Smart motorway safety cameras took two years after first recommendation to be rolled out

Smart Motorways are ‘frightening’ says Mercy Muroki

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Mike Wilson, Chief Highways Engineer at Highways England said stopped vehicle detection (SVD) cameras were part of the firm’s “standard rollout” from May 2018. However, the Transport Select Committee first backed using the cameras in 2016.

Transport Committee chair Huw Merriman grilled members of the Department for Transport and Highways England on the life-saving tech at yesterday’s evidence session.

Mr Merriman said the Committee was given assurances the technology would be rolled out back in 2016.

He questioned who was responsible for the delay in the technology not being installed since in a heated clash.

Mr Merriman said: “Back in 2016 you told this committee we are confident it works and it will be part of standard rollout going forwards.

“That did not occur, why did it not occur.”

Mr Wilson said: “It did occur, from May 2018 it was a part of our standard specification.”

Mr Merriman added: “What you’re saying is following 9 May 2016 all lane running smart motorways were fitted with stopped vehicle detection technology.”

Mr Wilson replied: “No, that’s not what I’m saying… I said it would be part of standard rollout going forward and it was going forward as of May 2018.”

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Mr Merriman said: “Come on, that [answer is] just not good enough.

“When we say going forwards we don’t mean in two years time… sometimes it’s better to put the hands up and just say it turned out not to be the case.”

Acting Highways England Chief Executive Nick Harris admitted they had given the “wrong impression”.

He admitted Highways England could have been “clearer” on the timescale for SVD cameras.

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