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Smart motorways: Government halts rollout amid safety concerns after inquiry | UK News

Following a government investigation, safety concerns have suspended the deployment of “all-lane” smart highways.

The Department of Transportation (DfT) has stated that it will suspend the expansion of the smart highway, which is a lane where the shoulders are permanently alive, until five years of data on driver safety are available.

If work is already underway, the £ 390m remodeling program will introduce additional emergency evacuation areas and, if possible, parked vehicle detection technology.

The decision is as follows Recommended by Commons TransportSelect Committee This emphasized the lack of sufficient safety and economic data to justify the continuation of the project.

Campaign participants were “screaming” about the smart highway

Jason Mercer died in 2019 driving. He had a shunt with a van on an M1 stretch near Shefield, which was converted into a smart highway.

After both vehicles stopped, they were struck by a heavy truck. Claire Mercer says her husband will still be alive even if she has stiff shoulders.

What is a “smart highway” and how much does it cost taxpayers? And why are they shelved?

She told Sky News:

“Campaign participants have been yelling about smart highways for years, which has made it very painful.”

Ms. Mercer founded Smart Motorways Kill and has been campaigning to completely abolish highways.

She says, “This isn’t enough,” and wants to see stiff shoulders come back in all cases.

Jason Mercer, 44, died after a collision on the northbound M1 on June 7, 2019. Photo: South Yorkshire Police @syptweet

“Right government acquires shares” on smart highway

In the report, the Transport Safety Board explained that a government decision in March 2020 would make all future smart highways “premature” and all-lane versions.

Concerns have been expressed after the fatal incident of a broken vehicle crashing from behind.

Shoulderless roads leading to more accidents and deaths

Nicholas Lyes, Head of Road Policy at RAC, told Sky News: It is correct to continue.

Widow Claire Mercer (right) read a statement to the press outside Shefield's Crown Court after truck driver Presemislav Zbigniev Zuba was imprisoned for killing two men on the highway. ..
The widow Claire Mercer (right) launched Smart Motorways Kill after her husband died in Shefield.

“The ultimate problem is the permanent removal of shoulders and inadequate shelter.

“If a driver stops in the live lane, he or she may be at the mercy of the driver behind him without following some of the information on the gantry sign.”

“Important” to receive data reviews, says the Minister of Transport

A smart highway was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2014 to alleviate traffic congestion. The smart highway has 375 miles, of which 235 miles have no shoulders.

Roadways that will not be converted to highways for all lanes until a five-year safety data review includes the M3 J9-14, M40 / M42 interchange, M62 J20-25, and M25 J10-16.

Grant Shapps, Minister of Transport, said:

“By suspending schemes that haven’t started construction yet and adding millions of pounds of improvements to existing schemes, we provide the data needed to give drivers confidence and notify them of the next steps. . “

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Tory MP Huw Merriman, chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee, said:

“The contradictory, speckled evidence covering a limited number of years required more time to properly assess the safety implications.

“By accepting our recommendation to suspend the deployment of smart highways, the government will gain weight of evidence to support future road construction design plans.

Smart highways have screens that can be lit to indicate lane closure
Smart highways have screens that can be lit to indicate lane closure

“We need to focus not only on spending this extra time on evaluations, but also on making smart highways safer.”

Louise Haigh, Labor’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said:

“When strong evidence warned against it, the minister was wrong to move forward.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome step, but ministers need to go one step further and regain their difficult shoulders while this safety work and the accompanying evidence are being reviewed.”



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