The Secretary of State for Transport has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement about the future of smart motorways:-

The Government has announced that all plans for new smart motorways have been cancelled.

This will mean that the 11 schemes already paused from the second Road Investment Strategy (2020-25) and the three earmarked for construction during the third Road Investment Strategy (2025-30) will be removed from the Government’s road building plans in recognition of the current lack of public confidence felt by drivers and cost pressures.

While no new stretches will be converted, work on the M56 J6-8 and M6 J21a-26 will go ahead as planned given they are already over three quarters constructed.

The Government and National Highways will continue to invest £900 million in further safety improvements on existing smart motorways. This includes installing stopped vehicle detection technology on every all lane running smart motorway which has now been completed, adding an additional 150 emergency areas across the network by 2025, and investing in giving motorists clear advice when using existing smart motorways.

The Government will also continue to deliver against its other commitments as set out in its response to the Transport Select Committee in January 2022.

This Government will continue to ensure that our roads remain among the safest in the world – helping drivers not just to be safe, but crucially, to feel safe and confident when driving.

The following schemes have been cancelled.

RIS2 (2020-2025) paused schemes

New all lane running smart motorways:

M3 J9–14

M40/M42 interchange

M62 J20–25

M25 J10–16

Dynamic hard shoulder to all lane running conversions:

M1 Junction 10 – 13

M4 – M5 interchange (M4 Junction 19 – 20 and M5 Junction 15 – 17)

M6 Junction 4 – 5

M6 Junction 5 – 8

M6 Junction 8 – 10a

M42 Junction 3a – 7

M62 Junction 25 – 30

RIS3 (2025-30) pipeline schemes

M1 North Leicestershire

M1 junctions 35A – 39 Sheffield to Wakefield

M6 junctions 19 – 21A Knutsford to Croft

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