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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Hard shoulder scheme rolled out
M42 hard shoulder
Drivers move across to use the hard shoulder of the M42
A scheme which allows motorists to drive on the hard shoulder of a motorway is to be rolled out.

BBC Midlands Today has learnt transport secretary Ruth Kelly will declare the scheme a success on Thursday.

Drivers have been using the hard shoulder on an 11-mile stretch of the M42, from south Birmingham and through Warwickshire, at peak times.

Transport correspondent Peter Plisner said figures showed the motorway was safer at these times.

He said a report, also due to be unveiled on Thursday, would show that motorway capacity is up by 13% and that pollution has fallen.

The M42's hard shoulder has been used by drivers since 12 September, 2006.

A 50mph speed limit warning over the hard shoulder between junctions 3a and seven shows when the lane is in use.

Drivers who break down can make use of "refuge areas" which have been created along the 11-mile stretch at regular intervals.

When a car pulls into the area, an alarm sounds in a control room and help is sent.

Motorists give their views on the scheme

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