Smart motorway rollout ‘paused’ over safety concerns

The rollout of so-called ‘smart’ motorways has been halted following a recommendation by the Transport Committee.

Smart Motorway expansion ‘paused’

Since the introduction of the hard shoulder-less roads, concerns have been raised by breakdown organisations, road safety groups and others that the lives of roadside patrols and members of the public alike are at risk.



In line with the Transport Committee’s recommendations, the rollout of new smart motorways will be paused until five years’ worth of safety data becomes available for schemes introduced before 2020. After this point, the government will assess the data and make an informed decision on next steps.

The government has pledged to increase the amount of emergency areas and improve the traffic cameras that identify of a breakdown is blocking a lane.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Pausing schemes yet to start construction and making multimillion-pound improvements to existing schemes will give drivers confidence and provide the data we need to inform our next steps. I want to thank safety campaigners, including those who have lost loved ones, for rightly striving for higher standards on our roads. I share their concerns”.



Published by Greg Whitaker

Editor of CAT Magazine and an experienced motoring journalist @GregWhitaker5

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  1. There have been many previous declarations that no new smart motorway projects will be commenced, but they have all in essence been ignored by the Highways Agency under the excuse “but this project has already been started” clinging to the most tenuous of excuses such as acquiring land, seeking planning permission, sending out notices to tender and other lame excuses. While very many people have had loss of family or near-death experiences on these terrible roads, the Highways Agency is a law unto itself and I would not be surprised to find central Government is telling thwem to proceed anyway as with their pathetic record based upon naive theorieds and promises made to “reduce the death toll on our roads”, they will stop at nothing. I also suspect the Exchequer is conniving in this as they want/need the revenue from motorway cameras.