Brakes put on new all-lane running smart motorways
The government has announced that it will pause the introduction of new all-lane running smart motorways for 5 years.
The decision has been made while research is conducted into the safety of smart motorways.
All-lane running smart motorways use the hard shoulder as a permanent live traffic lane to increase capacity and ease traffic, but experts have expressed concern over their safety.
The recommendation is for 5 years of data to be collected from the smart motorways built before 2020.
BUT hard shoulders won’t be reinstated on current stretches of all-lane running motorways…
It’s essentially a pause on introducing new smart motorways rather than scrapping the system entirely.
MPs had previously expressed concern about the lack of available data on the safety of smart motorways.
If a vehicle breaks down on an all-lane running smart motorway, drivers must aim for the emergency refuge areas.
However, experts have expressed concern over vehicles becoming stranded in fast-moving traffic, with several high-profile fatalities occurring in recent years.
Highways England has confirmed that there are 400 miles of smart motorway currently in operation, with 200 miles of these lacking a permanent hard shoulder.
Plus, 63 miles of smart motorway use the hard shoulder as a running lane some of the time.
Do you or your drivers regularly travel on smart motorways? What do you think of the safety of smart motorways? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org