Government announces action plan to improve smart motorways

The importance of walk-round checks
27-March-2020
April 2020
28-March-2020

The government has announced it is launching an action plan to increase smart motorway safety and raise confidence in their use.

Measures to improve smart motorways will include:

  • Abolishing ‘dynamic hard shoulder’ smart motorways, where the hard shoulder only operates part-time
  • Speeding up the deployment of technology to detect stopped vehicles and close lanes more quickly
  • Increasing traffic officer patrols on some motorways to reduce attendance time for stopped vehicles
  • More emergency areas on the M25 smart motorways
  • Making emergency areas more visible, and more signs to direct motorists to them £5m to improve public information and awareness about smart motorways, doubling the previously planned spend

While collisions between moving vehicles on motorways without a hard shoulder were reduced as predicted, evidence shows the risk of a collision between a moving vehicle and a stationary vehicle is much higher.

As a result, all dynamic hard shoulders will be removed and those routes converted into all lane running (ALR) smart motorways by the end of March 2025.

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