Concerns over M4 ?smart motorway? proposal
Safety concerns have been raised following a proposal to turn parts of the M4 into a ?smart motorway?.
32 miles of the M4, between London and Theale, could have four lanes with the hard shoulder being made available to motorists to drive in.
However, some motorists and the RAC have expressed their concerns over safety, saying that it could put motorists in a vulnerable position if they have a breakdown.
In response to these concerns, The Highways Agency has claimed there would be refuges for broken down vehicles.
Senior project manager, Andrew Hitch, said that converting the hard shoulder into a functioning lane would reduce the number of motorists stopping on the hard shoulder for non-emergencies.
It’s also been proposed that ‘smart motorways’ will have a range of technology, such as electronic signs to show varying speed limits depending on driving conditions.
A frequent user of the M4, Steve Bowles said: “I want to deliver cargo safely. I don’t want to deliver it in a dangerous way on a dangerous motorway.
Simon Williams, from the RAC, claimed the lack of hard shoulder on the M4 would put lives at risk.
He said: “The chances of being able to get to a refuge area are reduced because of the spacing between them, which is up to 2.5km.”
‘Smart motorways’ have already been put in place on the M25 and M1.