Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced a review of smart motorways in the wake of a tough session of questions with Highways England’s top brass and the Transport Select Committee.
On Wednesday Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan conceded to MPs that a lack of stopped vehicle detection had cost lives and that dynamic hard shoulders were too complicated and had confused drivers.
He said there would no new dynamic hard shoulder schemes and that the M42 scheme would “be revisited”.
Just a day later, Mr Shapps accepted that the House of Commons had “concerns” over smart motorways.
He said, “I have asked my department to carry out at pace an evidence stock take to gather the facts quickly and make recommendations”.
Mr Shapps said that the statistics on smart motorways were hard to understand.
“Understanding whether they are less safe, the same or safer turns out not to be as straightforward as members might imagine. I want all of those facts and I want recommendations to be put in place to ensure all of our motorways are as safe as they can possibly be. I will get this done in a matter of weeks.”