As reported today, Ministers have come under fire following the Government’s response to the Transport Select Committee’s report outlining its concerns over the use of all lane running.
In the response, Ministers said such schemes are “as safe as a standard motorway”. They also said “All Lane Running provides a simpler environment than part-time Hard Shoulder Running and avoids any potential uncertainty caused by the operation of a part-time hard shoulder leading to misuse.”
However Ministers did acknowledge that the public needs to learn about variable speed limits and said there would be further education campaign in 2017 while “Highways England will continue to monitor and report Red X non-compliance and develop further interventions to tackle it.”
In response, Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy at the Freight Transport Association, said: “While we have no argument with looking at the spacing and/or size of refuges, current evidence does not suggest that this type of motorway has a worse safety record than those which have the comfort of a hard shoulder.
“Rather than denying road users the much-needed benefits of more reliable journey times, FTA believes that the focus should be on educating drivers on how to use smart motorways safely, what the various signs mean and what they should do in the event of a breakdown.”
The FTA added that it’s in the final stages of developing a programme to train commercial drivers through a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) course on how to drive on smart motorways.