Smart Motorways. Revenue & profits before lives.
Smart Motorways F.O.I revealed @ until January 2020:-
38 lives lost, & motorway near misses up 20 fold.
With conversion of part of the M25 to “all-lane running” now believed to be yielding a 2000% increase in hazardous “near misses”
Smart Motorways were the brain child of Government think tanks and individuals who believed that upgrading motorways in this way, was a means of enhancing traffic flow, being good for the environment, while not having the burden of widening the carriageways.
The “intelligence” of this scheme beggars belief.
The hard shoulder, traditionally a place for safe refuge for the occupants of a broken down vehicle, is now set to become an additional, open lane for speeds up to 70 mph.
By removing this continuous place of safety, even before the scheme has been completed, Smart Motorways have proven to make our motorways far more dangerous than at any time since their introduction to the U.K in the 1950’s.
A F.O.I request showed that at January 2020, 38 people had died as a result of using Smart Motorways / hard-shoulder, since their concept.
Reported “Near misses” are said to have increased by 20 fold.
And the U.K Government insists they are a safe environment to drive in.
Smart Motorways. The Government spin
The spin put on promoting this deadly form of driving was that the benefits would be more reliable journey times and lower vehicle emissions.
The first variant of a Smart Motorway was created during 2006, on the M42 in the West Midlands, with the speed limit being raised by 10mph.
In 2007, the idea was extended to include two sections of the M6 near Birmingham, by 2011. This was at a cost of £150 million. This extension was carried out on the authority of the then Transport Minister Ruth Kelly.
Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary resigned from the Cabinet the following year, and did not stand in the following (2010) General election. But still these death roads are being built.
In early 2010, a further £2 billion contract was placed to extend the scheme to the M1, M4, M5, M6, M60 and M62.
In order to prevent further widening of the existing motorways, which was one of the big money saving appeals of this scheme, the majority of Smart Motorway development now involves the widening of our motorways, in some way or another.
All for the benefit of possibly gaining more reliable journey times and lower vehicle emissions.
Objections to Smart Motorways
Among others, U.K police, The Crime & Police Commissioner (South Yorkshire 2021), The Royal Automobile Club (RAC), & The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, have all expressed their concerns of Smart Motorway safety.
But our U.K Government refuses to listen. More lives will be lost for the same reasons in 2021.
Rather than accept that the Government have got it completely wrong on the safety side of things, in 2017 they chose to implement a safety trial on a area on the M3 motorway. This consisted of advertising / displaying some new road signs suggesting where any safety emergency area could be found by motorists.
The trial was later extended to include the M5 and M25. The signs have now been authorised to be used officially. Meanwhile, people continued to die on these deadly roads.
Apart from the above mentioned official bodies which have voiced their concerns over the UK Smart Motorways, various campaigns have been created to highlight the dangers of driving and breaking down when using Smart Motorways.
“Smart Motorways Kill” was launched in 2019, & disability groups have tried to voice their concerns about their safety when in a broken down vehicle.
In 2020 a report into a review into Smart Motorways concluded that some safety improvements should be made, but as the 2021 Highway Code is due to be published with a range of new rules, many concerning when driving on, and when breaking down on a Smart Motorway. This Government has no intention of reverting to the most safest means of breaking down on any motorway. Smart Motorways are here to stay. Look at the contracts being offered by the Tory’s to their pals in the civil engineering sector, despite the very credible concerns being raised into the safety issues by very respectable and knowledgable bodies.
This is another reason to Change UK Politics, and start a NEW political Party that listens and exercises common sense. A New Political Party that isn’t driven by greed and personal benefits above Public interests or safety.
New Laws & fines
With the confusion of do you / don’t you drive on the old hard shoulders, comes a raft of new legislation to enforce new £100 fines that go with this whole money spinning package.
From 10th June 2021, UK law will change to allow Police Camera teams sat in offices to issue fines for these new offences caught by cameras sited along the Smart motorways. £100 fines and 3 points per offence. Each camera is expected to create over £500,000 revenue in fines.
However, there are no plans to install cameras for the purpose of assisting any broken down vehicle or it’s occupants.
A new Political Party is needed to stop this slaughter of motorists and their passengers, because a Labour Government conceived this madness, and the Tory Governments have raised the money v. deaths immorality stakes to an even higher level.
This Motorway madness needs to be stopped immediately.