03:44 15 February 2020
The country’s smart motorways are currently under government review due to safety concerns. In the last five years, there have been 38 deaths on smart motorways and experts believe that the accidents were avoidable. Issues are said to arise when motorists break down in the converted hard shoulders and find themselves trapped in lanes of fast-moving traffic.
Philip Gomm, of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: "On safety grounds this pause is unarguable.
"No-one underestimates the complexity of these schemes but it does underline the need to get the design right first time."
Smart motorways that are already in operation are M6 and M62. The former stretches 19 miles of between junction 16, near Crewe and junction 19 near Knutsford. Both M6 and M62, a five-mile stretch between junction 18 at junction 20 at Rochdale, have converted hard shoulder.
M60, the £208million 17-mile motorway between junction 8 at Sale and junction 18 at Simister Island, also has converted hard shoulders as well as CCTV and electric signals installed.