Extra refuge areas to be fitted to all-lane running smart motorways | Industry - Car News Nov 2021

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19:44 Friday 19 Nov 2021

Eighty miles of smart motorways currently being constructed will have extra emergency areas, with more being considered.

National Highways (formerly Highways England), which manages England’s motorways, is “actively looking” at where to build extra emergency areas on all-lane running smart motorways under construction and considering retrofitting them to existing ones.

 Safety campaigners and MPs have voiced concerns about all-lane running smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is converted into a permanent ‘live lane’, following a number of fatalities.

A recent report by the House of Commons Transport Select Committee called for their construction to be stopped until more data is available.

National Highways is still going ahead with work it has underway but says it has “listened to drivers’ concerns about being able to find a safe place to stop in an emergency”.

David Bray, Smart Motorways Programme Director at National Highways, said: “We are actively looking at where we can build additional emergency areas on motorways currently under construction.”

He added that National Highways is “continuing to consider whether additional emergency areas could be retrofitted on existing sections of all-lane running motorway where places to stop in an emergency are more than one mile apart”.

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