MPs to launch inquiry into smart motorways

This comes after the motorways were labelled as an "ongoing risk of future deaths".

The Transport Committee has launched an investigation into the smart motorways, following reports that the number of deaths on these motorways have risen from 5 in 2017 and 11 in 2018 to 14 in 2020.

This news comes following the announcement that developer of smart motorways Highways England was referred to CPS earlier this month to face charges of corporate manslaughter, specifically the death of a woman in 2018 who was struck by her own car on a smart motorway section of the M1 after it was hit by another vehicle.

The chair of the Transport Committee Huw Merriman MP stated, “This message isn’t reaching the public, whose confidence in smart motorways has been dented by increasing fatalities on these roads. There are genuine worries about this element of the motorway network and we want to investigate how we got to this point.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport has stated that the department "welcomed the important inquiry" and has plans to provide written evidence.

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Comments (13)

  • Instead of dumping money into motorways we should fix our expensive trahsy public transport system.

      1 month ago
  • That’s actually great because atleast people can be more focused on the road instead of looking at every sign that comes up

      1 month ago
  • Agreed, the other problem is the momentum of a truck is far greater than a car and if one of this hits a stationary vehicle then this is even more lethal!

      1 month ago
  • ANY bloody fool could have worked out the bleeding obvious! Motor vehicles are not 100% reliable... fact. You drive in long convoys of similar speed traffic on motorways... fact. If you put the minimum stopping distance between every vehicle, there wouldn't be enough room to fit them on the motorway... fact. From just those three facts (of numerous others one might consider) you can conclude that if a vehicle goes wrong in one of three lanes of fast traffic, there is a very high likelihood a crash would occur. You can point at the various factors that met and created that incident and say speed, insufficient braking distance, concentration diverted, etc, was to blame, but that doesn't account for REALITY. Now, if some blithering idiot takes away that long strip down the edge of the motorway that enables most broken down vehicles to roll, chug, trundle, to a place of greater safety, then they'll end up blocking the traffic flow... blindingly obvious. The moment I read that we were being given 'Smart' motorways, motorways that did away with the hard shoulder and opened them up as an extra lane as a cheap way of cramming more traffic on the same bit of road, I knew it was just technobollox, a way to dress up a really shit idea as 'scientific' (my arse!) So now, at the dawn of an age where self-driving vehicles are on the cusp of becoming a reality, we have untold millions of Pounds worth of unnecessary overhead gantry giving messages as outdated as the previous day, zapping vehicles for speeding in the dead of night when it would be safe to have a picnic in the fast lane there being so little traffic, and giving driving homilies your granny would have bestowed upon you when there was nothing better to display up there on the wretched gantries. Now I may be totally mistaken, but I'd put money on the likelihood that driverless vehicles will break down from time to time. This means we'll have a vehicle containing 40 tonnes of goods, or a car filled with people none of whom can drive the thing, sitting helpless in the middle of the road, with a mixture of self driving vehicles slamming computer controlled brakes on and plenty of human controlled vehicles not being fast reacting enough to stop and just crashing into other traffic instead. A self driving vehicle would most likely be capable of getting to the hard shoulder just as well as a human driven vehicle, IF THERE WAS ONE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

      1 month ago
    • I couldn’t agree more. And if those gantries every few hundred yards were cheaper than putting in an extra lane, then I’m the Pope!!

        1 month ago
  • Obvious to anyone with road sense that these “smart” motorways would be lethal!!

    But officials will not listen and change because they are blinkered with their ideas.

    Another example is the HS2!!

      1 month ago