Tony Slater: Smart Highways Programme Alliance MD to step down

The head of National Highways’ Smart Highways Programme Alliance, Tony Slater, is stepping down from the role, fuelling speculation that NH are considering winding up the Alliance in the wake of the decision to curtail the Smart motorway programme over safety fears, Construction Enquirer is reporting. Slater, who is to take up a senior position […]

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 […]

Harris defends smart motorway safety

The Chief Executive of National Highways has explained that plans to improve safety on smart motorways have been implemented, and that statistics show they are as safe or safer than conventional motorways. Answering questions at the Commons Transport Committee, Nick Harris pointed to additional signage, information campaigns and stopped vehicle detection technology, and said the […]

Nick Harris to face Transport Committee over road upgrades, smart motorways and safety

National Highways CEO Nick Harris will be questioned by the cross-party Commons Transport Committee tomorrow (24 January), which will ask for updates on findings of its 2023 report on the government-owned company’s investments in maintaining and upgrading the network. The report concluded company’s five-year Road Investment Strategies (RIS) were over budget and delayed “due to […]

Data suggests smart motorway safety outages

It’s being reported technology meant to monitor smart motorways suffered from “extended power outages”, with 41 shutdowns last summer. The Daily Telegraph has seen data which suggests power outages can last days “and put motorists’ lives at risk”. It says statistics released under Freedom of Information laws, show how some or all of National Highways’ […]

ORR welcomes smart motorway technology improvements

The Office of Rail and Road has written to National Highways welcoming improvements in the performance of its smart motorway Stopped Vehicle Detection technology, following initial testing. However, ORR says it recognises that caution is required when interpreting the data. In December 2022, ORR reported that the SVD system on all lane running sections of […]

M56 upgrade moves to 70mph

The upgrade of the M56 between Altrincham and Hale in Greater Manchester has moved to operation at 70 mph. Operation at the maximum national speed limit of 70mph was introduced on the stretch of smart motorway following work to calibrate technology, including stopped vehicle detection. A separate project involving overnight work to resurface lanes along […]

Motorway control expert fears safety technology “tarred with smart motorway brush”

Leading Intelligent Transport Systems consultant George Brown has reacted to the government’s ending of all new smart motorway projects by criticising the decision to push ahead with all-lane running smart motorways which he fears could ultimately mean key safety benefits are not realised. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, decided to scrap all future schemes because, […]

The implications of the end of new smart motorways discussed on Highways Voices

Following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to halt the building of new smart motorways, this week’s Highways Voices discusses the implications. Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode! Highways News co-owners Paul Hutton and Adrian Tatum look into what went wrong with the concept, focussing on communication failures […]


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