Motorway hard shoulders should not be used as permanent lanes, argues Lincoln MP

Hard shoulders should not be used as permanent lanes on so-called smart motorways, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has argued.

McCartney, who sits on the Transport Select Committee, has warned the government not to proceed with ‘all-lane running’ until safety concerns are resolved.

A report from the committee in June concluded that the permanent loss of the hard shoulder was an unacceptable price to pay for improvements in traffic flow.

McCartney said: “Although several ‘all lane running’ motorway schemes are already in operation either as part of a managed motorway or with the hard shoulder used as a full-time running lane, it is concerning to me as a keen motorist and Transport Select Committee member – and also to our breakdown and emergency services, as well as the public at large – that the use of ‘all lane running’ looks set to expand.

“Yes, it is also a concern that the strategic road network is expected to increase by up to 60% by 2040, but the permanent loss of the hard shoulder in all lane running schemes, and the inherent safety risks in doing so, is an unacceptable price to pay for such improvements, particularly while major safety issues exist.

“I call on the government to go back to the drawing board and think again.”