There are more than twice as many serious injuries and deaths on the UK’s smart motorways that don’t have hard shoulders as there are on normal roads.
The shock figures have been released in a new 115 page report published by National Highways and will add fuel to the fire among those concerned about the safety of the multi-million pound road systems that are replacing traditional motorways, including on stretches of the M1.
According to the Smart Motorway Stocktake – Second Year Progress Report published in May by National Highways, between 2016 and 2020 there were 0.06 serious injuries or deaths per billion miles travelled on controlled smart motorways relating to stopped vehicles incidents.
On normal motorways, the figure rose slightly to 0.09. But they were more than double – 0.19 – on all-lane running (ALR) smart motorways, ie those that contain no hard shoulder, for stopped vehicle incidents.
For more minor incidents, again, serious injuries or deaths were highest on ALR smart motorways – 0.2 for smart controlled motorways, 0.18 for non-smart motorways and a much higher 0.33 for ALR smart motorways without hard shoulder.
In its report, Highways said: “This continues to reflect the summary we included in the first year progress report, that the risk of a live lane collision between a moving and a stopped vehicle is greater on ALR and DHS motorways, but the risk of a collision involving only moving vehicles is lower.”