MPs Call To Scrap Smart Motorways

MPs Call To Scrap Smart Motorways


MPs have called for the halt of new smart motorways construction.

The group say that all construction should stop until they address safety concerns. 

The Transport Select Committee submitted a report outlining their concerns. The report concluded that there was a lack of data analysis to justify the rollout of further all lane roads. 

There are currently over 500 miles of smart motorways along with the UKS road network. The Government plans to extend this by 300 miles more of all lane roads by 2025.



What is a smart motorway?


A smart motorway is a stretch of road where all lanes are open and there is no hard shoulder. Cameras along the road network will pick up the slow or still vehicles and redirect traffic. But there have been concerns about their safety since the first smart motorway opened in 2014. 

Since 2014, 38 people have died due to incidents on smart motorways. Last week demonstrators symbolized the victims by carrying 38 cardboard coffins to the Houses of Parliament.

A recent survey revealed 62% of drivers would scrap all-lane-running smart motorway schemes. 84% also believe the permanent removal of the hard shoulder compromised their safety. 

The Transport Select Committee labelled the government’s decision to pursue smart motorways as “premature”.


TSC Comment


A spokesperson for the committee said:

“The Government and National Highways should pause the rollout of new all-lane running schemes until five years of safety and economic data is available and the implementation of the safety improvements in the Government’s action plan has been independently evaluated.”


The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would look into the committee’s suggestions.


DFT Comment


A spokesperson for DfT said:

“Smart or ‘all-lane running’ (ALR) motorways have been under the microscope since 2019”. 



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MPs Call To Scrap Smart Motorways