No more Smart Motorways unless additional safety measures in place

The government has stated it will not be building anymore ALR Smart Motorway unless additional safety measures are in place

M25

TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Schapps has released findings from the All Lane Running (ALR) Smart Motorways stocktake and the actions that will come from it.

The stocktake was begun in March 2020, after ALR Smart Motorways were brought sharply into focus because of a spate of serious and even fatal accidents. The incidents called the safety of the new type of roads into question, proving that the majority of the general public had lost confidence in the roads.

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To try and bolster public confidence in ALR Smart Motorways, Mr Schapps has announced that for every hundred million miles driven there are fewer deaths on ALR roads than conventional ones, but that he is determined to make drivers “feel safer and be safer” on all of the UK’s roads.

To do this, the Department for Transport (DfT) is going to accelerate a new plan of upgrades on the roads and will be halting the construction of new ALR roads until a new stopped vehicle radar detection system can be installed on them.

Other measures include upgrading the existing camera system so that drivers who ignore the red X (that signifies a closed lane) can be caught and prosecuted. He also plans to include more signage on the motorways giving motorists a clearer understanding of where the next emergency refuge is.

While it may be comforting to know that no new Smart Motorways will be getting built, the news that this is only until such a time that radar detection is installed is less appealing. It goes to show that despite an enormous weight of negative public opinion, the government is happy to plough its own cost-cutting furrow, happy to save cash on the cheaper to install ALR roads, than adapting conventional, and more polular ones.

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