Reader's letter: Not not smart motorways
I have always wondered if the idea of smart motorways was thought up by the Department of Transport or Highways England and approved by a Secretary of State for Transport.
Given that government is required to consider the safety of all its citizens it was clearly a bad and ill-considered decision.
Even if the number of deaths (14 in 2019) appears low, we do not know if there were also a number of serious injuries that have also occurred because the hard shoulder had been used as a traffic lane.
It appears Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is committed to expanding the smart motorway network on behalf of the government.
Yet another waste of government (taxpayers’) money that is added to by the puerile television, radio and press adverts that exhort us to go left if we have a mechanical problem while driving on any motorway, but clearly filmed on a smart motorway.
I have travelled on one near Sheffield and did not like the experience with the so-called safety refuges being apparently far apart and with no evidence of any safety cameras or radar.
Whitehall states that these measures will be put in place but at what cost? Financial and the possibility of further deaths or serious life-threatening injuries.
An article I read suggested that £700m would be needed to improve safety on these so-called smart motorways.
The biggest problem with the Department of Transport is that it compartmentalises all the areas of transport without ever considering an integrated transport system for the regions outside of London.
They need to consider how road, rail, canals and other waterways and aviation can be best used to transport both goods and people, and particularly in the light of climate change, which is not planned now may cause even more problems for the future. — A. M. WADDINGTON, Sutton-on-Trent.