'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?


The hard shoulder on the M6 saved my life, no shit dit follows -

It was on our way back as a Regiment from a particularly arduous Annual Camp down in Devon (based in Fremington - great camp, BTW) and I was in the passenger seat of an NCRS* Land Rover towing that ******* horsebox thingy. I and the driver, one of my Staff Sergeants, were both knackered when we got in the vehicle and being only to get up to 30 MPH on the A roads and motorways just made things worse.

*Hence the "arduous" bit.

We were on the M6, no idea where on it, but on the M6 when both of us fell asleep at the same time and started drifting off the carriageway in our grossly overloaded and dangerous vehicle. It was the difference in sensation coming through the wheels on the hard shoulder and its dividing marker thingies which woke us up just before we piled into the barrier.

If it had been a "smart" motorway, we both would have been dead.

The following time we were down South with the NCRS kit, the Rovers and the horseboxes got transported by BFO wagons and trailers, and we were in buses.
Are the services exempt from road traffic laws, then...?


Are the services exempt from road traffic laws, then...?

Don't ask me, I was just the passenger.

Though the whole "they ended up transporting the NCRS Landies and horseboxes by truck and trailer the next time they wanted to do a big exercise involving NCRS down South" thing may be a clue that our bosses got a clue that something wasn't quite kosher. To this day I'm surprised that nobody else in the Regiment either stacked one of those combinations in the ARMCO or swerved in front of a fast-moving artic.
Are the services exempt from road traffic laws, then...?
There is a bit of Crown Exemption.
You may exceed driving hours if told do do so by a senior officer.
But, it is the drivers responsibility to ensure that they are safe to drive.
Catch 22 !
That was 70's - 80's. It may have changed.
Don't forget that you're arguing with the only ARRSEr who can start an argument with himself - and lose.

Not while You still draw breath

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They are due to start Junc 21a to Junc 26 on the M6 next month.
m1 north j29-31 ish tuesday afternoon 3/4 broken down vehicles in separate locations traffic officers like @BossHogg & traffic polices like @nigelmansell ? at the scene

with stuff on the other carriage way happening too,

can't imagine how fucked it would have been if the snow was laying
we regularly get stuff ups where mongs stop in lane 1/2/3 on our regular motorway and everyone sits in the car with the hazards on.
Many, many moons ago I was on a major maintenance job on the M18 out near J4 at Doncaster. It was February, which is always the best time of year to be digging a motorway up. FFS. Anyhoo, it was getting near the end of the job and we'd got both offside lanes coned off with traffic running on the hardshoulder and lane 1 in both directions.

I can't recall what we were doing at the time but, as usual, muggins was on the night shift. Unlit motorway in Feb in the wee hours, so it was pitch black and knob-shrinkingly cold. Very quiet at that time of day, not much traffic at all, which was fortunate. A car pulled up on the southbound hardshoulder opposite me. Bint turns off the lights, gets out, locks the door and wanders into the site to speak to me. Before she opened her mouth I told her politely but loudly to get back to her car and turn the hazards on. Rabbit in the headlights time from her but thankfully she complied.

Then she came back over the live lane to ask me if she was on the right road for Nottingham. FFS2. She'd just, and I do mean JUST, got within the cones when a 38 tonner whipped past in lane 1, couldn't have been more than a metre from her. She was quite shocked by the sudden noise and wind blast.

"Good job you put your hazards on madam," sez I, "otherwise that lorry would have most likely ploughed into the back of your car". She thought she'd be OK stopping on the hard shoulder, even though it was in use as a traffic lane. FFS3.

Never, ever, underestimate the stupidity of the general public.
Hell yeah! I had a lane 1 closure on for a RTC, I was walking towards the vehicle on the hard shoulder when my colleague (god rest his soul) grabbed my arm and pulled me onto the verge, just as an old Micra missed me by inches. The old dear got out and asked if she was on the right road to Scotland!!! It was northbound M6, I gave her such a rollocking and reported her to the police.

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