Britain will halt the rollout of new “smart motorways” for five years while it gathers safety data on those already operational, following criticism that they are dangerous, the government announced on Wednesday. Of.
Campaigners and the high-selling tabloid Daily Mail have led resistance against high-speed roads, introducing variable speed limits and using hard shoulders as normal lanes, unless emergency vehicles or broken lanes are used. Vehicle not required.
Signs above the road tell motorists which lanes are in use.
Announcing the pause, the government said smart motorways are “comparatively the safest roads in the country in terms of mortality”, but said it would conduct more safety tests before considering their future.
The already running roads will be upgraded, however the hard shoulder will not be restored.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Although our preliminary data suggests that smart motorways are among the safest roads in the UK, it is important that we move forward to ensure that people feel safe.”
He said the pause on new smart motorways and upgrading existing ones would help provide additional data to decide on further steps.
Roads began to appear at the turn of the century, and gradually became more prevalent.
While accidents between moving vehicles are reported to decrease, there has been an increase in the number of accidents in which the moving vehicle, unaware that the left lane is acting as a rigid shoulder, collides with a stationary vehicle.
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