For so long now,the M27 has been an absolute nightmare to use.Effectively it has been operating as a (ridiculously described) smart motorway, without any of the so-called smart features being in place.

There is no hard shoulder lane whatsoever. It is blocked by concrete grey barriers of about one metre high,that not only blend in with the road surface colour, especially at night or when visibility is poor,but is also only a few inches from the edge of the inside lane.

In what already feels like narrow lanes with traffic side by side at busy times,the margin for error is minimal.

If an incident or breakdown occurs,it must be practically impossible to exit the vehicle, and be a traumatic experience for any driver and passengers.

When it comes to carriageway lines, old surface scarring where previous markings have been poorly removed, can be dangerously misleading. Previous lines are still fairly visible and distinctive because they now have a shiny black surface.In very sunny conditions, particularly early morning eastwards and early evening westwards, bright sunshine directly through the windscreen is a real problem on this motorway.

That issue is accentuated when you add rain into the mix.These hidden lines then reflect the sunlight and are all the more distracting.

Lines and other displaced markings,plus random stretches where temporary cats eyes are in place (are the colour coding rules still applicable?) all contribute to the general mess.

So much of it is so ill defined that I think it can disproportionately deflect one's concentration.As such, other essential observations and general awareness is undermined.

Signage en route is often if visible, unhelpful, and when joining the motorway, the distance allowed for filtering is unclear and inconsistent. Furthermore,there is little opportunity to adjust to traffic flow because the concrete barrier dictates when you join. If you've misjudged at all, there is no safe way that you can abort entry.

Every day it seems incidents are reported that have brought traffic to a standstill.

I'm baffled. How did these dangerous motorway schemes ever make it off the drawing board?

Crikey, and the real thing is still to come!

J Martin

Hedge End