Join Date: Jul 2005
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This is definitely a cheap and nasty solution, but it does appear to work on the M42. Generally speaking, the hard shoulder is used at peak times to allow traffic on and off at junctions - it isn't used as a general driving lane.
This should help to prevent long queues for junctions forming in lane 1, though the biggest problem in this scenario to my mind is the selfish cretins who go to the front of the queue in lane 2 and then stop because they've failed to find a gap. This effectively takes the main carriageway down to one lane. If they allow queuing on the hard shoulder, then even with the muppets driving to the end of lane 1, you still have lanes 2 and 3 still flowing.
When it comes to traffic merging with the main carriageway, I think there's more mileage in 'ramp metering' (the traffic lights on the end of the slip road) though if you're already using the hard shoulder to queue traffic for a problem exit, then I suppose it makes sense to continue to use it for joining traffic.
The biggest objection to this scheme seems to be access for the emergency services. With that in mind, it should be used minimally and only after careful consideration. But as usual, they appear to be viewing it as a 'one size fits all' solution.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.