‘Overwhelming anger!’ Richard Madeley highlights fury at smart motorways – ‘heart sinks’

‘Overwhelming anger!’ Richard Madeley highlights fury at smart motorways – ‘heart sinks’

11/02/2021

Richard Madeley says his ‘heart sinks’ on smart motorways

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The Good Morning Britain host said he feared a school bus may break down on a live lane with “lorries barrelling down every minute”. He said the consequences “don’t bear thinking about” as he spoke to campaigner Claire Mercer, whose husband was killed on a smart motorway in 2019. 

Mr Madeley said: “I do a lot of motorway driving and when I’m on a section of smart motorway and I see a school bus or a school coach off on a day trip or going on holiday, my heart sinks.

“Because what if a school bus were to break down and why wouldn’t it, they are not miraculous machines they break down like everything else.

“What if a school bus breaks down on what used to be a hard shoulder but what is now a very active lane and there are dozens and dozens of lorries barrelling down that lane every minute.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

The comments come after the Transport Select Committee called upon the Government to suspend the rollout of new all-lane running smart motorway roads.

A new report says the Government and National highways (formerly Highways England) should “pause the rollout”.

The report blamed the Government for making a “premature” decision to make all new smart motorways all-lane running roads.

All-lane running roads permanently remove the hard shoulder in exchange for a live lane which can be closed in the event of an emergency.

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However, they have been increasingly blamed for accidents as drivers have been hit from behind after stopping on the roads.

The Transport Select Committee said a temporary pause was needed to “evaluate the safety” of existing all-lane running schemes and to consider “alternative options”.

The report said: “The Government’s decision in March 2020 that all new smart motorways will be all-lane running motorways was premature.

“The Government and National Highways should therefore pause the rollout of all-lane running motorways to collect more data, to upgrade and then evaluate the safety of existing all-lane running schemes and to… consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network.

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