Hard Shoulder running is a sensible use of existing capacity. But it is not a substitute for a long-term strategic approach to the UK’s road transport needs.
The Secretary of State says wider use of hard shoulder running will add 800 lane-km to England’s motorway network. But the RAC Foundation’s report, Roads and Reality, concluded that an additional 600 lane-km of capacity is needed each year to meet the needs of the economy and people’s desire for mobility.
If motorway charging is to be introduced it must be for genuine new capacity, not a part-time spare lane created by opening the hard shoulder.