Following pressure from advocacy groups, the UK Government confirmed that it would be shedding new smart motorway plans.
The decision made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will apply to “all-lane” roads. This is the latest information.
Why is the rollout of smart highways halted?
On January 12, 2022, it was announced that the implementation of smart motorways has been pause amid growing safety concerns raised by parliamentarians.
Ministers say that the introduced plans will not be reintroduced until safety data has been collected for five years.
That means new projects planned for the M3, M40, M62 and M25 will be postponed.
But others, already underway, will continue until they are complete.
But tragically, according to government investigation figures, at least 24 drivers or passengers with damaged vehicles have died on them since 2015.
It consists of four people already killed on the same segment of M1 in just ten months.
What does the Department of Transportation say?
Mr Shapps accepted the findings of the Transport Selection Committee’s report, as the Government pledged to “review the case” for the installation of controlled smart car roads instead.
He said: “While our early data suggests that smart motorways are among the safest in the UK, it is important that we go further to ensure people feel safer using them.
“Pausing programs that have not yet begun construction and making multimillion-pound improvements to existing programs will give motorists confidence and provide the data we need to inform for your next steps.”
What are the dangers of smart roads?
Sadly, a 2020 freedom of information claim found that 38 people have die on smart highway from 2015 to 2019.
Of those, 18 deaths were attributed to confusion over how the roads worked.
The report shows that the number of “near misses” on a section of highway has increased by 2,000%.
Smart motorways have also been criticized for their slower speeds and lax health and safety rules.
Emergency refuges will be available in about half a mile – but Most Britons aren’t sure how to wait safely at the roadside.
The revelation comes after it was revealed that the AA team was instructed don’t help stuck motorists because they are very dangerous.
Instead, staff must go to a safe location and wait for the driver’s car to be transferred there by Highways England.
Edmund King, AA president said; “Being stuck in a moving lane is extremely dangerous. The official advice is to keep your seat belts and hazard lights on and dial 999.
“It is not safe for vehicle remediation organizations unless the lanes are closed and an entity is present in the back of the vehicle.
“This is the Police with the flashing blue lights or the British Highway Traffic Police with the flashing red lights.
“This highlights the seriousness of the direct lane disruption and further underlines our call for a doubling of the number of Emergency Refuge Areas.
“Providing motorists with more safe places will reduce the risk of vehicles getting stuck in a fast-moving lane.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8194146/smart-motorway-rollouts-paused-explained/ Why is the rollout of smart highways halted?