Motorways ‘remain a mystery’ for many drivers

Motorways ‘remain a mystery’ for many drivers
The RAC Foundation is leading a charge for UK motorways to be made as “welcoming and safe” as possible – so as not to alienate those who rarely use them.

Recent Department for Transport (DfT) data revealed that as many as 89 local authority areas are not covered by the motorway network, leaving millions of drivers apprehensive and in the dark.

Despite the fact that one in every five miles driven by car takes place on a motorway, the motoring research charity says the challenge is on to ensure fewer drivers consider them a “mystery.”

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Up to 19 million people live in areas without 70mph roads, Press Association analysis of the DfT figures shows.

Road safety experts are concerned that drivers who don’t use motorways are unaware of the unique demands of the high-speed roads, including several recently-announced changes.

In July for example, Highways England announced a pilot scheme for bright orange emergency refuge areas across the network to be used as safe spaces for emergencies, when the hard shoulder has become a traffic lane.

Earlier this month Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, launched plans to allow learner drivers on motorways to better prepare them for independent driving after passing their test.

In August, the DfT announced another innovative motorway proposal, involving the testing of driverless lorry convoys, targeted at lowering emissions and congestion levels on England’s busiest highways.

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Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director said: “While one in five miles driven by car takes place on a motorway, for many motorists these roads remain a mystery.

“The challenge is to make motorways as welcoming and safe as possible, so those people who only use them once in a blue moon feel comfortable doing so.”

A Highways England spokesman said: “Over the past 18 months we have delivered a number of campaigns to help drivers travel confidently and safely on our motorways.

“Our traffic officers and information line are also available to help drivers 24/7.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.