The owners of a horse killed after the lorry it was in broke down on a smart motorway have called for the hard shoulder to be reinstated.
Andrew Jackson was transporting his daughter’s showjumper, Disney, on the M6 when the lorry suffered engine failure and came to a halt on the inside live lane.
Mr Jackson, 58, from near Penrith in Cumbria, could not reach an emergency refuge area on the motorway near Cheshire where the hard shoulder was turned into a fourth lane.
Within seconds of calling National Highways, formerly Highways England, to get the southbound lane closed, the horsebox, which had hazards flashing, was hit at 56mph by a lorry, propelling it 50 meters down the carriageway.
It took five hours for the 15-year-old horse to be extracted from the wreckage before it was taken to an equine hospital where it was put down.
Mr Jackson and his daughter, April, 20, said the tragedy illustrated how scrapping hard shoulders robs motorists of a vital safety refuge.
“I suddenly started to lose power,” Mr Jackson said. “I could see the emergency refuge area ahead, but I just couldn’t get there. I pulled in as close as I could before dashing to the roadside emergency telephone to raise the alarm. It was 10.45am.