Effective communication with drivers and full engagement with stakeholders are vital to addressing safety concerns over all lane running (ALR), the Government has said.
In its response to the Transport Committee’s latest Report of Session, published on 7 December, the Government says it is mindful of the safety concerns raised by the Committee.
Despite acknowledging these concerns, the Government says there is growing evidence that ALR is providing much-needed additional capacity ‘quickly and efficiently’, while maintaining or improving safety.
When the Government published its previous response in September, the Transport Committee criticised it for ‘blatantly ignoring’ safety concerns about all-lane running schemes.
In a statement at the time, the Committee said it took ‘real issue’ with the Government’s assertion that all-lane running schemes on motorways are no different to other types of roads without hard shoulders.
The Government has promised a ‘step change’ in the way it and Highways England respond to the Transport Select Committee going forward.
Meanwhile, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has praised the Transport Committee for addressing its concerns about ‘Red X’ compliance and proper management of the signal systems on smart motorways.
In its response, the Government wrote: “The Government continues to work with Highways England to monitor and understand the levels of compliance with Red X signals and to take the necessary steps to tackle it through a combination of education and enforcement.
“The effectiveness of the programme of work to improve driver compliance, which includes activities across the compliance 4E’s – Education, Encouragement, Engineering and Enforcement – will be assessed to ensure it delivers improvements.
“Highways England is developing a monitoring capability to specifically identify performance trends associated with key compliance issues, such as Red X.”
Photo: Highways England via Flickr used under Creative Commons.