Calls for the 'scandal' of smart motorways to be stopped as soon as possible

LBC Radio host Nick Ferrari has called the introduction of smart motorways a "scandal" and urged the government to scrap them as soon as possible.

Smart motorways, which allow drivers to drive in the hard shoulder during busy times, have witnessed the deaths of 38 people in the last five years.

Meanwhile, broken down vehicles in live lanes on a 13-mile stretch of one smart motorway caused more than 900 hours of delays over a period of two years and three months.

Ferrari said: "Every day, more lives are put at risk by this ludicrous and clearly unsafe policy.

"The All-Party Parliamentary Group looked at the 400-miles of motorway that has this system in place. It's meant to have technology that detects when someone has stopped on the 'hard shoulder' and close the lane to other traffic.

"Of the 400 miles, that system is in place on only 25 miles. That is an utter, utter scandal."

Ferrari went on to speak then spoke to Meera Naran, the mother of Dev Naran, an 8-year-old boy who was killed on a smart motorway in May 2018 and she revealed the affect it has had on their family, saying: "We are just trying to survive."

There were 2,227 incidents involving vehicles that failed to reach an emergency refuge area (ERAs - which are 1.6 miles apart) on part of the M3 in Surrey between August 1 2017 and October 31 2019, according to AA analysis of Highways England data.

This caused lane closures for 945 hours to protect vehicles stranded in live lanes.

During the same period, 271 crashes led to lanes being shut for an average of one hour and 11 minutes.

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