Returning from our holiday in France last Friday at 11pm was not a happy experience.

To say nothing of the delay at passport control, the 'improved' M27 proved a disaster. I wonder if this is what we can expect in the future.

First of all, leaving Portsmouth was absolutely fine on M271. 

Then came the M27 where there are still bits of construction going on with associated signage, cones and barriers, mostly off the road, but still distracting and confusing.

At one point a dimly illuminated large National Limit sign loomed up. It was unclear whether it applied to the motorway or some other road alongside.

Then the control system warned of a 'Stranded Vehicle'. Then 'Lane Closed Ahead'. The speed was reduced by stages through 60, 50, 40 to 30.

A police vehicle lit up to resemble a showboat shot out of a slip road into the middle, slowed down and stopped, bringing all the traffic to a halt.

A highly reflective policeman emerged and proceeded to speak in turn to the lead vehicle in each lane. He then returned to the car and set off leading what was now a convoy at a steady 30. 

Eventually, after some miles, we passed what appeared to be the problem: a stationary truck in lane one attended by various other vehicles. Some time after we had passed the police car let us go and we wondered what the speed limit now was, in the absence of instruction.

I got home. Eventually.

Is this what we are to expect each time there is a breakdown on our new all-singing and dancing motorway?

How much worse could it have been at rush hour?

With all the conflicting information, my daughter in another car is wondering if she has been awarded a penalty for an unintended infringement. I suppose it all has to be paid for!

Chris Basham,

Downlands Close,


Send letters by email to or by post to Editor, Salisbury Journal, Suite B (Ground Floor), Milford House, Milford Street, Salisbury, SP1 2BP.