Department for Transport
Government to pause rollout of all lane running motorways
Following the recent Transport Committee report, government will pause the rollout of smart motorway schemes until 5 years' worth of safety data is available (12 January 2021).
Since becoming Transport Secretary, I have worked consistently to raise the bar on motorway safety and I am determined to make sure people using our motorways continue to benefit from one of the safest and best-performing road networks in the world.
To this end, one of my first actions as Transport Secretary was to order a stocktake of smart motorways. I also welcome the Transport Committee’s report published on 2 November 2021, following their inquiry into the rollout and safety of smart motorways.
The Stocktake and Action Plan, which I published in March 2020, focused efforts on further upgrading the safety of smart motorways. I am pleased that these efforts have been recognised by the committee, which agreed that the government was right to focus on upgrading the safety of all lane running (ALR) smart motorways, rather than reinstating the hard shoulder – which the committee recognised could cause more deaths or serious injuries on our roads.
Having carefully considered the committee’s report, I will be taking forward all of its recommendations. This includes the recommendation to pause the rollout of future ALR smart motorway schemes until a full 5 years’ worth of safety data is available.
During the pause, we will continue to make sure all existing ALR smart motorways are equipped with best-in-class technology and resources and are as safe as they can possibly be.
I will also follow the recommendations to:
- pause the conversion of dynamic hard shoulder smart motorways to ALR until the next Road Investment Strategy
- retrofit more emergency areas across existing ALR schemes
- conduct an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of stopped vehicle detection technology
- explore the introduction of the emergency corridor manoeuvre to the Highway Code
- investigate the benefits of health and safety assessments being undertaken by the Office of Rail and Road.
Taken together, and building on my initial stocktake, these measures will ensure that our roads continue to be among the safest in the world – helping drivers not just to be safe, but crucially, to feel safe and confident when driving.
I am grateful for the Transport Committee’s scrutiny and to all those who provided evidence for their work. I will be instructing National Highways to take immediate steps to implement the actions as set out in the response and will update the committee on progress over the coming year.
Smart motorway rollout to be paused as government responds to Transport Committee report news story, 12 January 2022.
Latest News from
Department for Transport
Government commits funding to build back better and greener in our skies21/01/2022 13:10:00
Further funding announced to redesign the UK’s airspace to create quicker journeys and cut emissions.
Dartford-Thurrock Crossing annual accounts 2020 to 202120/01/2022 16:10:00
Publication of the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing charging scheme accounts for 2020 to 2021.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games transport plan18/01/2022 11:20:00
The transport plan to support the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been approved (17 January 2022).
Smart motorway rollout to be paused as government responds to Transport Committee report12/01/2022 11:20:00
Government pausing the rollout of new all lane running smart motorway schemes until 5 years of safety data is available.
Government teams with charity Scope on Disabled Persons Passenger Charter10/01/2022 13:10:00
New charter to boost consumer confidence and provide an online one-stop shop on passenger rights and complaints procedures for disabled people.
Civil Aviation Authority 2021 progress report06/01/2022 14:25:00
Announces publication of the annual progress report on the airspace modernisation strategy.
Pre-departure testing removed for vaccinated travellers06/01/2022 13:12:00
Testing and border measures are changing for fully eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in England.
Transport for London funding extension December 202106/01/2022 10:20:00
The current Transport for London funding settlement has been extended to 4 February 2022.