South Yorkshire Police Chief calls for end of smart motorways

The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire has written an open letter to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and Highways England, calling for smart motorways to be abandoned “before more lives are lost”.

Dr Alan Billings wants all-lane-running stretches such as that along part of the M1 past Sheffield to have the hard shoulder reinstated.

This follows the findings of Coroner David Urpeth into two deaths on the motorway in which he concluded that the fact that there was no hard shoulder had contributed to their deaths.

Dr Billings said, “I have written to the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP and Highways England to call for them to abandon smart motorways.

“Even before the Coroner verdicts in the inquests into the tragic deaths of Jason Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu – which found that no hard shoulder on the M1 in South Yorkshire contributed to both deaths – I had met with Highways England to express my view that these motorways are anything but smart.

“Surely now, they cannot ignore our safety concerns.”

You can read the full letter here.

(Picture – South Yorkshire PCC)

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