On the 26th of February 2021 the UK Government’s Transport Committee announced they are carrying out a ‘smart’ motorways public inquiry, which covers the role-out and safety of ‘smart’ motorways.
Whilst we have been told the proposed Lower Thames Crossing would technically be an all-purpose trunk road, Highways England have also stated that it will be designed to ‘smart’ motorway standards, with ‘smart’ technology. This is of course a great concern, which is why we felt we needed to submit evidence on behalf of the group.
The call for evidence closed on the 9th April 2021.
Thames Crossing Action Group submitted the following evidence submission to the Transport Committee in response to this inquiry.TCAG Evidence on Smart Motorways for the Transport Committee
You can scroll through using the arrows
If you are having any issues with viewing our response above it can also be downloaded as a pdf file here.
NB. The redacted (blocked out) boxes on page 2 of the document are simply Highways England logos from the safety cameras, but all evidence has to be submitted without any logos appearing, so we redacted them.
Remember, the Transport Committee decide which evidence is accepted and published, it is not like a consultation where all responses have to be accepted, so we now have to wait and see if they choose to accept and publish our evidence for this ‘smart’ motorways public inquiry. We look forward to watching how the inquiry progresses!
Update 21st April 2021
Delighted to see that our evidence in this public inquiry has been accepted and published – https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1066/the-rollout-and-safety-of-smart-motorways/publications/written-evidence/?page=3
We also noticed evidence from Smart Motorways Kill, Transport Action Network, and Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee are amongst the published documents.
We will of course be following this inquiry with a lot of interest.
What is the Transport Committee?
The Transport Committee is nominated by the House of Commons to scrutinise the Department for Transport. Its formal remit is to hold Ministers and Departments to account, and to investigate matters of public concern where there is a need for accountability to the public through Parliament. It is chaired by Huw Merriman MP. You can follow the Committee on Twitter @CommonsTrans
You can also find more about the committee’s membership etc at https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/153/transport-committee/
Smart Motorways Kill – campaign group
This campaign, led by the awesome Claire Mercer, and with everyone’s help, is bringing a judicial review to force a legal stop to smart motorways in the names of everyone killed and hurt on these death traps.
They are also bringing class actions and disability discrimination complaints and pushing very hard for South Yorkshire Police to investigate Highways England for corporate manslaughter.
Please show them some love and support, and donate towards their legal costs if you are able, and help spread the word by sharing. Their website is https://smartmotorwayskill.co.uk/ where you’ll also find links to their social media channels. Donations to legal costs can be made via their CrowdJustice page – https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/smart-motorway-jr/.
Inquiry Written evidence (being updated as evidence is accepted) – https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1066/the-rollout-and-safety-of-smart-motorways/publications/written-evidence/
Politics Home – The House article – https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/smart-motorways-safety-grant-shapps
The Telegraph – Exclusive: Son of smart motorway victim tells Grant Shapps to reinstate hard shoulders – www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/02/27/exclusive-son-smart-motorway-victimtells-grant-shapps-reinstate/
New Civil Engineer – Police figures contest smart motorway safety – https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/police-figures-contest-smart-motorway-safety-in-inquiry-evidence-16-04-2021/?tkn=1
Previous Transport Committee Public Inquiries TCAG have submitted evidence to
TCAG evidence for the major transport public inquiry – www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/major-transport-inquiry/