A report from a Transport Select Committee has told the Department for Transport that there is not enough safety and economic data to justify continuing the rollout of so-called smart motorways which do not have a hard shoulder.

Call to end Smart Motorway expansion

The new-style roads have previously come in for criticism by recovery patrols, road safety campaigners and relatives of those killed.

Reacting to the report, Kate Macnab, lawyer at Reeds Solicitors, said: Statistics covering the years, 2015-2019 show an increase in the number of live lane fatalities as opposed to a fall in numbers on conventional motorways.  Cars that have to stop on the motorway may be able to move to an Emergency Safety Area which are described as ‘places of relative safety’. It is further recommended that these short pull in areas with no adequate lane feed to re-join the motorway, should now be spaced 0.75 miles apart where possible”.

“However, the real danger arises where a vehicle stops on the carriageway.  There is complete reliance on the CCTV operators being able to spot the vehicle and close the carriageway. This has caused an increase in fatalities and serious injury accidents. The Department for Transport accepts that improvements need to made, hence their suggested 18-point action plan which includes further technology to identify stationary vehicles”.

“Reducing the mandatory speed limits to smooth traffic flow may be an advantage to this road traffic management but the risk to stationary traffic is highlighted by this TSC Report and has led to the recommendation that expansion plans should be delayed until more evidence is collected”.

 “It is important to note that the lane management systems are mandatory which not only include the speed limit restrictions but also the big Red X to close a lane where failure to comply can result in a £100 fine and 3 penalty points.”

Published by GregWhitaker

Editor of CAT Magazine and an experienced motoring journalist

DVLA ‘ghost records’ highlight EU driving licence loophole

Licence holders that do not update details are causing a headache for insurers

Read More

Over half of garages preparing to increase prices

Survey shos increasing parts prices, coupled with cost of living, is bringing workshops to increase rates

Read More

GSF Car Parts looks ‘Beyond Tomorrow’ with national staff conference

First all-hands meeting since November rebrand

Read More

VM problems ‘benefit’ used market says ECP’s Hamilton

LKQ Euro Car Parts’ CEO speaks about the buoyant used car market and the aging vehicle parc

Read More

New ACEA Heavy-Duty Engine Oil sequences published

New categories to replace obsolete E6 and E9 categories

Read More

Go to comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *