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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

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RAC reacts to Transport Committee's report into all lane running motorways

Reacting to a new report on smart motorway safety from the Transport Committee, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: 

“We welcome the committee’s report which once again raises many of the concerns about ‘all lane running’ motorways expressed by both drivers and the RAC. While the Government’s stock-take added some much-needed urgency to making these roads safer, it remains the case that permanently removing the hard shoulder continues to be deeply unpopular with many drivers, with our research clearly showing that drivers are opposed to the removal of the hard shoulder because of the increased risks they are exposed to if they have to stop in a live lane.

“By the committee calling for the roll-out of all lane running smart motorways schemes to be paused, the Government would have time to evaluate a more complete set of safety data. The committee’s call to retrofit existing smart motorways with more refuge areas would also make these stretches of road safer than they are today, something we’ve long called for. But whether these and other actions are enough to convince drivers of the merits of all lane running remains to be seen.

“We’re pleased to see the committee has taken a different view over the Government’s plans to scrap dynamic hard shoulder schemes. We continue to believe that these schemes could in fact be made the new standard as they still offer somewhere to stop away from live traffic in the event of a breakdown during quieter times, while still accommodating more traffic at busier times. They have also demonstrated very good levels of safety.

“We feel a huge question mark remains over whether it’s right that yet more money is spent on rolling out further all lane running smart motorways when there are clearly viable alternatives available. We’d like to see the Government take a second look at the benefits of dynamic hard shoulder schemes as a matter of urgency.”

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