Shapps to publish ‘action plan’ to boost safety on smart motorways

An 18-point “action plan” to boost smart motorway safety will be launched by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He told the Commons that an evidence stocktake into the safety of the roads found “in most ways smart motorways are as safe or safer than conventional ones, but they are not in every way”.

Smart motorways are used by Highways England to increase capacity and reduce congestion by using methods such as converting the hard shoulder into a live running lane, rather than the more costly process of widening roads.

Fears have been raised that this has created a safety hazard, with some drivers hit from behind and killed after being unable to reach an emergency refuge area, which are up to 1.6 miles apart.