Written evidence submitted by David Land (RSM0029)
I am writing to express my deep concern about the above situation.
As an ordinary citizen it’s difficult to get a voice heard even when issues are overwhelmingly serious. I ask and beg you to stop the rollout of these so called ‘Smart’ Motorways as soon as possible to end a totally needless loss of life.
They are proven and blatantly dangerous, how many more people have to die unnecessarily before Highways England will admit that they are wrong?
There is nowhere for a vehicle to go when it becomes disabled, vehicles do not breakdown to suit the convenience of road planners who trot out banal statements like ‘ go left, look for an Emergency Refuge’, absolutely useless and silly advice when a vehicle is in Lane 2 or 3 at 60+mph and becomes disabled.
These roads, in my opinion and that of many others, are extremely dangerous and the worrying thing is that the people who operate Highways England appear to have no logical understanding of the issue. Their response to criticism and comment is ludicrous- “in most ways Smart motorways are as safe or safer than other motorways “. The bit at the front says it all- “in most ways” therefore not all!
A ten year old child would easily recognise the stupidity of having no hard shoulder for emergencies, these people are supposed to be professional traffic Engineers. What they really are is a group of people who put money before lives and steadfastly refuse to accept that they’ve got it wrong so as not to lose face.
Personally I am extremely worried when I am compelled to use Smart motorways, I feel unsafe and insecure. I am an experienced motorist having driven many thousands of accident free miles but these roads terrify me like no others.
I was involved in a near miss due to the all lanes running situation recently on the M1 in north Derbyshire when a broken down vehicle in lane 1 caused all vehicles approaching to take rapid and somewhat chaotic avoiding actions.
I ask that you consider my views seriously, they are not made lightly. Also please consider the fact that eminent bodies have similar views, the A.A., the police in South Yorkshire, two Police and Crime Commissioners and at least two Coroners, all questioning the safety of these roads.
Please take heed of the concerns and deaths caused by Smart motorways and use your powers and influence to scrap them as soon as possible.