FOLLOWING stress from marketing campaign teams, the UK Government confirmed that they might be shelving new smart motorway plans.
The choice, which was taken by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will apply to “all lane running” roads. Here’s the newest.
Why have the smart motorway rollouts been paused?
On January 12, 2022, it was introduced that the rollout of smart motorways had been halted amid rising security issues raised by MPs.
Ministers mentioned that the schemes launched wouldn’t be reintroduced till 5 years of security knowledge had been collected.
It meant that new tasks deliberate for the M3, M40, M62 and M25 will likely be placed on maintain.
But others, that are already below method, will proceed till they’re full.
The roads, which use the arduous shoulder as an additional lane and in addition have short-term velocity limits, have been below development since 2014.
But tragically, in accordance with Government inquiry figures, not less than 24 broken-down drivers or passengers have died on them since 2015.
It included 4 individuals who have been killed on the identical stretch of the M1 in simply ten months.
What has The Department for Transport mentioned?
Mr Shapps had accepted the report findings by the Transport Select Committee, as the Government pledged to “revisit the case” for putting in managed smart motorways as an alternative.
He mentioned: “While our preliminary knowledge reveals that smart motorways are amongst the most secure roads in the UK, it is essential that we go additional to make sure folks really feel safer utilizing them.
“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.”
What are the risks of a smart motorway?
Tragically, an freedom of data request in 2020 discovered that 38 folks had died on smart motorways between 2015 and 2019.
Of these, 18 deaths had been blamed on confusion over how the roads function.
The report confirmed the variety of “near misses” had elevated on one part of motorway by an enormous 2,000%.
Smart motorways have additionally been criticised for his or her slower speeds and lax well being and security guidelines.
Emergency refuge areas ought to be obtainable round very half mile – however most Brits aren’t positive easy methods to wait safely at the roadside.
The revelation got here after it was revealed that AA breakdown crews had been instructed to not assist stranded drivers as a result of they have been so harmful.
Instead, workers should head to a secure location and await the driver’s automobile to be moved there by Highways England.
Edmund King, AA president says; “Being caught in a reside lane is in extremely harmful. The official recommendation is hold your seat belt and hazard lights on and dial 999.
“It isn’t secure for breakdown organisations to get better autos except the lane is closed and has a bodily presence sat behind the casualty car.
“This is both the Police with blue flashing lights or Highways England Traffic Officers with pink flashing lights.
“This highlights the severity of breaking down in a reside lane and additional emphasises our requires double the variety of Emergency Refuge Areas.
“Providing drivers with more places of relative safety would reduce the risk of vehicles being stuck in a lane of fast moving traffic.”