Brakes need to be put on the rollout of smart motorways due to safety worries after a series of deadly crashes, MPs have said in a critical report.
MPs have said that the “risks” of removing hard shoulders were not fully taken on board in a report by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee (TSC).
And it didn’t consider there to be enough safety and economic data to justify continuing with the project.
It described the government’s decision in March 2020 that all future smart motorways would be all-lane-running versions – where the hard shoulder is used as a permanent live traffic lane – as “premature”.
Concerns have been raised following fatal incidents involving broken-down vehicles being hit from behind.
Demonstrators protesting against smart motorways marched with coffins to the Houses of Parliament on Monday.
The TSC urged ministers to “consider alternative options for enhancing capacity” on motorways.
The committee’s report said: “The Government and National Highways should pause the rollout of new all-lane running schemes until five years of safety and economic data is available for every all-lane running scheme introduced before 2020 and the implementation of the safety improvements in the Government’s action plan has been independently evaluated.”