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Question:

What is an Emergency Refuge Area on a motorway for?

A To use in cases of emergency or breakdown
explanation

In cases of breakdown or emergency try to get your vehicle into an Emergency Refuge Area. This is safer than just stopping on the hard shoulder as it gives you greater distance from the main carriageway. If you are able to re-join the motorway you must take extra care, especially when the hard shoulder is being used as a running lane.