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There's An Important UK Motorway That The Public Is Not Allowed To Use

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There's An Important UK Motorway That The Public Is Not Allowed To Use

There is a motorway in England that is actually closed to the public.

If you're a long time driver, you may think that you know everything there is about the country's main highways. Well, you're wrong.

Nestled in the lush, green landscapes of the Cotswolds is the M96. Heard of it? Of course, you haven't.

The M96 in Gloucestershire. Credit: Twitter/@jenonthemoveuk
The M96 in Gloucestershire. Credit: Twitter/@jenonthemoveuk
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Located at Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, the mysterious motorway is absolutely tiny, measuring just 400 metres in length.

The realistic strip of road boasts an overheard gantry, much like one you'd see on actual routes like the M60 or M1, as well as a central reservation, a refuge with a phone and some 70mph signs.

On the northbound side, there are three lanes and a hard shoulder. But it's not incredibly long, with the sharp turn to the right taking you to an abrupt dead end.

It was built on the site of a disused airfield and is now used by the emergency services to practice dealing with road traffic collisions and accidents.

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It is usually strewn with old cars, mostly damaged, due to having been used in simulations.

The strip of road measures around 400 metres. Credit: Twitter/@jenonthemoveuk
The strip of road measures around 400 metres. Credit: Twitter/@jenonthemoveuk

"The M96 facility is regularly used to train helicopter emergency personnel and newly qualified paramedics, as well as fire and rescue service personnel in multi-agency exercises," the college says.

"The motorway has the capacity to run several incidents at one time. It can be used by any agency that works in the road industry and would like to train in a safe realistic way.

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"Due to its size, as well as the fact that it is a life size replica of the real thing, emergency service responders can work together or ‘interoperably’ in a safe environment to resolve multi-agency incident without putting themselves at unnecessary risk and without causing any disruption to major road routes."

So there you go.

It is used for emergency service training. Credit: Fire Service College
It is used for emergency service training. Credit: Fire Service College

Last month, new laws came into being that meant judges are now allowed to hand out life sentences for dangerous driving.

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The current penalty for dangerous drivers who kill and careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years, a sentence far exceeded by changes coming into effect as of Tuesday.

The sentence increase is part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and applies to offences committed across England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland, as the country has its own road safety laws.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: "Those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars.

"Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families."

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The new law also makes causing serious injury by careless driving an offence, so anyone who inflicts long-term or permanent injuries will face tougher sentences.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@jenonthemoveuk

Topics: UK News

Dominic Smithers
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