Smart Motorways: Now Police Say Roads Are Dangerous

Sat 1st Feb 2020

Police chiefs from one of the UK’s largest policing organisations have spoken out on the continuing debate over the safety of smart motorways, saying they are ‘inherently dangerous’.

Following on from the much publicised Panorama documentary which aired last week, various parties have spoken out on the issues, particularly surrounding the relative safety of using the hard shoulder as a regular lane.

The BBC programme revealed the dangers, with 35 deaths on the smart motorways in the last five years. A report published in the aftermath has suggested that the implementation of the smart motorway network was ‘shocking’, ‘careless’ and ‘misleading’. 

Now, John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation has labelled the controversial road system as a ‘death trap’. Speaking to the Mail Online, Apter said: “They are a death trap. The country, police and we have been completely misled about the technology.

“A poorer system has been introduced and continues to be rolled out despite the clear dangers that they present. Smart motorways are inherently dangerous.”

Speaking on the Panorama programme, ‘Britain's Killer Motorway?’ the Transport Secretary urged an investigation into the safety of the smart motorways, while days after Sir Mike Penning, the Road Safety Minister at the time of implementation, and who led the recent report, said that Highways England had misled the public.

“What Highways England eventually rolled out bore no relation to the trial. I feel I was totally misled,” Penning said.