15 December 2022
Following today’s report from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR*) which states that Stationary Vehicle Detection (SVD) “shows that SVD performance is falling short of the performance requirements the company set itself”, Edmund King, AA president, said: “The ORR has confirmed that the radar system is not working effectively, which is a major concern for drivers.
“The radar system should be identifying 80% of stopped vehicles in a live lane and operators checking the alarms within 20 seconds. Neither of these targets have been met and it is simply unacceptable”
“For ‘smart’ motorways to be truly smart and safe then the technology behind them must be fully effective. If there are doubts about the technology, then the motorways are not smart and we should revert to tried and tested methods.
“The radar system should be identifying 80% of stopped vehicles in a live lane and operators checking the alarms within 20 seconds. Neither of these targets have been met and it is simply unacceptable.
“As a result, vulnerable drivers have been left stranded in the most dangerous of places – the live lane of a motorway.
“National Highways needs to urgently rectify the situation, but until such time we call on the Transport Secretary to run a pilot scheme which re-instates the inside lane as a hard-shoulder with a Red ‘X’ and runs a national lane discipline campaign – aimed at the ‘middle lane hogs’ - in conjunction with the police, to get better use out of the capacity of the motorway and to make the network safer.
“At the same time, there needs to be a rapid retrofit of emergency laybys, so no one is too far away from a place of safety.”
* Safety on the Strategic Road Network is improving, but National Highways must deliver better performance from its Smart Motorways technology | Office of Rail and Road (orr.gov.uk)