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Hard shoulder driving cuts crashes

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New Government figures have shown that the introduction of hard-shoulder running (HSR) on busy roads has lowered the rate of accidents which could otherwise land drivers with high car insurance premiums.

Accidents more than halved after HSR was launched on a 10-mile stretch of the M42 between junctions 3A and 7 in Birmingham in 2006.

Roads Minister Mike Penning has officially launched the latest transport safety scheme on the M6 in the West Midlands.

The scheme will also see slip roads on junction 10 near Birmingham turn into full-time running lanes which will help resolve traffic jams.

The addition of two sections of HSR have improved travel times between the M40 at junction 16 near Lapworth and the M6 junction 5.

Mr Penning said: "I am also pleased to announce that research... confirms this system for increasing capacity, significantly reduces accidents, and reduces journey times."

The latest M42 data comes after earlier figures that showed that over a period of 12 months, reliability on journey time improved by 22% and the smooth flow of traffic ensured that emissions were reduced by up to 10%.

© Press Association 2011