Skip to main content

Motorways: Accidents

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the annual number of (a) crashes and (b) fatalities on the motorway network (i) with and (ii) without hard shoulder running. (194941)

The analysis carried out to support the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study published by the Department for Transport on 4 March considered that safety rates were the same for motorways with and without hard shoulder running. Thus, the analysis assumed that there would be a slightly larger increase in accidents with hard shoulder running compared with doing nothing, as a result of an expected small increase in traffic flows.

The criterion adopted for the M42 pilot was that there should be no overall deterioration in safety after the introduction of hard shoulder running.

The initial six month analysis suggests that this goal may have been achieved and possibly bettered. However, a longer run of data is needed for firm conclusions to be drawn.

Maintaining road user safety is and will remain a top priority and a safety case would be produced for each future hard shoulder running scheme, covering any additional hazards or risks. This analysis might require different methods of operation, implementation and equipment provision to ensure achievement of the required safety levels.