A group of MPs have called for a pause on the rollout of the smart motorways across the UK until their safety can be ensured. In a report, the Commons’ Transport Select Committee said there was not enough safety and economic data to justify continuing with the plans.
Louis Rix, co-founder and COO at CarFinance247, called for the Government to do more research before continuing with the rollout.
He said: “Calls for safety checks on smart motorways are completely justified.
“The prospect of driving on the hard shoulder goes against our basic human nature, so smart motorways can seem daunting for road-users, fuelling driving anxiety.
“What’s particularly alarming are the death rates (which are up to a third higher than on motorways with a hard shoulder, according to the Department for Transport) and reports of safety cameras not working.
“Once it can be proven that motorists will be entirely safe on the roads, there will be little belief that these motorways are ‘smart’ at all.”
Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, said the Department for Transport and the wider Government would look into the statistics surrounding road safety.
He said: “We’ve warmly welcomed the transport select committee report, which makes a lot of great points.
“We now need to check their recommendations against the data.
“One of the great recommendations is to use the Office of Rail and Road to check the data more broadly, and I agree with that as well.
“So there’ll be more action on this and that action will start immediately, with a formal response in the new year,” he told the Daily Mail.