The ABD joined MAG and the BMF in stating that
the latest plans from Transport Secretary Alistair Darling
to allow drivers to use the hard shoulder to avoid congestion
shows a breathtaking lack of understanding. It seems that Mr Darling
has not realised that the hard shoulder is vital for use by the
emergency services to quickly gain access to an accident site
and for drivers and especially bikers to have a safe refuge in
It is ironic that the need to consider such schemes only arises
due to the government's ineptitude at tackling motorway congestion.
Time and again, the ABD have called upon the government not just
to widen many motorways, but also to carry out proper education
campaigns advising drivers on correct lane discipline and correct
usage of acceleration and deceleration lanes to adjust speed rather
than doing so on the main carriageway (see http://www.abd.org.uk/tips.htm#4).
Such measures together with proper enforcement aimed at those
who misuse lanes would go a long way towards solving much motorway
congestion but the government appear deaf to all such suggestions.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said: "This
problem is one of the government's own making. They have had deliberate
policies of underinvestment in infrastructure and have totally
failed to understand the importance of road user education in
both safety and congestion reduction. Instead of listening to
road safety experts they have preferred the views of 'advisers'
with an anti-car agenda"
Mr Gregory added: "This is typical of a government
that has run out of ideas, but is desperate to be seen to be 'doing
something'. To remove a vital emergency lane instead
of installing extra lanes is a dangerous bodge and can only lead
to confusion and an increase in danger. Motorists have paid many
times over for a proper road system, the government should put
motorists' taxes back where they belong, investing in necessary
road improvements including extra lanes where necessary".
The Association of British Drivers is run on a voluntary basis
to lobby for the beleaguered British motorist: "Reclaiming
the roads for the people who pay for them"
"Demanding proper roads (and railways) in exchange for paying
one seventh of all taxes"
"Debunking the nonsense you hear about the environmental
impact of the car"
"Promoting effective road safety instead of the criminalisation
of safe driving".