Bereaved families have accused the Government of “murder” over smart motorways as it is revealed that “danger lanes” have claimed 79 lives. Serious injuries and deaths involving stationary vehicles are twice as likely on roads which don’t use hard shoulders, with one crash survivor saying the roads were “weaponising lorries”.
Campaigning widow Claire Mercer said: “This is the Grenfell of the roads, we’ve already passed the number that died in that tragedy.” Some 72 people were killed in the 2017 tower blaze in north-west London.
The Mirror’s analysis of figures from National Highways suggests that between 2015 and 2016, 28% of injuries and 16% of fatalities were on smart sections – yet they form just 10% of the network.
Nineteen deaths were on “dynamic hard shoulder” motorways where the lane is put in and out of use depending on traffic flow. There have been 28 confirmed deaths on “all lane running” smart motorways where the hard shoulder is always in use.