Smart motorways posing 'significant risks'

Smart motorways posing 'significant risks'

Smart motorways that allow motorists to drive on the hard shoulder during peak times are causing serious problems for road users, the police are warning.

According to senior traffic officers, all-lane running stops emergency services getting to the site of an accident, while also preventing police from pulling over drivers.

The scheme, which has so far seen around 212 miles of motorways have hard shoulders converted, involves installing lay-bys for motorists to use in emergencies.

But reports suggest that HGV drivers from overseas unaware of the changes have ended up taking their breaks in these lay-bys.

The Metropolitan Police says the decision to drop the hard shoulder has resulted in "significant risks" for motorists.

Around 480 miles of motorways are now set to lose their hard shoulder as part of the smart motorways scheme, while a transport select committee has also been launched to examine the move further.

Highways England says that it will continue to work with emergency services as the scheme is rolled out to ensure safety levels are maintained.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.