Majority Of Drivers Oppose Smart Motorways Says Poll

Tue 26th Jan 2021

A major poll by one of the UK’s most respected polling organisations has revealed that British drivers are not in favour of so-called all-lane-running motorways.

The YouGov survey showed that 57 per cent of the 1740 respondents were against the scheme, which is supposed to improve traffic flow. Only one in four motorists were in favour, with 18 per cent undecided.

The news comes in the same week that a verdict of unlawful killing was recorded following the deaths of two men on the M1 near Sheffield in the summer of 2019. Jason Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu were killed on a stretch of motorway that had been converted into a smart motorway. The coroner in charge of the case said that smart motorways represented ‘an ongoing risk of future deaths’ before telling the court that he would write to Highways England.

Speaking in response to the YouGov poll, a Highways England spokesperson said: “In March 2020 the Government published a smart motorway evidence stocktake report and found that in most ways smart motorways are as safe as, or safer than, conventional ones.

“Overall the risks for road users are less compared to conventional motorways and the stocktake report indicates that smart motorways have reduced the casualty rate by 18%. Drivers need to be aware that on average one in 12 (8%) motorway fatalities happen on the hard shoulder.”