

Introducing these lanes – dubbed "Lexus Lanes" because they offer motorists the opportunity to pay extra for a faster journey – would require separate legislation.

Accelerating the use of hard-shoulder running formed part of a £700 million package announced by Mr Hoon as part of the Government's plans to increase public spending to tackle the economic slowdown.

One road scheme, a new fast link between the A1 and M1, has also been brought forward.

In addition 200 of the 1,300 extra railway carriages promised by the Government to ease overcrowding on the country's network will also be introduced early.

But the Government's spending plans were condemned by Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman.

"For Geoff Hoon to claim these proposals are environmentally friendly is a joke. It is clear that the Government's priority is: roads, roads and more roads.

"Ministers are clearly more interested in making space for more cars than they are helping rail passengers stuck in cattle-truck Britain.

"If ministers really cared about reducing emissions, they would freeze rail fares, reopen rail lines, electrify existing ones and build a high speed network, not drive more and more people off the trains and into their cars."

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BravoGolfCharlie1988
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Re: Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

Post by BravoGolfCharlie1988 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:14 am

If they want to spend more money on the motorway network, they should add extra lanes and upgrade infrastructure - more gantries, CCTV cameras, etc.

We have enough live-lane breakdowns already, taking away the 'safe refuge' is just insane...

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Re: Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

Post by Guinness Man » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:56 am

Is it a safe refuge?
People are like tea bags you have to put them in hot water to find out how strong they are.

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Re: Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

Post by Nighthawk » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:00 pm

All well and good if you have miles of hard shoulder to use, but when you have sections of restricted hard shoulder, hard shoulder that's barely the width of a small car and sections where there is non at all, I think it's a recipe for disaster.
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BravoGolfCharlie1988
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Re: Plans to open up hundreds of miles of hard shoulder

Post by BravoGolfCharlie1988 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:23 pm

Guinness Man wrote:Is it a safe refuge?
Hence I put it in inverted commas! It's relatively safe, compared to breaking down in a live lane, which is what will end up happening if the hard shoulders are opened to traffic.

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