Motoring Discussion > Smart motorways not so smart ? Miscellaneous
Thread Author: henry k Replies: 37

 Smart motorways not so smart ? - henry k
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7606327/Highways-England-pulls-plug-new-smart-motorways.html
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7606327/Highways-England-pulls-plug-new-smart-motorways.html

Typical Mail website report mixing fact with assertion, repeating itself and in places downright wrong.

It is however abundantly clear that message is not that suggested by url. Smart motorways with all lane running will be rolled out as planned.

What has been stopped for new projects is 'dynamic hard shoulder' that may or may not be a running lane depending on traffic. The public find them too confusing.

If I have a quiet spot later in day I might see if I can find either a written account of the evidence given to select committee or the recording from parliament.tv.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
Details of evidence session are here:

www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news-parliament-2017/work-of-highways-england-evidence-19-20/
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - henry k
>> www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7606327/Highways-England-pulls-plug-new-smart-motorways.html
>>
I was going to post the DT version but I know some folks cannot read all of it.
I just grabbed the Wail version
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> I was going to post the DT version but I know some folks cannot read
>> all of it.

Thanks for drawing it to our attention. I'm not going to subscribe to the DT for same reason I abhor contributing to Murdoch's coffers. Wouldn't urinate on Rupert if he was on fire and same goes for the Barclay brothers.

Cannot see that Guardian, to whom I do pay a monthly sum, have covered it.

Wasn't aware of the Committee's inquiry and will listen to the evidence session when I have time.
Last edited by: VxFan on Fri 25 Oct 19 at 02:24
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - No FM2R
>> I'm not going to subscribe to the DT for same reason I abhor contributing to Murdoch's coffers.

As I recall he owns Harper Collins.

Don't you find avoiding his coffers all a bit restrictive?
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> Don't you find avoiding his coffers all a bit restrictive?

Where there's a choice not at all. Times or Sky - not touching with barge pole

If something I want to read is a Harper Collins imprint then depends how interested I am.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - No FM2R
>>Where there's a choice not at all. Times or Sky - not touching with barge pole

Why not Sky? It's not owned by Murdoch, is it? Who do you think owns the Times?

Only been watching Freeview for the last 12 months then? Because before then the ownership structure should have stopped you.

Do you check the ownership of anything you use / buy ? Because there are some properly dodgy directors / CEOs / Ownership structures out there.

And Murdoch rarely influenced anything and even when he did it was typically only bits where the report was on Sky. As a general rule Sky News is one of the better news services around.

Entirely your choice of course, but you are excluding a bunch of talented people from your viewing and opinion/fact gathering habits for what is a largely irrelevant, mostly inaccurate and fairly pointless standard.

Last edited by: No FM2R on Fri 25 Oct 19 at 01:43
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - No FM2R
Though you have a point in that Rupert Murdoch is a bit of an a***. Meetings with him are no joy. James is a pretty decent bloke though.

However, if you think the personalities at the BBC are any better then you are quite wrong.

The nicest people are at Channels 4 and 5.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Kevin
>Wouldn't urinate on Rupert if he was on fire and same goes for the Barclay brothers.

If we are changing the discussion to the pros and cons of media outlets, this would be the same Guardian that complains about Tory toffs but were content to pay Rusbridger over £700k pa? The same Guardian that constantly harps on about why tax-avoidance schemes used by the wealthy are contributing to the vicious Tory cuts but posts a loss every year and would have folded years ago if it wasn't propped up by a trust registered in the Cayman Islands?
Last edited by: VxFan on Fri 25 Oct 19 at 02:24
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> If we are changing the discussion to the pros and cons of media outlets, this
>> would be the same Guardian that complains about Tory toffs but were content to pay
>> Rusbridger over £700k pa?

Where does £700k come from? Nothing I've seen puts his salary far north of half that.

I guess there's a going rate for editor of a serious national paper.

Whatever the tax status of the Scott trust it's sustaining serious journalism rather than pressing for stuff that lines proprietors pockets.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
PS Evidence please for assertion that Guardian is propped up by a trust registered in the Cayman Islands

No argument with proposition that it only continues to exist because of the Scott Trust's assets. It's far from being only serious paper that is struggling with decline of print sales and associated advertising.

Better to be supported by a trust with clear objectives than the money of blokes exiled on a rock in the Channel or a man not sure if he's Oz or Yank. Or for that matter the arrangements underwriting the Mail, Sun or Express.

Proprietors who are out for themselves have way too much influence on this country's government.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Fri 25 Oct 19 at 00:43
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Kevin
>PS Evidence please for assertion that Guardian is propped up by a trust registered in the Cayman Islands

Read the accounts for yourself:

uploads.guim.co.uk/2019/08/07/GMG_Annual_Report_and_Financial_Statements_2019_-_FINAL.pdf

 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> Read the accounts for yourself:

Done. Scott Trust is UK. No mention of Cayman Islands.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> Done. Scott Trust is UK. No mention of Cayman Islands.

Scott Trust Endowment fund assets are all held in UK:

The Guardian is supported by the Scott Trust Endowment Fund, consisting of diversified medium and long term focussed investments managed by a number of specialist fund managers. The investments include global and emerging markets equity, fixed income, hedge funds and private equity and venture capital funds. Whilst the investments are a mixture of UK and non-UK assets, they are all held by UK tax resident companies which are fully subject to UK tax laws and regulations on the income and realised gains arising from all the investments
held.


Of course some assets are outside UK for eggs/basket reasons. Even I do that!!
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Fri 25 Oct 19 at 12:03
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - No FM2R
I can't remember for sure, nor can I be a***d to look it up, but isn't it The Guardian Media Group which has Cayman entities, not The Scott Trust?

But since it's a matter of tax avoidance, and therefore totally legal, I really can't see the issue.

Well, other than editorial hypocrisy but you'd die an old man looking for a non-hypcritical media outlet.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> I can't remember for sure, nor can I be a***d to look it up, but
>> isn't it The Guardian Media Group which has Cayman entities, not The Scott Trust?

I think that's the thing. My research came up with something around either acquisition or disposal of GMG's interest in AutoTrader. Some while ago now. Journalists covering stories about UK companies using tax havens like Caymans were not aware of how deal had been done.


 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Kevin
>Journalists covering stories about UK companies using tax havens like Caymans were not
>aware of how deal had been done.


The 'deal' was apparently done by GMG creating a company called GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Ltd. in the Cayman Islands to conduct it's financial dealings with a private equity company when they bought Emap. Journalists were 'not aware' because the actual structure of the deal was obfuscated by the creation of multiple shell companies in the Caymans and a holding company in Luxemburg. The whole thing got a bit messy after The Gruinaud ran an article accusing Tesco of using the Cayman Islands for tax avoidance in it's property dealings. Tesco sued GMG and questioned GMG's own use of the Caymans. GMG eventually printed a front page apology and paid damages in an out-of-court settlement.

www.theguardian.com/media/2008/may/03/1

www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/guardian-apologises-pays-damages-settle-tesco-tax-case/846169

As has been said, all perfectly legal of course but trying to imply that The Guardian is somehow superior to other media organisations is complete horseshit. They are ALL the same and The Guardian is no better or worse than the rest.

The really sad thing is the number of people who will only read outlets that reinforce their own opinion.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> The 'deal' was apparently done by GMG creating a company called GMG Hazel Acquisition 1
>> Ltd. in the Cayman Islands to conduct it's financial dealings with a private equity company
>> when they bought Emap.

So it's a deal to sell assets several years ago that involved the Caymans and not the newspaper being propped up by a trust operating offshore?

And I agree about only reading outlets that reinforce own opinion. I won'y pay for the Telegraph or Times but do look at their free content on line and also that of the Spectator.

Even go to the Mail's site occasionally though I feel I need a shower afterwards.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - No FM2R
>>trying to imply that The Guardian is somehow superior to other media organisations is complete horseshit. They are ALL the same and The Guardian is no better or worse than the rest.

Absolutely. There is no moral difference between any of them.

>>the number of people who will only read outlets that reinforce their own opinion.

Yes, the whole opinion echo chamber thing. I have to say that it's not my way. If ones own opinion can not withstand conflicting opinions, then one should probably revisit it.

I read all sides of everything.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Kevin
>Where does £700k come from? Nothing I've seen puts his salary far north of half that.

Memory error. It was Guardian Media Group's Pemsel who was on over £700k. So Pemsel and Rusbridger only trousered £1m plus between them.

>Whatever the tax status of the Scott trust it's sustaining serious journalism rather than pressing for stuff that lines proprietors pockets.

So tax avoidance is perfectly OK as long as it's a fishwrap promoting a socialist agenda? You can't have it both ways Bromp so which is it?
 Coroners Concerns re Smart M/Way Accident - Bromptonaut
One of the well publicised accidents on running lanes of managed m/way's resulted in death of 8yo Dev Dilesh Naran. He was a passenger in a car which stopped on a dynamic running lane hard shoulder on M6 at time when it was designated as a running lane. Car, a Toyota Yaris was hit from behind by a following LGV.

At inquest the Coroner expressed concerns and has exercised their legal right to ask for explanations. Coroner's formal notice has been published today on UK judiciary website:

www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Dev-Naran-2019-0341.pdf

I'm posting this now as a pointer to fact of coroner's comments.

If, having read/marked/learned I've any analysis of what she says I will post it separately.

For record I've posted similarly on HJ.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Zero
And now officially admitted they are very not smart at all, Deadly in fact.


www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51236375
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
I am and remain sceptical about use of words like deadly. If you're daft enough to try and change a wheel or exchange details after a scrape while standing in a running lane Mr Darwin is calling.

What's missing is the amend to the Highway Code to cover this, the public information ads about how to use these facilities safely and above all the public nailing to a barn door (or perhaps 9 point and a massive fine would do) for those who steam passed 'lane closed crosses' not once but repeatedly.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Sun 26 Jan 20 at 19:42
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
Well I've watched most of it and impression so far is that Dimbleby, Day and all the other eminent reporters who made the name Panorama famous must be spinning in their graves.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - sooty123
I watched it and thought it was fine, probably not going to win any awards but they've only got 30 minutes.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> I watched it and thought it was fine, probably not going to win any awards
>> but they've only got 30 minutes.

Genuine question, what do you mean by 'fine'?

I don't mean what they filmed but the interpretation placed upon the scenes. For example several of the incidents took place in lanes 3 or 4 where a hard shoulder is irrelevant. The driver of the white van that nearly clipped a stopped vehicle was derelict; asleep or on the phone.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Mon 27 Jan 20 at 21:33
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - sooty123
>> >> I watched it and thought it was fine, probably not going to win any
>> awards
>> >> but they've only got 30 minutes.
>>
>> Genuine question, what do you mean by 'fine'?


Acceptable/ok etc.
>>
>>
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
>> Acceptable/ok etc.

My concern is with interpretation and conclusions. Do you think they were 'OK'?

As posted elsewhere my take aways are:

1. Refuges are too far apart
2. The current Transport Minister is a shyster and his predecessor is 'not ower bright'
3. If you want an example of dangers of ALR breakdowns in lanes 3-5 are irrelevant
4. Widows and bereaved Mothers add emotion but in this case effect is only to spotlight the
stupidity of their late husband and failings of their father/father in law
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Mon 27 Jan 20 at 21:59
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Zero
Smart motorways are .a cludge, a badly thought out attempt to increase capacity, risks known, but insufficient infrastructure installed to mitigate them or simply ignored.

I bet you somewhere buried deep in the depths of the paperwork is a cost benefit analysis per death, and it will make grim reading.


Motorways were the safest roads in the UK, in parts now that is no longer the case.
Last edited by: Zero on Mon 27 Jan 20 at 23:25
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - sooty123
>> >> Acceptable/ok etc.
>>
>> My concern is with interpretation and conclusions. Do you think they were 'OK'?
>>

Yes. I thought the main points were that they weren't built as promised and the current government seemed keen to at least look into it. I thought the current minister seemed genuinely interested in reviewing the whole idea of them. The AA police etc seemed against them from the beginning. Although I thought some from the police and HA agency should have been on to add some different view points.
Grieving families are always going to get added, it's just the way it is.
Last edited by: sooty123 on Tue 28 Jan 20 at 06:39
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Zero
www.change.org/p/highways-england-safer-motorways-scrap-smart-motorways-safer-roads
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Manatee
I finally got around to watching the 'Panorama' on this. Confirmed that Grant Shapps is a professional waffler.

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000dtqv/panorama-britains-killer-motorways

The was a short interview with a lorry driver who ran into a stopped car, killing a young boy. His account was that the lorry ahead of him changed lanes suddenly and he was confronted immediately by the stopped car with no time to avoid it. He obviously didn't really believe he was responsible for the accident.

It's obvious that it will happen that way if the lane isn't closed, because lorries have always run nose-to-tail; and it was obvious before the first smart motorway was created, if only somebody had dug their heels in then.

The distance between refuges obviously makes things worse, but is essentially a red herring and an excuse Mike Penning who signed off the original implementation.

The programme started with a recording of an emergency call from a man broken down in a live lane with a carload of five including children. The call was terminated by the stopped car being hit from behind.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Haywain
"I finally got around to watching ......"

Thanks for the link - I must get round to watching that.

On a chilly evening last November, my wife and I suffered the mind-straightening experience of a blow-out whilst driving the B-max on the M6. We were heading west somewhere in the stretch above Coventry i.e. in an area of extensive 50mph roadworks with no hard shoulder; it was just after 5pm and traffic was heavy. We couldn't work out what the banging noise was in the nearside rear quarter; at first, we thought it was a flapping seatbelt trapped in the door - then, perhaps, a bit of trim had worked loose. We slowed down and put the hazards on until we could pull in; hooting, impatient lorry drivers seemed to think we had slowed for fun.

As soon as we could, we pulled onto the hard-shoulder as the roadworks ended; the banging had been some sort of bolt(?) hammering its way into the tyre. We had coats in the car, a space-saver that had been checked the previous day, paperwork re insurance, and mobile phones. I knew about the number designations on each of the 100m markers along the motorway, so could define our precise location. Someone had built a convenient set of steps up the side of the embankment, so we could phone for breakdown help from up there. The first words from the breakdown people were concerned absolutely with our safety.

While we waited for the breakdown chap to arrive, we were able to survey the manic, nose-to-tail traffic below as drivers, frustrated by the roadworks, sped away. We quickly concluded that 'smart motorways' was a lunatic idea, and that anyone who wanted the speed limit raised above 70mph was, similarly, a lunatic.

With the protection of his truck with large flashing lights parked behind our injured, slipstream-swaying B-max, the mechanic was able to change the wheel for the space-saver. We built up speed on the hard-shoulder as he drove behind us, then he indicated and we both pulled out onto the motorway. We drove onto the hard shoulder at 5:15 and pulled away at 6:35 - not bad going, really, but not an experience I'd be in a hurry to repeat.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - smokie
Glad that all went OK.

Your sentence " I knew about the number designations on each of the 100m markers along the motorway, so could define our precise location" reminded me of something which may have been previously mentioned here before.

There is a phone app called what 3 words (what3words.com/about-us/ - download for Android at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.what3words.android&hl=en , dunno about IoS) which has the whole world divided up into 3m squares, each of which has a unique three words associated. This is now accessible by the emergency services in many countries.

I've put it on my and SWMBOs phone, thinking that in the event of us needing to explain where we are when out walking in the countryside (i.e. offroad) it could be a lifesaver, or if something happened abroad where we don't speak the local lingo.

It might already have a thread of it's own, if not maybe it deserves one.

EDIT: I made a new thread for what3words at www.car4play.com/forum/post/index.htm?f=5&t=27619
Last edited by: smokie on Mon 17 Feb 20 at 15:58
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - bathtub tom
>> I knew about the number designations on each of the 100m markers along the motorway, so could define our precise location

Didn't do me any good when I witnessed an accident on the M25, as I couldn't get a mobile signal and the nearest emergency 'phone wasn't working.
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - CGNorwich
I believe that was used in the recent rescue of some idiots in trainers lost on Ben Nevis. Mountain Rescue got the walkers to download the App to explain where they were
 Smart motorways not so smart ? - Bromptonaut
Had to drive to Birmingham International station last night to rescue Mrs B after a massive train delay. About 90 miles round trip via M1>M6>M42.

The M1 from J16 to 19 is smart m/way with all lane running 24/7. The M6 between J2 and J4 is being 'upgraded' to the same system and was due to go live next month. That change has been postponed because of the smart M/Way pause announced after the Panorama programme.

I wonder how long the pause will last because my overwhelming impression was that the running smart M/way was a darned site safer than the roadworks. It's not just that section, there are miles, probably 100+ miles, so twice that in carriageway miles where work is suspended.

How long will this go on for?
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Mon 17 Feb 20 at 15:47
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