M1 road death reopens Smart Motorway debate

11th September 2018

The Road Haulage Association is concerned about the working of Smart Motorways – believing that there is insufficient, basic, public information regarding the safe working on Smart Motorways.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “Of course all-lane running is extremely important if we are to help make productivity gains in the UK economy. But increased efficiency is immaterial if road safety and lives are compromised.

We have several concerns. The gaps between refuges must be kept to a minimum, the red X signs must be close enough together so that it’s clear a lane is closed and there needs to be a significant public information campaign to ensure all users are aware of how to safely use Smart Motorways.

The lack of safe refuge areas for motorway users has been a major concern since the concept was first established – it is vital that there are sufficient areas so that break downs in live lanes are kept to an absolute minimum.

In the event of a driver falling ill at the wheel there can be nowhere for drivers to pull over. Continuing their journey until they reach the next emergency refuge may not always be an option – so all drivers need to know how to keep themselves and other users safe.

The RHA is also concerned that access by emergency vehicles to accidents, when traffic is using the former hard shoulder, can be severely hampered.