Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy has welcomed plans by Highways England to review key areas of the ‘All lane running’ motorway scheme.
Jeremy recently wrote to the Transport Minister raising concerns about elements of the scheme, including the spacing of emergency refuge areas. On the original pilot of the M42, the spacing was every 0.5 miles. They are now at 1.2 miles apart. These refuge areas provide a safe opportunity to pull into at short notice.
All lane running schemes and smart motorway operations are in place to ease congestion and provide greater certainty of travel times on motorways in England. These smart motorways, in place since 2006, allow for use of the hard shoulder as a running lane. Variable speed limits control the flow of traffic.
In his response to the Stafford MP, the Minister said that Highways England is working closely with stakeholders, particularly those who provided representations to the 2016 Transport Select Committee inquiry to review key areas of the all lane running design. Highways England are currently considering a range of measures to increase road users confidence in using smart motorways. This includes the spacing, sizing, and signing of emergency reference areas, as well as introducing a new system to improve detection of stationary vehicles.
Commenting Jeremy said: “I welcome the commitment by Highways England to deliver changes identified by the emergency refuge area reviews in a timely manner including changing the design of new and retrofitting within existing schemes, where necessary.”