Daily Mail

Axe smart m-ways, say 6 in 10 drivers

- By David Churchill Transport Correspond­ent

SIXTY per cent of drivers want smart motorways to be scrapped and for the hard shoulder to be reinstated permanentl­y, a survey has revealed.

By contrast, keeping the controvers­ial highways open – with extra safety measures – is supported by less than a quarter of drivers (24 per cent), the RAC poll found.

Smart motorways, which involve the hard shoulder being converted into a fourth lane, have faced controvers­y because motorists can break down in live traffic. Emergency refuges are installed up to 1.5 miles apart, which campaigner­s say is too far.

In total, 84 per cent of all drivers felt safety was compromise­d when the hard shoulder was removed. More than six in ten of the 2,652 motorists polled (63 per cent) do not believe further safety measures being rolled out by National highways, England are sufficient. The extra measures include more refuges, more signage and radar technology to detect broken-down cars in live lanes.

Just 30 per cent of motorists say they trust officials’ abilities to detect a stationary vehicle in a running lane and react accordingl­y. Nicholas Lyes, the RAC’s head of roads policy, said: ‘It seems the only thing that will truly satisfy most drivers is the reinstatem­ent of the hard shoulder.’

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