Most drivers want smart motorways scrapped amid ‘safety concerns’ – expert warning
LBC: Smart motorways are 'absolute deathtraps'
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Smart motorways were first introduced in 2006 and act as an active traffic management system to reduce congestion. They use variable speed limits and use the hard shoulder as a running lane to control the flow of traffic.
According to a new RAC survey, 62 percent of drivers think smart motorways should be scrapped.
They would prefer to have the hard shoulder reinstated, while retaining the technology that manages traffic flows and detects breakdowns.
Only a quarter of the 2,600-plus drivers surveyed by the RAC support the continuation of current Government policy.
This is to stick to four permanent running lanes and no hard shoulder, while increasing the number of emergency refuge areas.
This also includes extra technology to detect stationary vehicles and cameras to catch motorists who put others at risk by ignoring closed-lane signs.
While there’s support for scrapping these motorways across all age groups, it’s highest among those aged 45 and over, with 73 percent wanting to see the end of these schemes.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “We’ve always had safety concerns about all-lane-running motorways and have raised these by giving evidence to two separate Transport Committee inquiries.
“While the Government published its 18-point action plan in 2020, the RAC has continued to push for new safety features to be introduced as quickly as possible.
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“Although much of the plan is on track and the installation of crucial stopped vehicle detection technology is now due to be completed ahead of schedule, it seems the only thing that will truly satisfy most drivers is the reinstatement of the hard shoulder.
“The Government is therefore faced with a difficult choice between continuing to roll out unpopular all-lane-running motorways very much against drivers’ wishes or reinstating the hard shoulder.”
This would effectively create a three-lane ‘controlled motorway’ which would have the benefit of improved safety features but with less overall capacity.
Mr Lyes continued saying: “The RAC, however, believes there’s a third option worth considering which provides increased capacity without adversely compromising safety.
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