Hazard Operating on SMART and all lane running (ALR) motorways
Knowledge and understanding
|Operating on SMART and all lane running (ALR) motorways||
Understand all associated hazard knowledge
For an appreciation of SMART and all lane running (ALR) motorways, refer to:
SMART and all lane running motorways (ALR) present unique hazards and risks for emergency responders, including:
- A lack of hard shoulder or periodic use of the hard shoulder as a 'live' lane
- Potential difficulties for emergency responders attending the scene of a given incident, who are travelling with the flow of traffic
Motorways using SMART and all lane running (ALR) arrangements are each subject to deliberate and thorough liaison between the agencies that are likely to be required to respond to incidents in these areas. The aim of liaison is to:
- Improve the tactical management of traffic to enable faster access
- Encourage a greater degree of operational co-operation between agencies
- Establish a greater degree of information sharing between agencies
This is in addition to basic improvements such as agreeing common terminology amongst partners, reflecting the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP); for example, in relation to carriageways and slip roads identification:
Main carriageways are identified by the letters 'A' or 'B'.
Carriageway 'A' = Ascending junction numbers and away from origin of motorway.
Carriageway 'B' = Descending junction numbers and back to origin of motorway.
Slip roads off the main carriageways are identified by the letters 'J', 'K', 'L' or 'M':
- 'J' - Slip road off Carriageway A,
- 'K' - Slip road onto Carriageway A,
- 'L' - Slip road off Carriageway B, and
- 'M' - Slip road onto Carriageway B.
Figure 13: Carriageway and slip road identification
Source: Highways England
Standard lane referencing is used throughout all lane running motorway sections. Within a four-lane section, lane one is closest to the nearside verge and lane four is adjacent to the central reservation. Some small lengths of hard shoulder have been maintained on certain sections of SMART motorways.
On SMART motorways, lanes are referred to as LBS 1, 2, 3 and 4. LBS stands for 'lane below signal', so, for example, LBS1 is the dynamic hard shoulder. This method of identification prevents confusion when the hard shoulder is open or closed.
Efforts have recently been made to reflect operating agreements nationally, ensuring those agencies, such as Highways England, who operate beyond fire and rescue service boundaries, are following consistent and uniform procedures.