Widespread distrust of smart motorways found

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Published on 9 April 2021 by Mike Waters

A new survey by IAM RoadSmart has found widespread distrust of smart motorways, with an 85% majority of 4,500 respondents wanting a halt on further construction “until the safety case is fully proven”. 

As the BMF has reported, a parliamentary inquiry is being held to investigate smart motorways amid growing public concern. A coroner highlighted the “ongoing risk of future deaths” on smart motorways after the deaths of two men on the M1 and South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner also called on the Transport Secretary to scrap them. 

The survey also found that 84% of respondents expressed “little faith” in the safety systems designed to protect them in event of a breakdown in a running lane. 

Commenting, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research Neil Greig said: “The results of this survey are clear to see, with the vast majority having very little, or no confidence, in the safety of smart motorways. 

“We would urge the Department for Transport and Highways England to listen to what smart motorway users are saying and to consider our findings, along with other in-depth research, to determine the best approach to developing the smart motorway network. 

“IAM RoadSmart wants to see strong leadership with clear decisions taken soon on whether the programme should be reversed, or provided with the appropriate funding that will speed up delivery of the promised refuges, CCTV and vehicle detection technology.” 

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