Most drivers want hard shoulders reinstated on smart motorways

Most drivers want hard shoulders reinstated on smart motorways, a new survey suggests.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:55 am

Some 62% of respondents to an RAC poll said controversial all lane running (ALR) motorways – which use the emergency stopping lane for live traffic – should be scrapped, but they want the technology that manages traffic flows and detects breakdowns to be retained.

Concerns about smart motorways follow several fatal accidents involving stationary vehicles being hit from behind.

National Highways insists the roads are at least as safe as traditional motorways.

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Most drivers want hard shoulders reinstated on smart motorways

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Some 63% of motorists do not believe measures such as variable speed limits in response to incidents or ERAs adequately compensate for the removal of the hard shoulder.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Our research reveals the enormous strength of feeling among drivers of all ages about the safety of all lane running smart motorways.”

He added: “It seems the only thing that will truly satisfy most drivers is the reinstatement of the hard shoulder.

“The Government is therefore faced with a difficult choice between continuing to roll out unpopular all lane running motorways very much against drivers’ wishes or reinstating the hard shoulder, effectively creating three-lane controlled motorways which would have the benefit of improved safety features but with less overall capacity.”

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