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Transport secretary halts the opening of new smart motorways

George Roberts

Transport secretary halts the  opening of new smart motorways

The transport secretary has said new smart motorways will not be opened until the outcome of a 'rapid evidence stocktake' after fresh safety concerns were raised this week.

Grant Shapps made the comments yesterday (Thursday) after a parliamentary group report, published on Tuesday, said the controversial road system had been introduced with a 'shocking degree of carelessness' and demanded its roll-out be halted.

The report from MPs was released a day after the BBC's panorama programme showed that, over the past five years, 38 people have died on smart motorways.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Shapps said: "The question is, are smart motorways less safe than the rest of the motorway network?

"For me, we must make them at least as safe, if not safer, otherwise they cannot continue.

"I have uncovered a range of issues that I am not content simply to brush over."

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