Three Out Of Four Drivers Fear The Hard Shoulder

Tue 22nd Feb 2022

A growing number of drivers won’t drive on the hard shoulder of a smart motorway according to a new survey from Kwik Fit.

The analysis from the tyre-fitter of 2,000 adult drivers found that even when signs show that the lane is open for traffic, 73 per cent refuse to use the lane. The same survey in 2019 saw 56 per cent answer the same, showing a significant increase.

Smart motorways have received plenty of negative publicity in the past two years, with a number of high-profile fatalities leading to a fall in public confidence in the controversial road systems. The government has paused the introduction of smart motorways for the next five years while it investigates the safety issues, with 31 per cent of those surveyed admitting that they were worried about colliding with a stationary vehicle on the hard shoulder.

In response to the pause on smart motorway development, one in five (22 per cent) of drivers were in agreement that investigating the safety concerns were sensible, but 36 per cent said that smart motorways should be banned altogether.

“Smart motorways have been a huge topic of debate and it is absolutely correct for the government to pause their development to both gather data and ensure that the UK’s motorways are as safe as possible,” said Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit.

“It is clear that many drivers are yet to be convinced about the safety of smart motorways and therefore there must be clear transparency about all the data being gathered and the evidence on which future decisions are based.”