|Do you think smart motorways should be shelved? Cost and safety concerns could mean the controversial roadways will never be built again.
The i newspaper believes that future routes have been completely abandoned following a pause on construction announced in January last year.
Smart motorway rollout comes to a grinding halt
Sources told the newspaper that rather than halting production, entire projects may never be completed.
One contractor said: “We’re no longer expecting any new smart motorways. Financial pressure on the Government, alongside the unpopularity of the scheme, makes it seem untenable going forward”.
The government’s final decision on whether they should be scrapped completely has yet to be made.
A Government spokesperson said during the scheme’s pause: “Safety on our roads remains an absolute priority and we want all drivers to feel safe and confident while driving.”
“We have paused the rollout of smart motorways that are yet to begin construction and we will update on next steps in due course.”
“During the pause, we have committed £900m for safety improvements across the network, including building more emergency areas.”
Controversy around smart motorways
Since 2006, smart motorways have been introduced across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
One of the main controversies around smart motorways is the removal of the hard shoulder, which allows drivers to pull over in emergencies.
Instead of the hard shoulder, the system relies on technology to detect broken-down vehicles.
But this means drivers are unable to pull over if necessary, posing a massive safety risk.
Following a series of related accidents, many Brits have lost faith in the scheme, blaming it for fatalities that otherwise could have been avoided.
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