Motorists fear hard shoulder use

The overwhelming majority of motorists feel Government plans to allow hard shoulder use during busy times will be unsafe, according to a new survey.

The plan to ease congestion through hard shoulder running is worrying 89% of motorists who said they felt safer on motorways if they had access to the hard shoulder.

A survey by esure, which questioned 1,000 motorists, showed that 81% were concerned that there would be nowhere safe to stop in an emergency, 85% were worried the emergency services might be prevented from reaching destinations and 78% said the new rules would confuse road users.

Mike Pickard, from esure car insurance, said: "It is worrying that such a large percentage of UK motorists are concerned about the safety of driving without the use of a hard shoulder."

Responses also found 58% would not feel confident driving on motorways with no hard shoulder available, 37% had used the hard shoulder to pull over after breaking down in the past and 27% said they would take another route even if this meant a longer journey.

Mr Pickard added: "Anything that causes anxiety among motorists adds risk on the roads. It can affect concentration levels and lead to accidents. Therefore, these safety concerns of HSR among drivers really need to be addressed before any nationwide roll-out."

Copyright © Press Association 2009