UK Government Suspends Rollout of 'Smart Motorway' Schemes Amid Safety Concerns
LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK government announced on Wednesday that the rollout of the "smart motorway" scheme introduced before 2020 will be paused until the Department for Transport had collected five years of safety data.
The decision follows a recommendation by the Parliament’s Transport Select Committee, which said there was not enough safety and economic data to justify continuing with the project that will turn the hard shoulder or emergency stopping lane by the verge of a highway into a permanent live traffic lane.
"Having carefully considered the committee’s report, I will be taking forward all of its recommendations. This includes the recommendation to pause the rollout of future ALR [All Lane Running] smart motorway schemes until a full 5 years’ worth of safety data is available," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.
Concerns have been raised following fatal incidents involving broken-down vehicles being hit from behind on the roads that already use technology to maintain the flow of traffic and give information on overhead displays.