A shortage of smart motorway workers has raised further concerns over the safety of the controversial roads.
National Highways is struggling to recruit employees who spot breakdowns and close lanes to prevent collisions, it was reported.
It comes less than two weeks after the Daily Mail exposed a technical glitch put millions of motorists at risk – when systems monitoring 280 miles of road stopped working for seven hours.
All-lane running smart motorways are designed to reduce traffic by allowing motorists to drive in the hard-shoulder.
Control room operators, aided by CCTV cameras and a radar system, monitor the roads and close lanes when there is a breakdown or collision.
However, dozens of drivers have been killed on the roads, including some who have been left marooned in busy lanes of fast-moving traffic.
Internal emails seen by the Sunday Telegraph show a National Highways manager discussing the government agency’s ‘low staffing levels’.
They also show on-road traffic officers – who are usually tasked with aiding stranded motorists -were asked to make calls usually handled by control room staff, to ease pressures.