Highways England has responded to concerns about the safety of smart motorways by insisting that in most ways they are as safe, or safer, than conventional ones.
Over the last week a coroner and Police and Crime Commissioner have both questioned the use of the hard shoulder as a running lane, in reaction to the deaths of two people on a stretch of smart motorway on the M1 near Sheffield.
However a spokesperson for Highways England has told the Sheffield newspaper The Star, “Every road death is a tragic loss of life and our sympathies remain with the families of those who have lost loved ones.
“In March 2020 the Government published a smart motorway evidence stocktake report and found that in most ways smart motorways are as safe as, or safer than, conventional ones.
“But we are aware of the ongoing concerns and are working hard to deliver the improvements set out in the Transport Secretary’s action plan.
“It’s important to remind everyone that in an emergency on any road if you feel you are in danger you should dial 999.”
(Picture – South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s office)