The Daily Telegraph

Cars stranded in smart lanes daily, inquest told

- By Phoebe Southworth

TRAFFIC police on smart motorways are finding drivers stranded in live lanes every day, an inquest was told.

Julian Havell, who patrols motorways for National Highways, said he came across one woman who was sitting in her broken down car for an hour and a half without traffic being halted.

Mr Havell was giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Nargis Begum, a 62-year-old grandmothe­r who was killed when her car broke down on the M1 in South Yorkshire, near Woodall services, which had no hard shoulder.

The mother of five was outside the vehicle which was on the inside lane when she was hit by her own car after a lorry hit it in September 2018.

Mr Havell, who attended the accident, told Doncaster coroner’s court he found seven separate vehicles stranded on live lanes one day.

Despite Mrs Begum being stranded for 16 minutes and 21 seconds before the collision, Highways England, which has since been rebranded as National Highways, failed to spot the breakdown so the lane could be closed.

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