‘Absolute madness’: Calls for public consultation on smart motorways over safety concern

‘Absolute madness’: Calls for public consultation on smart motorways over safety concern

11/02/2021

LBC: Smart motorways are 'absolute deathtraps'

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The Commons Transport Committee raised concerns over “all-lane running” stretches of road, which were introduced to regulate the flow of traffic and ease congestion. They argued there was not enough safety and economic data to justify continuing with the smart motorway plans.

There are currently 375 miles of smart motorways in England – and 235 miles of these don’t have a hard shoulder – with plans for more in the next five years.

Campaigners and drivers have called on the Government to scrap the continued rollout of smart motorways as they say this has contributed to road deaths.

There are three main types of smart motorways: controlled, dynamic and all-lane running.

A controlled motorway has a permanent hard shoulder and uses technology such as variable speed limits to adjust flows of traffic.

Hard shoulders can be opened up at peak times and used as an extra lane on dynamic motorways, although speed limits are reduced to 60mph in this instance.

All-lane running motorways permanently remove the hard shoulder to provide an extra lane, with emergency refuge areas are provided at regular intervals for cars that get into trouble.

Over all types of smart motorways, overhead signage is used to direct drivers and inform them of variable speed limits or if there is a hazard ahead.

Drivers have been critical of how smart motorways operate, especially with how the hard shoulder is used.

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A spokesperson for LeaseCar.uk said: “Successive Governments have started to roll out smart motorways across the UK, while issues with traffic congestion seem to grow year on year.

“Many British motorists don’t fully understand the new technology and how or why it is used.

“We think it is useful to highlight some aspects of driving on a smart motorway to help give Brits greater knowledge of these roads and enjoy quicker and safer journeys.”

Many are fearful of breaking down on the motorway and this is heightened when on a smart motorway.

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