Twenty Cars A Day Stranded In ‘Live’ Motorway Lanes

Mon 4th Nov 2019

One week after the boss of Highways England admitted smart motorways were not working, new figures reveal the number of vehicles left in potentially life-threatening situations in ‘live’ lanes.

Figures revealed by Conservative MP Matthew Offord show that 20 motorists per day are being left stranded after breaking down and that many will have to stay in that location for up to half an hour as recovery crews attend.

After five people died on a 16-mile stretch of the M1 in ‘smart motorway’ conditions, the lack of hard shoulders and the use of ‘emergency refuges’ has come under increased scrutiny. Shocking stats reveal that in the last three years 62,517 cars have broken down on smart motorways where the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane.

MP Matthew Offord, said: “Apart from the safety factor, I have some reservations about whether these motorways actually help cut congestion in the first place.”

Now motoring organisations are calling on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to look at the growing evidence against the motorway conditions.

Speaking in The Sun AA president Edmund King said: “Having to wait in purgatory on the road to hell, hoping you will be spotted and then rescued, is every driver’s worst nightmare.

The Transport Secretary has a great opportunity to stop this becoming an election issue by agreeing to increase the number of emergency refuge areas, which at least gives drivers the chance to get out of a live lane.

“Too many avoidable deaths, including five on a 16-mile section of the M1 in ten months, have already discredited the current smart motorway design.”