Nearly one driver per day runs out of fuel on Greater Manchester's 'smart' motorways

Fuel breakdown Image copyright Highways England
Image caption This motorist who ran out of fuel is not alone - there have been 354 instances on Greater Manchester's 'smart' motorways during the last 12 months

More than 350 drivers ended up stranded on Greater Manchester's smart motorways in the last 12 months after running out of fuel, new figures have revealed.

Highways England, responsible for England's major routes, analysed a 17-mile stretch between junction 8 of the M60 and junction 20 of the M62.

Its £202m smart motorway scheme includes the conversion of hard shoulders into extra lanes.

The Greater Manchester network is expected to be finished in autumn 2017.

Stephen Hill, programme manager for Highways England, said: "Running out of fuel is the easiest cause of breakdown to avoid.

"Simple planning can save drivers the hassle of coming to a halt on the motorway, causing disruption to hundreds of other drivers.

"We're asking all drivers to reduce the number of incidents within the roadworks section by checking their fuel when there is still an opportunity to top up, and checking their vehicle is roadworthy."

Electronic signs are also being used to warn drivers to check their fuel levels.

There have been more than 4,500 breakdowns on Manchester's smart motorway route since March 2015.

Twenty-four of those incidents involving drivers filling their vehicles with the wrong fuel.

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