A Government plan to turn hundreds of miles of hard shoulder into additional lanes to cut motorway congestion has led to angry responses from some motoring groups. The so-called ‘all-lane running’ is said to be a cheaper alternative to the widening of Britain’s motorways, with traffic set to increase by 60% by 2040.
Current ‘smart motorway’ schemes use the hard shoulder at peak times or during periods of congestion, which, as anyone forced to endure the horror of the M6 will tell you, is just about any time of the day. The Department for Transport claims that using the hard shoulder would be as safe as any other motorway lane.
But Michaela Carr, founder of ZAC – the Mk1 Vauxhall Zafira Appreciation Club – claimed this would have disastrous consequences for her members. Taking time out from the removal of her 2 for 1 En-ger-land flags, Carr said: “I am incest. No, wait, I am incensed.
“For years we have come to rely on the hard shoulder as a safe refuge. ZAC people see it as free parking in the event of a breakdown. We’re simply not prepared to share this refuge with other motorists.”
Carr, author of the book 1001 Great Things To Do Whilst Stranded On The Hard Shoulder, said she would be taking the matter to the European Court of Justice, before remembering she backed the Leave campaign.
Meanwhile, Renault Megane Scenic owners were said to be “shocked and appalled”, claiming this would remove their historic safety blanket, leaving drivers out of pocket as they’re forced into paying for routine maintenance. Many Scenic owners skip recommended service intervals, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be recovered from a motorway hard shoulder.
But not all drivers are against the plans. Rover 75 driver Stanley Pocock, 46, of Clevedon, looked up from his Daily Express to say: “This is wonderful news. Now I will have two middle lanes in which to sit at a steady 57mph.
“Moves such as this put the Great back into Great Britain. Giving Europe the cold shoulder and winning the hard shoulder – what a week it has been.”
Nobody from the online support group TVRs In Turmoil was available to comment.