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Police chief slams 'ignorant' tweets on M42 jump threat

The Assistant Chief Constable involved in the ongoing incident on the M42 has slammed insensitive comments made on Twitter about the man who is threatening to jump from a motorway bridge.

  1. National

M42 closure due to 'significant' threat of harm

Police said they had no choice but to keep part of the M42 closed as they negotiate with a man threatening to jump off a motorway bridge.

I would like to apologise to all motorists and local people who have experienced significant disruption as a result of this incident.

Clearly, we strive to resolve such matters as quickly as possible, but I would like to make it clear that the threat of harm both to the individual concerned and to vehicles driving on the M42 is so significant that there was no alternative but to close the motorway, and for it to remain closed until the incident has run its course.

– Supt Kevin Purcell, of West Mercia Police

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M42 closed for more than 20 hours

The M42 motorway and the A38 have been closed for more than twenty hours due to a police incident.

Officers say a man threatening to harm himself is still on a bridge over the motorway.

The M42 is closed between the M5 and junction 1 at Bromsgrove.

The A38 Birmingham Road is closed northbound between Bromsgrove and the M42, and southbound between Catshill and the M42.

M42 to be closed overnight

Road users in the West Midlands have been advised that a section of the M42 is marked for overnight closure, for a three-month period, starting from 3rd November.

The Highways Agency will be closing a section of road just over 2 miles long, between junction 3a at the M40 in Warwickshire and junction 4 just south of Solihull, for road-resurfacing work.

Purnima Kaul, project sponsor for The Highways Angency, says:

This is a large project involving full-depth repair of the road surface along this busy stretch of motorway...

... It will result in some night-time disruption but we hope the improved, safer road surface will be of benefit to drivers in the long term.

The work will be carried out between 9pm and 6am during the period and is set to be completed by 28th February in the new year.

Police hear 'all sorts of stories' for non-emergency hard shoulder stopping

A campaign has been launched in the Midlands to stop drivers misusing the hard shoulder on parts of the M6 and M42 motorways.

Hundreds of vehicles drive illegally in the emergency lane every day across the region.

The police and the Highways Agency say that it is putting people's lives at risk.

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Hard shoulder accidents are the 'most severe'

Motorways carry a third of all traffic but are our safest roads. They would be safer still if people followed the rules about using the hard shoulder.

Around one in 10 motorway fatalities occurs on the hard shoulder and accidents here tend to be most severe because of the killer combination of stationary vehicles being hit by those travelling at very high speeds.

– RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister

Misusing hard shoulder could 'put lives at risk'

A campaign has been launched by the Highways Agency and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) in the Midlands to stop drivers misusing the hard shoulder on parts of the M6 and M42 motorways.

We do not want to issue fines and instead want to encourage good driving behaviour, but people need to understand that travelling on the hard shoulder when it is not available as a traffic lane is illegal and unsafe. They could cause a traffic collision and put lives at risk.

– Chief Inspector Derek Roberts, CMPG

Some of the reasons for non-emergency hard shoulder stops

Taking photographs, having a sleep and stopping to pick flowers are just some of the reasons given by motorists for non-emergency stops on motorway hard shoulders. 8,655 cases of drivers stopping on hard shoulders in non-emergency situations were recorded in 2012, according to the Highways Agency.

A campaign has today been launched to stop drivers misusing the hard shoulder on sections of the M6 and M42 in the Midlands. Latest figures show that an average of up to 250 vehicles use the hard shoulder illegally on the M6 and M42 every day.

I hope that all road users hearing about this will start to correctly use the hard shoulder, follow the overhead signs displayed and drive safely.

Whether drivers are doing this because they are unaware or deliberately trying to exit the motorway more quickly, they are putting themselves and others at risk.

Driving on the hard shoulder when it is not available for use could lead to collisions with vehicles who have stopped in an emergency or with the breakdown and emergency services who have stopped there to offer assistance.

– Jamie Hassall, Highways Agency national enforcement co-ordinator

Campaign to tackle illegal hard shoulder use begins

A campaign is starting today to stop drivers illegally using the hard shoulder on the motorway.

These signs indicate the use of the hard shoulder is illegal Credit: Highways Agency

Latest figures show that an average of up to 250 vehicles use the hard shoulder illegally on the M6 and M42 every day.

Excuses from drivers who stop illegally on the hard shoulder include taking photographs, setting the sat-nav and picking flowers.

Using hard shoulder illegally can put motorists at risk Credit: Highways Agency

The campaign is a joint venture between the Highways Agency and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), designed to prevent people putting themselves and other drivers at risk.

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