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Engineers and transport planners questioned on smart motorways

14 June 2021

The Transport Committee questions engineers, transport planners and other experts about the decisions which shaped the rollout of smart motorways, particularly all-lane running, and the progress that has been made since the Transport Committee last reported in 2016.  


Wednesday 16 June 2021, virtual meeting

At 9.30am

  • Sarah Simpson, Associate Group Director for Transport Planning, Royal HaskoningDHV 
  • Professor David Metz, Honorary Professor at University College London’s Centre for Transport Studies and former Chief Scientist at the Department for Transport
  • Mike Mackinnon, Traffic control technology consultant, former civil servant at the Department for Transport and former consultant at MMB Associates and Capita Symonds.

At 10.30am

  • Jonathan Spruce, Fellow, Institution for Civil Engineers
  • Rebecca Needham, Road Safety Officer, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
  • Kate Carpenter, Fellow, Chartered Institution of Highways Transportation

The Committee will scrutinise the strategic and economic case for smart motorways and whether they relieve congestion or induce traffic. MPs will explore whether the safety risks outweigh the benefits of these motorways and hear how smart motorways in England compare to those in other countries.

MPs will question witnesses about:

  • The decisions taken by the Department for Transport and Highways England in relation to the rollout and safety of smart motorways.
  • Whether smart motorways have delivered the economic benefits that were originally predicated.
  • Whether smart motorways relieve, or induce, congestion.
  • How the safety risks arising from the removal of the hard shoulder have been assessed and mitigated.
  • The extent to which the Government’s 18-point action plan will improve the safety of smart motorways.

Please note that Parliament has stopped all non-essential visitor access to both Houses due to the circumstances around coronavirus. The session will be available to watch online, and a transcript will be published on the website a few days afterwards.

Further information

Image: DfT Flickr