Friday, December 1, 2023
News for the Meon Valley

Prime Minister Appeared Clueless Over M27 Smart Motorway Safety Fears

By Times Reporter in News on January 20, 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to be clueless as to whether the M27 will be safe when it opens as a smart motorway, scheduled for later this year.

Last week the Government announced it was pausing the introduction of smart motorways except for those like the £244 million M27 scheme that are more than halfway into construction.

But it said those still going ahead would have extra safety measures before they open, but details of these have yet to be announced.

Critics of smart motorways, which have no hard shoulders, say they are dangerous and that the Government’s billion pounds scheme for them should be reversed.

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond asked the Prime Minister what reassurance he could giver her Meon Valley constituents that the M27 will be safe.

In an answer that took just 13 seconds, Boris Johnson said: “I can assure my hon. Friend that we are well aware of the risks associated with the smart motorway scheme. I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport is looking at it right now.”

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Drummond added: “It was important for me to raise smart motorways at PMQs. Initially, like many, I thought they could be a good response to congestion.

“The M42 Pilot in Birmingham was very successful but I believe it could well be the case that the safety of subsequent smart motorway projects, including the M27, might not be to the same standard with fewer refuges and camera surveillance to spot broken down vehicles.

“I welcome the halt in building more while a very close look is taken on how they work and how safe they are. I will be speaking to the transport secretary about the M27 to seek assurances it will be safe.”


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