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M1 motorway changes 'risk lives'

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800

THE PROPOSED changes to the M1 motorway could put drivers’ lives at risk due to the removal of the hard shoulder, according to campaigners.

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) says the lack of a continuous hard shoulder, combined with many vehicles' lack of a spare wheel, is a recipe for danger.

The Highways Agency is currently assessing options for the M1 between junctions 28 and 35A that include a reduction in speed limit to 60mph to cut emissions pollution.

Part of this plan would include using the hard shoulder as an extra lane to cut congestion.

The ABD says many modern cars now come with a can of liquid puncture sealant in place of a spare wheel.

With no hard shoulder to pull on to, a punctured tyre could easily become shredded. Tyre sealant will not work with a shredded tyre.

ABD spokesman Hugh Bladon said: "At motorway speeds, drivers need to be able to pull over as soon as possible in the event of a puncture to prevent the tyre shredding and possibly losing control of the car.

"The lack of a hard shoulder on the modern so-called "Smart Motorways" means drivers have no alternative but to continue to the next "refuge".

A can of foam will not inflate a shredded tyre, leaving the driver stranded."

He added: "If the Government is determined to do away with the hard shoulder on motorways then it must do more to ensure drivers safety by ensuring car manufacturers provide, at the very least, a space-saver spare tyre, and a full-size spare wheel as an option."

By Press Association reporter