Newspapers blame smart motorway glitch for six-car crash

It’s being reported a crash on the M6 near Coventry last month happened when the entire safety monitoring system had gone down.

A whistleblower, speaking anonymously, told the Telegraph newspaper National Highways’ systems crashed, disabling stopped vehicle detection radar and leaving control room staff unable to close lanes to traffic, set speed limits and electronic signs or use CCTV cameras.

The newspaper says the “catastrophic failure” culminated in a pile-up on the southbound M6 on 19 January when a car broke down, failing to reach an emergency refuge area on the all lane running stretch before “being hit repeatedly by other vehicles” between junctions 3a and 3.

The National Highways whistleblower said: “We had no stopped vehicle detection systems, no CCTV and no control of signals and signs.

“The fact no one was killed is pure luck.

“Thankfully, God was watching over them, because we certainly weren’t.”

The Daily Mail adds that the safety systems shut down a total of 41 times last summer, and that between April and August 2023, there were electricity supply problems lasting a total of 541 hours across 52 separate days, with eight locations having outages that lasted more than 24 hours.

(File picture – Highways News)


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now