Smart motorways will not be built for years as roads face ‘multi-million pound’ upgrade


The rollout of all-lane running schemes will be paused until at least five years worth of safety data is available. Meanwhile, current stretches of smart motorway schemes will be given “multi-million-pound improvements”.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has committed an extra £900million to the schemes to ensure drivers feel safe and confident

In total, an extra £390million will be used to install an extra 150 emergency areas on the controversial roads.

However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the DfT have previoulsly said smart motorways were safe. 

Now, Mr Shapps said he “shared the concerns” of safety campaigners and said the improvements will help “give drivers confidence”.

READ MORE: Smart motorway widow says crashes can happen in ‘seconds’

“I want to thank safety campaigners, including those who have lost loved ones, for rightly striving for higher standards on our roads.

“I share their concerns.”

The change in approach comes after a Transport Committee report into smart motorways released last November found there were some issues with the roads.

MPs called for the Government to pause the rollout of the scheme after climbing the DfT failed to deliver on its promises to improve safety on the roads.

He said: “We have listened to public concerns about smart motorways and we are fully committed to taking forward the additional measures the Transport Committee has recommended.

“While we pause those all lane running schemes yet to start construction, we will complete the schemes currently in construction.

“We will make existing sections as safe as they can possibly be and we will step up our advice to drivers so they have all the information they need.

“We are doing this because safety is our absolute priority and we want drivers to not just be safer, but also to feel safe on our busiest roads.”

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