The Chair of the UK’s Commons all-party group investigating motorway safety, Sir Mike Penning, has said that smart motorways are puttingthe lives of recovery workers “at risk”.
Sir Mike, a former Roads Minister, told talkRADIO that certain measures he was told would happen when he worked on the implementation of the schemes has not happened, such as emergency refuge areas being 500 metres apartm but in some of our motorways it is over a mile. He also commented that the red cross lane closures are “just not being enforced”.
The MP is supporting the Professional Recovery Operators Federation which is campaigning for safer conditions for recovery workers, and who debated smart motorway safety with SMART Highways editor Paul Hutton on BBC Radio Two in December.
Mr Penning told talkRADIO’s Jamie East, “We are losing about eight recovery workers a year and even more seriously injured.
“If we had eight police officers killed there would be uproar, and yet these people are rescuing us when we are vulnerable on our motorways and their lives are at risk.”
Mr Penning added that there were “cameras galore” on motorways so lane closures should be able to be enforced.