'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

They all keep banging on about how many deaths there's been on smart motorways, has anyone compared it to normal motorways and dual carriageways in the same period?
Based on my quick calculation - a lot.

For the past couple of years with other projects we haven't really been anywhere and prior to that it was only as far as Manchester airport so I have avoided the 'benefits' of these improvements.

Last year we decided a cider and pasty based holiday was required and ventured south.
So we left the primitive, old fashioned M6 and hit congestion on the new exciting smart M6 (under construction), then head deeper into the fully functioning smart motorway network, which will ease congestion for future generations. After many hours sitting in near gridlock we got to the old fashioned (and free flowing) M6 toll, then back into SM gridlock.
Now I couldn't help but notice a pattern during this trip, which was repeated on the return journey.
I imagine SM deaths will largely be due to natural causes as opposed to RTCs.

This year we actually considered taking the train to the airport!!
Though naturally its cheaper to charter my own jet that can fly out of the local field than fares on another government success story.
 
On impact, nothing.

But drivers are aware that dual carriageway don't have hard shoulders, and some pretty honking on exits and entrances. And cross lane junctions. Pedestrian etc.

On motorways folk just seem to blank out what's going on in front of them.
I want to reply but I'm driving
 

NSP

LE
It's going to cost much more to charge all those EVs now. From being cheaper than petrol or diesel per mile, it's going to become more expensive: EV charging costs going up by over 500%

So not only more expensive to buy, they're going to cost more to use. The only advantage (financially) over ICE will be the reduced cost of servicing and maintenance. And with the number of people who cannot recharge their EV at home (because they don't have a garage or driveway) this is, I feel, going to have a big impact on those who were considering buying an EV and planning on charging them at a local charging station.
I live in a small block of flats built in 2000. Neither of the two garages have electricity. Nor do any of the spaces in our car park have charging points. You'd have thought that planning would insist that they be incorporated. Even now, with the writing on the wall (apparently the government plans to ban the sale of ICE cars, vans and motorbikes by 2032 now), newbuilds going up at the moment are conspicuously devoid of charging points.

Joined-up thinking in action.

I shall change out my car for a new one just before the sale ban comes in and then make it last as long as possible (or until they ban the sale of petrol), since my residents don't want to pay £100 a year each extra on their service charge from next year onwards to raise the money to have charging points installed eight parking bays and two garages in ten or eleven years time.

Edited to add: they seem to have decided it'll be 2035 instead now. Some of the comments on here are quite interesting:-


They have a point: where's the power coming from? Surely better to look at hydrogen? James May tested a hydrogen car in California on Top Gear some years ago, complete with infrastructure (i.e. hydrogen refuelling points on petrol station forecourts). Performed like a petrol car, had the range of a petrol car, easy to refuel (and quicker) and clean exhaust (water vapour, basically).
 
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NSP

LE
Or more precisely - Daily Mail attention grabbing headline says ‘Highways England should face CRIMINAL CHARGES’

What criminal charges?
Culpable homicide or corporate manslaughter, I should imagine.
 
I live in a small block of flats built in 2000. Neither of the two garages have electricity. Nor do any of the spaces in our car park have charging points. You'd have thought that planning would insist that they be incorporated.
A requirement to include facilities for car charging was only introduced with the NPPF in 2012.
 

NSP

LE
A requirement to include facilities for car charging was only introduced with the NPPF in 2012.
So, what's the excuse for not installing them in the new-builds that are going up around here now, then?
 
So, what's the excuse for not installing them in the new-builds that are going up around here now, then?
Its appears its happening a bit later than 2012

 

Whoops.
Whoops indeed! The pair of eejits decided to stop in a live lane, following a minor collision that did not prevent them from driving, despite there being a refuge only a mile ahead, and spent over five minutes endangering other people's lives as well as their own whilst they fannied around swapping details. Smart Motorways clearly need to be smarter if drivers are going to be that stupid.
 

anglo

LE
A little thread diversion
Is this a Roundabout
673864-780x520.scale_type-center_crop.scale_type-center_crop.jpg


Yes you say [if it looks like a duck etc]

Here's a clue

673862-3600x2700.jpg


It's a 'low speed environment'.
Still don't get it

Cornwall Council has described the design as 'innovative' and that the removal of road signs and markings introduces a 'driver active thinking' element, meaning they need to be more careful and courteous of other vehicles and people crossing the road.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council added: "It isn't a roundabout, it's an unmarked junction and we advocate that motorists do as they would at any other unmarked junction where no driver has signed priority over another - or any other time that they are behind the wheel for that matter - that they drive with due care and attention.
If you are driving through Bodmin, This area as no road signs and normal road rule don't apply
And they spent £3m doing it, The inmates are running the asylum


The roundabout that isn't a roundabout confusing drivers in Bodmin
 
A little thread diversion
Is this a Roundabout
View attachment 449840

Yes you say [if it looks like a duck etc]

Here's a clue

View attachment 449841

It's a 'low speed environment'.
Still don't get it

Cornwall Council has described the design as 'innovative' and that the removal of road signs and markings introduces a 'driver active thinking' element, meaning they need to be more careful and courteous of other vehicles and people crossing the road.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council added: "It isn't a roundabout, it's an unmarked junction and we advocate that motorists do as they would at any other unmarked junction where no driver has signed priority over another - or any other time that they are behind the wheel for that matter - that they drive with due care and attention.
If you are driving through Bodmin, This area as no road signs and normal road rule don't apply
And they spent £3m doing it, The inmates are running the asylum


The roundabout that isn't a roundabout confusing drivers in Bodmin
Reminds me of those 4 way stops they have in the US. Nobody really has right of way, its courtesy & usually first come first served.
They work quite well. Not sure if they’d work here or not though.
 
Reminds me of those 4 way stops they have in the US. Nobody really has right of way, its courtesy & usually first come first served.
They work quite well. Not sure if they’d work here or not though.
They don’t work here. They tried it locally and it was a shambles.
 

anglo

LE
Reminds me of those 4 way stops they have in the US. Nobody really has right of way, its courtesy & usually first come first served.
They work quite well. Not sure if they’d work here or not though.
At least a four way stop has a set of rules, IE take your turn,
you just drive into this , You are given no warning or explanation, the summer visitors
wonder WTF
 
A little thread diversion
Is this a Roundabout
View attachment 449840

Yes you say [if it looks like a duck etc]

Here's a clue

View attachment 449841

It's a 'low speed environment'.
Still don't get it

Cornwall Council has described the design as 'innovative' and that the removal of road signs and markings introduces a 'driver active thinking' element, meaning they need to be more careful and courteous of other vehicles and people crossing the road.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council added: "It isn't a roundabout, it's an unmarked junction and we advocate that motorists do as they would at any other unmarked junction where no driver has signed priority over another - or any other time that they are behind the wheel for that matter - that they drive with due care and attention.
If you are driving through Bodmin, This area as no road signs and normal road rule don't apply
And they spent £3m doing it, The inmates are running the asylum


The roundabout that isn't a roundabout confusing drivers in Bodmin
Hmmm.

That's all well and good but what precisely is the legal definition of a "low speed environment"? Driving around the area in Streetview, I can't see anything that would indicate it's anything other than the normal speed limit for a built-up area, i.e. 30mph. Hardly "low speed". I also note that the junction used to be a roundabout, so would query why it has been paved in such a manner as to make it appear to still be one to some extent.

Whilst there are very few situations where a highway authority is legally required to place a traffic sign, (and road markings are traffic signs), it would be remiss of them to be innovative without very carefully considering how the public will react to their innovation in all situations. That might range from a bright summer day, when all present are locals to a stormy winter night when all present are strangers to the locality. As you say, it might look to the man on the Clapham omnibus, on a sunny day, with light traffic to be a roundabout. It would be interesting to see how traffic negotiates the junction and others in the vicinity, which also seem to lack road markings.

It would be very illuminating to see the Designers risk assessment, as is required by the CDM Regulations to exist, for this innovative scheme.

The less said about the sign in the second photo the better. It's certainly not a prescribed traffic sign and I would be amazed if DfT would have ever authorised it. Were the council to attempt to claim it was not a traffic sign but rather a "notice", that would need to be tested in court, as it is clearly intended to be seen by drivers. Indeed, checking on the authorisations website, it unsurprisingly doesn't seem to have been authorised and is thus almost certainly an unlawful obstruction.


It has to be said that Cornwall has had some exceedingly peculiar ideas about what constitutes a lawful traffic sign in the past and this may well be yet another example.
 

daz

LE
Hmmm.

That's all well and good but what precisely is the legal definition of a "low speed environment"? Driving around the area in Streetview, I can't see anything that would indicate it's anything other than the normal speed limit for a built-up area, i.e. 30mph. Hardly "low speed". I also note that the junction used to be a roundabout, so would query why it has been paved in such a manner as to make it appear to still be one to some extent.

Whilst there are very few situations where a highway authority is legally required to place a traffic sign, (and road markings are traffic signs), it would be remiss of them to be innovative without very carefully considering how the public will react to their innovation in all situations. That might range from a bright summer day, when all present are locals to a stormy winter night when all present are strangers to the locality. As you say, it might look to the man on the Clapham omnibus, on a sunny day, with light traffic to be a roundabout. It would be interesting to see how traffic negotiates the junction and others in the vicinity, which also seem to lack road markings.

It would be very illuminating to see the Designers risk assessment, as is required by the CDM Regulations to exist, for this innovative scheme.

The less said about the sign in the second photo the better. It's certainly not a prescribed traffic sign and I would be amazed if DfT would have ever authorised it. Were the council to attempt to claim it was not a traffic sign but rather a "notice", that would need to be tested in court, as it is clearly intended to be seen by drivers. Indeed, checking on the authorisations website, it unsurprisingly doesn't seem to have been authorised and is thus almost certainly an unlawful obstruction.


It has to be said that Cornwall has had some exceedingly peculiar ideas about what constitutes a lawful traffic sign in the past and this may well be yet another example.
But is/was in line with Government policy since 2011 when the DFT issued guidance on "Shared Spaces" following on since their introduction close on a decade beforehand, mind you, they changed their mind back in July 2018 due to pressure from disability groups such as the RNIB who were concerned that blind people etc were being put at risk
 
But is/was in line with Government policy since 2011 when the DFT issued guidance on "Shared Spaces" following on since their introduction close on a decade beforehand, mind you, they changed their mind back in July 2018 due to pressure from disability groups such as the RNIB who were concerned that blind people etc were being put at risk
Quite. Nothing like thinking things through very, very carefully indeed before committing the public purse to expenditure.
 

anglo

LE
But is/was in line with Government policy since 2011 when the DFT issued guidance on "Shared Spaces" following on since their introduction close on a decade beforehand, mind you, they changed their mind back in July 2018 due to pressure from disability groups such as the RNIB who were concerned that blind people etc were being put at risk
The Junctions are paved as roundabouts, but as there is no signs they could be treated as T-junctions,
If there was a nasty and one said I treated it as a roundabout and the other said I treated it as a
T-junction, I wonder how the insurance would look at it
 

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