Plans to build new smart motorways are axed amid fears they are death traps for drivers

PLANS to build new smart motorways are being scrapped amid fears they are unsafe, Rishi Sunak has announced.

The move was hailed by campaigners who have urged No10 to ditch the roads over claims they are death traps.

The PM said it will restore driver “confidence” after a spate of deadly accidents.

Traffic passes along a section of the M4 which is currently being converted to a smart motorway


Traffic passes along a section of the M4 which is currently being converted to a smart motorwayCredit: Getty

Meera Naran, whose 8 year-old son Dev was killed on a smart motorway, hailed the move which she has fought for in “memory” of her boy.

Mr Sunak said: “All drivers deserve to have confidence in the roads they use to get around the country.

“That’s why last year I pledged to stop the building of all new smart motorways, and today I’m making good on that promise.  

“Many people across the country rely on driving to get to work, to take their children to school and go about their daily lives and I want them to be able to do so with full confidence that the roads they drive on are safe.”

Smart motorways are massively controversial because  traffic can use the hard shoulder as an ordinary lane.

Campaigners say the roads are death traps because if a driver does crash there is often nowhere for them to go.

But while no new smart motorways will be built, existing ones will carry on, although £900 million is being spent on improving their safety.

Ministers hope to make £1billion of savings to the overstretched roads budget by axing new smart motorways.

Mrs Naran has been campaigning for tougher tougher laws on smart motorways after her son Dev was killed on one in May 2018.

He was one of 11 people who died on smart motorways that year.

Hailing the news, she said: “I thank ministers and executives for inviting me to work alongside them in memory of Dev, towards a mutual goal and for their commitment over the years.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “At long last the Government has listened to the people and made the decision to scrap future ‘smart’ motorways. 

“This is a victory for road safety and common sense. We applaud this decisive action. The scandal of ‘smart’ motorways has gone on for too long and too many lives have been lost or put at risk.”


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