Ministers halted the rollout of 120 miles of sensible motorway final evening as security fears in regards to the ‘loss of life lure’ roads continued to develop.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps additionally mentioned £390million can be spent on constructing 150 further emergency laybys so drivers whose autos have damaged down do not should cease in dwell visitors.

It’ll enhance the variety of laybys on sensible motorways by about 50 per cent and imply they’re not more than a mile aside.

At the moment they’re as much as 1.5 miles aside, which motoring teams warn is unsafe.

The event is a victory for the Day by day Mail, which has campaigned for higher security on the controversial roads.

It got here after a damning report by the Commons transport committee final 12 months referred to as on ministers to behave over lethal flaws.

Campaigner: Claire Mercer¿s husband died on a live lane

Campaigner: Claire Mercer’s husband died on a dwell lane

Mr Shapps mentioned he was adopting the report’s suggestions in full.

However regardless of halting the development of 120 miles of ‘all-lane-running’ (ALR) sensible motorway – through which the exhausting shoulder is changed with a lane in everlasting use, an additional 100 miles will go forward as a result of these stretches are greater than 50 per cent full and it was deemed safer to complete them.

The 120 miles can be paused till April 2024 so 5 years of security information could be collected from greater than 200 miles of schemes earlier than a choice is made on whether or not it’s secure to roll out new ALR roads.

The delayed schemes are made up of stretches totalling 60 miles on every carriageway.

Mr Shapps additionally agreed to think about letting the Workplace of Rail and Highway log off all new roads on well being and security grounds. The watchdog can even evaluation radar know-how meant to detect autos marooned in dwell lanes inside 20 seconds. Officers declare it is not efficient.

He can even re-evaluate dynamic exhausting shoulder and managed motorways. The previous have a tough shoulder used as a dwell line intermittently, whereas the latter retain a tough shoulder however use variable pace limits.

AA president Edmund King mentioned: ‘Ultimately we have now a Transport Secretary who has taken a optimistic and pragmatic method.’ However he added: ‘The AA view stays that managed motorways with a tough shoulder are the most secure choice.’

The delayed schemes are made up of stretches totalling 60 miles on each carriageway

The delayed schemes are made up of stretches totalling 60 miles on every carriageway

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads coverage, mentioned the choice was ‘an unqualified victory for drivers’.

Claire Mercer, who blames sensible motorways for her husband’s loss of life, hailed it as a optimistic transfer, however mentioned all motorways ought to have a tough shoulder.

Her husband Jason, 44, died in June 2019 when a lorry hit him on the M1 the place the exhausting shoulder had been became a dwell lane.

Mr Mercer and supply driver Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, had been concerned in a shunt, and had been struck and killed after they stopped to trade particulars.

Mrs Mercer, 45, mentioned: ‘The undercover report the Day by day Mail did was an enormous stepping stone within the marketing campaign and proved… these roads actually are as harmful as we mentioned they had been.’ Whereas immediately’s report doesn’t go so far as she would really like, she added: ‘Not less than it’ll save lives.’

Tory MP Karl McCartney, who sits on the transport committee, mentioned exhausting shoulders must be reinstated, including: ‘The report didn’t go far sufficient. Laborious shoulders are there for a purpose.’

Tory MP Karl McCartney, who sits on the transport committee, said hard shoulders should be reinstated, adding: 'The report did not go far enough. Hard shoulders are there for a reason'

Tory MP Karl McCartney, who sits on the transport committee, mentioned exhausting shoulders must be reinstated, including: ‘The report didn’t go far sufficient. Laborious shoulders are there for a purpose’

Fellow committee member Greg Smith mentioned: ‘I am deeply sceptical of the security of all-lane working and so-called sensible motorways. 

Roads have to be secure, and I simply do not see how all lane working presumably could be.’ 

 Former roads minister Sir Mike Penning mentioned: ‘The Authorities has not gone far sufficient. It appears illogical to pause the rollout of recent ALR sections on the idea that extra security information is required, however enable current sections to function. Both we’re completely satisfied that ALR is secure or we’re not.’

However Mr Shapps rejected reinstating exhausting shoulders, insisting it might result in extra deaths by pushing as much as 25 per cent of visitors on to harmful smaller roads. He identified that the transport committee had not referred to as for exhausting shoulders to be reinstated.

He advised the Mail: ‘There can be campaigners who say ‘No, no, no, simply return to reinstating the exhausting shoulder,’ however the committee did not suppose that was a good suggestion. Though folks suppose they’re secure, they don’t seem to be.

‘One in 12 fatalities happen on the exhausting shoulder.’

He acknowledged, nonetheless, the information was ‘incomplete’ on whether or not ALR motorways had been secure.

He mentioned: ‘We do not have sufficient, so we are going to pause for 5 years’ information as per the committee request after which be capable to reassess it.’ 

Shapps provides undercover report ‘large credit score’

By Transport Correspondent for the Day by day Mail 

The Day by day Mail’s investigation into sensible motorways was praised by Grant Shapps final evening after he agreed it had highlighted harmful flaws – and that it might save lives.

The Transport Secretary mentioned the Mail deserved ‘large credit score’ for sending an undercover reporter right into a CCTV management centre in South Mimms, Hertfordshire, answerable for sensible sections of the M25, M1 and M4.

He mentioned our findings ‘spurred us to maneuver sooner’ and announce yesterday’s security measures. Amongst our revelations final 12 months was that multiple in ten security cameras had been damaged, misted up or dealing with the mistaken manner.

CCTV: Smart motorway camera operator

CCTV: Good motorway digital camera operator

His personal subsequent probe discovered 14 per cent of cameras – which spot drivers stranded in dwell lanes of visitors – had been out of motion.

Mr Shapps mentioned: ‘I used to be very involved to learn the Mail investigation. What your reporter discovered about cameras, it is true. I do not suppose that is adequate. If we’re calling it sensible, it rattling effectively must be sensible. These cameras must be mounted instantly.

‘What your investigation confirmed was the security tradition must be in a very completely different place.

‘The Mail is due large credit score for backing up one thing that I feel lots of motorists, myself included, can be involved about.

‘The Mail has finished an ideal service to the general public and motorists.

‘Your actions… will undoubtedly save family members sooner or later.’

The Mail, Sep 27, 2021

The Mail, Sep 27, 2021