The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has welcomed the government’s decision to use active traffic management (ATM) measures to reduce congestion on motorways by extending the use of the hard-shoulder.
Both the IAM and the Automobile Association (AA) warn, however, that adding an extra lane is the only long-term solution.
"Ideally busy motorways should be widened but in the real world of tight government spending the IAM Trust is happy to support greater use of hard shoulder running as an interim measure," says Neil Greig, the director of the IAM Motoring Trust.
Edmund King, president of the AA, says: "We are pleased that at last the government has plans to tackle congestion. Controlled use of the hard-shoulder at peak periods at congestion hot-spots will improve journey reliability. However hard-shoulder running should not be a total substitute for widening strategic parts of the motorway network."
The ATM system uses overhead displays to divert motorists, caught up in jams, onto the emergency hard-shoulder, which ordinarily should only be used by Emergency vehicles and those suffering a car-breakdown.