Readers discuss M5 smart highway plans

Drivers were stuck on the M5 for hours.

Drivers were stuck on the M5 for hours. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Readers have commented on news Highways England has no plans to turn the M5 into a ‘smart motorway’ at this time.

Many took to social media to share their views.

Parts of the motorway, near Cribbs Causeway, have 'smart' technology to allow the usually unused hard shoulder to act as an additional lane to reduce hold-ups and keep cars moving.

But Highways England has ruled out replicating the scheme in Somerset.

Smart motorways have variable mandatory speed limits, with the hard shoulder often being opened up to traffic in the event of congestion.


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Ian Stone said: "We don't need smart motorways, we need smarter drivers.

"The standard of driving on the motorway is shocking on a daily basis, tailgating, changing lanes without looking, cars travelling at 90mph plus in the outside lane and breaking at the last second to force drivers over and middle lane hoggers who don't let cars out from lane one that badly need to avoid the rear end of lorries.

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"Every time someone has a crash on the M5 they need a competency test."

Phil Potter commented: "The existing 'smart motorway' sections on the M4 and M5 are far from smart.

"Speed limits suddenly fluctuating from 60mph to 40mph then back up again, drivers being forced to slam their brakes on to 'comply', one gantry as the M4 joins the M5 southbound consistently forcing drivers down to 40 whereas the next one which is just 100m away considers it safe to do 60. The list is endless.

"And why is it that the only gantry with cameras in the Cribbs area consistently shows the slowest speed and has an extremely faint display? Coincidence? Unlikely."

Bob Villefin added: "I am one of those old school drivers who think driver education is the answer.

"Many years ago, driving was seen as a skill, something to aspire to be better at, something to take pride in.

"These days it's merely an inconvenience, something that wastes time and distracts you from being able to live your virtual life.

"A young friend can't wait for fully self-driving vehicles so she doesn't have to drive. They exist already - they are called buses.

If you can't be bothered to concentrate and follow some very simple rules, then maybe, you really should get the bus."

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