Last Monday’s (7 Nov) edition of The One Show included data which suggests that ‘more than 1,000 motorists a week are being caught speeding on the UK’s smart motorways’. (BBC News)
The BBC’s One Show asked 12 police forces in England that monitor major stretches of smart motorway – including parts of the M1, M25, M4, M42 and M6 – for information relating to the number of speeding tickets and fines collected in the periods 2014-15 and 2010-11.
BBC News says the majority of forces responded, with half supplying directly comparable data, which shows 52,516 tickets issued on these stretches in 2014-15, compared to 2,023 in 2010-11.
Managed by Highways England, smart motorways use a range of 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.
BBC News says there are more than 236 miles of smart motorways in England, with a further 200 miles currently either planned or under construction.
Earlier this year, Highways England said that smart motorways on the M25 are easing congestion and reducing journey times, with no adverse effect on safety.
However, in September the Transport Committee criticised the Government for ‘blatantly ignoring’ safety concerns about all-lane running schemes.
A spokesman for the DfT told BBC News: "Smart motorways smooth traffic flow and cut congestion for millions of motorists, with evidence from trials showing they are just as safe as regular motorways.
"Enforcement is a matter for the police and it is clear that speeding costs lives. However, we have been clear for a number of years that speed cameras should not be used to generate revenue."