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News digest 21 July 2017

Don’t miss the week’s industry headlines with Fluid Thinking’s round-up of news from the world of fleet.

Orange emergency area trialled on M3

A new orange smart motorway emergency area is being tested on a stretch of the M3.

The first of the new emergency areas went live on the M3 near Camberley last week. If the trial is successful, more upgrades are planned.

This change is part of an ongoing review into the design and spacing of emergency areas on smart motorways that is due to be released in the autumn.

The highly visible refuge areas are designed for drivers to use in an emergency situation.

Highways England said the orange road surface and better signs will make it more obvious to drivers on smart motorways.

Smart motorways convert the hard shoulder into an extra traffic lane, known as a ‘running lane’. They use variable speed limits to manage traffic and tackle congestion, using new technology to give drivers better information on road conditions ahead.

Motorists warned of delays as nine million cars take to UK roads this weekend

Nine million cars are expected to take to UK roads this weekend as summer holidays get underway.

Motorists have been warned of delays over what is forecast to be one of the busiest weekends on the roads this year.

Motoring organisation the RAC said Saturday (July 22) will be particularly busy with 3.4m motorists taking advantage of the first full day of the school holidays.

The RAC surveyed nearly 3,200 drivers. On Friday, July 21, 2.5m cars are likely to hit the roads while on Sunday, July 23, there may be nearly 3m journeys.

The RAC also compiled a list of hotspots to avoid, warning anyone travelling between 11am and 4pm to prepare for long delays and disruption.

Traffic hotspots most likely for the start of summer holiday period 

  • M5 Almondsbury Interchange and from Bristol to Taunton
  • A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall
  • A303 Andover to Ilminster
  • M4 between Cardiff and Swansea
  • M25 between Gatwick and M1
  • A23/M23 to Brighton
  • A34 and M3 south and south west to the south coast
  • A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth
  • A11 Thetford to Norwich
  • M55 between Preston and Blackpool
  • A14 between the Midlands and the east coast
  • A590/A591 between the M6 and the Lake District
  • A66 between M6 and the coast
  • M53 between Liverpool and Chester

Majority of motorists confused by tyre regulations

The majority of motorists don’t know the correct legal tyre tread a new survey has revealed.

The report by Venson Automotive Solutions found 69% of drivers were unaware of the required tyre depth limit of 1.6mm.

Of those surveyed by the company, recipients aged 25 to 54 were the most likely to know the correct tyre depth.

Just 4% of people surveyed said they check their tyre tread once a week.

Almost a third of motorists revealed they didn’t check the tyre depth themselves, with 31% saying they relied on their annual MOT to uncover any problems. Thirty eight per cent of women said they were likely to rely on an MOT, while a quarter of men said the same.

A further 31% of people said they check their tyres about six months, but 7% of respondents only check their tyre tread before a long car journey.

Motorists are equally as neglectful of tyre pressure, with 44% of respondents saying they only check the level before going on a long journey, although nearly one in four do check the tyre pressures roughly once a month.

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