Written evidence submitted by Mr M Fleming (RSM0009)

Having experienced the need to stop on a motorway with no hard shoulder it is a frightening experience.

Travelling in a car south in the dark at around 6.00am on the MI near Dunstable in lane 3 the engine failure light on the dashboard came on and the engine management system set the engine into ‘limp mode’ meaning running at a maximum speed of 40 mph. Indicating and moving to lane 3 I then turned on the hazard warning lights and looked for somewhere to stop but there was no hard shoulder as it is a ‘Smart area’. Luckily I found an area where I could park with the nearside slightly over the kerb during the time I was driving at 40mph looking for a safe haven heavy goods vehicles flashed their lights and sounded their horns aggressively others swerved away just in time all of which caused a great deal of fear for myself and my wife. Luckily I was able to restart the engine and continue the journey however re-joining the traffic flow  was as equally difficult as stopping as the HGVs showed no consideration in letting me back into the traffic flow with them tailgating and running very close alongside.

Altogether a very frightening experience, sufficient for my wife to never want to travel on a motorway ever again. Having had first hand experience of smart motorways in my opinion they certainly should not be extended and for safety reasons should be discontinued totally.

Safe haven areas are too far apart and whilst there may be radar surveillance able to turn on lane closure signs that does not prevent HGVs continuing to use those lanes with the carnage seen on many occasions.

I am thankful that I managed to get out of the situation alive it was that scary.



February 2021