Karl says motorway hard shoulders should not be used as permanent lanes

The Member of Parliament for the City of Lincoln has echoed the warnings of the influential Transport Select Committee, on which he sits, to warn the Government not to proceed with 'all lane running' schemes while major safety concerns exist.

In 'all lane running', the latest version of smart motorways, the hard shoulder is used as a live lane of traffic. Previous schemes have only used the hard shoulder at peak times or to deal with congestion.

The Report, published by the Committee in June of this year, did not agree with Government that 'all lane running' represents an incremental change and a logical extension of previous schemes. It concluded that the permanent loss of the hard shoulder in such schemes was a radical change and an unacceptable price to pay for such improvements.

Karl McCartney JP MP, Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, said: “Although several 'all lane running' motorway schemes are already in operation either as part of a managed motorway or with the hard shoulder used as a full-time running lane, it is concerning to me as a keen motorist and Transport Select Committee Member - and also to our breakdown and emergency services, as well as the public at large - that the use of ‘all lane running’ looks set to expand.

“The Government must consider more carefully this matter and address our Committee’s concerns in relation to scarcity, size and misuse of emergency refuge areas, driver education and enforcement.

“Yes, it is also a concern that the strategic road network is expected to increase by up to 60% by 2040, but the permanent loss of the hard shoulder in all lane running schemes, and the inherent safety risks in doing so, is an unacceptable price to pay for such improvements, particularly while major safety issues exist.

“Concerns have been eloquently raised by various interested parties and Members of the Transport Select Committee such as myself when I confronted the Civil Servants and Transport Minister during their appearance in front of us to give evidence.

“I call on the Government to go back to the drawing board and think again.”

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For further information, please contact Karl McCartney JP MP at karl.mccartney.mp@parliament.uk / 020 7219 7221.