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National Highways’ first Chief Safety Adviser has told the latest Highways Voices podcast that “things have to be addressed” when it comes to the perception of safety on smart motorways.

As the Government announces a pausing of the rollout of any new All Lane Running motorways while safety data is assessed, Professor Nick Reed told the podcast that while statistically they are a safe form of motorway, “there is real risk, and there is also perceived risk, and we have to go about addressing both of those things”.

Professor Reed, whose first project in the industry was related to the active traffic management solution on the M42, was in no way downplaying the need to address safety issues saying, “there have been some tragic incidents on smart motorways, and that’s unacceptable. The target is zero harm, and that means things there are things that have to be addressed.

“I think my role is making sure the network is used as best as it possibly can be, all the while heading towards that goal of zero harm.”

The interview talks about his new role, what we can learn from driverless technology to make cars and roads safer now, learning from other countries’ innovations and why his position as an independent adviser may help to get more ideas flowing.

The podcast also features a summary of some of the stories you’ll see on the Highways News website, and a very poignant “Adrian’s Accolade”.

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