CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a bid by MPs to halt the roll out of so called “smart motorways”.

This week the Commons Transport Select Committee report said plans to remove the hard shoulder from all future smart motorways and use the lane for live traffic are “premature”.

Motorists can be left stranded in a live lane if they break down and the technology has been blamed for deaths and injuries.

The Lower Thames Crossing Action Group has previously raised concerns over the proposed use of smart technology on the £8.2billion project to link Essex with Kent.

The group this week welcomed news smart motorways could be banned.

The group said: “Thames Crossing Action Group submitted our official representation to the Transport Select Committee’s public inquiry into ‘smart’ motorways, as we have serious concerns over the ‘smart’ motorways technology aspect of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing and the dangers of ‘smart’ motorways in general.

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“Whilst we welcome reports that address concerns and dangers of ‘smart’ motorways, what we really need as a matter of urgency is action to back things up. How many more have to die before actions are taken?”

The group added: “Action need to be taken on existing ‘smart’ motorways now.

Plus no new road projects that use ‘smart’ technology should be allowed to progress until such time as there is proper evidence to show they are fit for purpose.

“Just the same way as the proposed Lower Thames Crossing should not be granted permission as it too is not fit for purpose on so many levels.

A freedom of information request submitted to Highways England by the Thames Crossing Action Group showed there are forecast to be 2,147 additional accidents over 60 years, including 26 fatalities, 220 serious injuries and 3,122 slight injuries due to the project.

Demonstrators carried 38 cardboard coffins to the Houses of Parliament on Monday in protest over the government’s motorway plan, which was first announced in March last year.

Each coffin represented one of the people officially listed as being killed on smart motorways between 2014 and 2019.