The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of all-lane running on the safety of motorway users.
All-lane running was introduced in 2014 and since then drivers have had to adjust to no hard shoulder and a need to follow strictly speed and lane instructions. Sections of the M1, M4, M5, M6, M42 and M62 now operate this scheme, either as part of a ‘smart motorway’* or with the hard shoulder used as a full-time running lane.
With the use of all-lane running set to expand, the Transport Committee would like to evaluate the evidence generated to date and gather information on the experiences of road users.
It is particularly interested in the impact of all-lane running on the safety of motorway users, their effectiveness in managing capacity and congestion on the Strategic Road Network and the impact they have on motorway maintenance.
The Transport Committee also wants to look at incident rates, the management of incidents, vehicle recovery, and the provision of refuge areas where all-lane running is used.
It hopes to discover how policy on all-lane running should evolve, whether application of the policy should be expanded, whether the policy is sustainable and the implications of the policy for future motorway widening schemes.
It says there is also a need to find out the extent to which road users understand and comply with signs where all-lane running is in operation, and the changes that are needed in driver education and behaviour.
The Transport Committee is inviting written submissions by 31 January 2016.
Smart motorways (formerly known as managed motorways) use a range of new technology to vary speed limits in response to driving conditions. They are divided into three different types: controlled motorway, all-lane running and hard shoulder running.
Photo: Highways England via Flickr