A driver on the M27 has recalled the terrifying moment he collapsed at the wheel - claiming he 'just escaped death'.

At around 10pm on Friday, March 15, Harvey Chuter was travelling from a trip to Eastbourne back to his hometown of Glastonbury.

After beginning to feel desperately ill on the approach to the Rownhams services, just outside Southampton, he looked to pull over on the hard shoulder and call for help.

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But he said there was nowhere he could stop due to the smart motorway.

He said: “Traffic was behind me; I saw a sign ahead saying Rownhams services half a mile. I was desperately hoping I could make it there.

"I entered the service road and was trying to see where to stop.

"I was going slowly, I got as far as turning into the petrol station lorry parking area. My head was beginning to swim.”

The next thing Harvey remembered is waking up, to find that he had passed out behind the wheel and crashed into the side of a parked lorry.

Daily Echo: The crash resulted in damages to the carThe police were called, and Harvey was tested at the roadside for alcohol and drugs, which came back negative.

The 51-year-old said: “I have not drunk alcohol for more than 25 years and have no medical conditions."

The driver now believes he was suffering from a form of food poisoning.

He has also been charged more than £500 in recovery costs for his car.

Harvey continued: “I have complained about this to National Highways and requested that they  reinstate all sections of motorway with hard shoulders again where they have been removed.”

The goal behind the scheme, initiated by the Department for Transport, was to ease congestion by adding another lane for traffic, with the hard shoulder replaced by high visibility emergency areas.

National Highways reports that if travelling at 60mph, drivers will pass an emergency area once every 75 seconds on average.

In response to Harvey's claims, a Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The Government has already cancelled plans for all new smart motorway schemes, recognising public concerns.

“Any death or injury that occurs is a tragedy and we continue working tirelessly with National Highways to improve road safety for everyone, including investing £900 million for improvements on existing smart motorways.”