UK government cancels ‘smart motorway’ plans
All new ‘smart motorways’ have been canceled in the UK due to cost and safety concerns. This was announced by the Ministry of Transport, explaining that the new projects would cost more than one billion pounds (1.12 billion euros) and canceling them would allow public confidence in this type of projects to be monitored first. The government has imposed 14 projects already planned, of which 11 are on hold and three are already under construction. Smart highways are stretches of road where traffic flow is managed solely by high-tech tools in an effort to ease congestion on the road. In some cases, they have come under criticism because the Automated Traffic Department provides emergency diversion of flows, a fact that has caused casualties.
Existing smart motorways, which make up 10 per cent of England’s motorway network, will remain operational and undergo a previously announced safety revamp to create an additional 150 emergency stations and improve running technology. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – who pledged to ban smart motorways during his campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party – said that “all motorists deserve confidence in the roads they use to get around the country”.
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