Highways England files show no hard shoulder on smart motorways causes chaos for emergency services

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So-called wise motorways set off details for emergency firms when the arduous shoulder is closed off, in response to Highways England paperwork. 

Info containing communication logs have revealed how staff from the company wanted to assist an ambulance in reaching a dying motorist after the arduous shoulder was reworked proper right into a fourth lane.

The paperwork, obtained beneath a Freedom of Information Act request by The Telegraph moreover displays how Highways England staff wanted to step in and ‘hand stop’ website guests to clear a path for the ambulance. 

The knowledge give consideration to an incident involving the deaths of Derek Jacobs, 83, and Charles Scripps, 78, who died due to a automotive accident on March 22, 2019, on the M1.

Newly-obtained documents show that so-called smart motorways, with no hard shoulder, have caused chaos for emergency services when trying to reach people in need (stock image)

Newly-obtained paperwork current that so-called wise motorways, with no arduous shoulder, have induced chaos for emergency firms when attempting to reach people in need (stock image)

Jacobs had been pressured to stop to revive his van after being unable to reach an emergency refuge spot and killed as he tried to work on the van.

He was pronounced lifeless on the scene by paramedics, an hour after the crash handed off. 

Three totally different people, along with Scripps, have been taken to Sheffield Northern Widespread Hospital.

Scripps, who had been a passenger in one in every of many vehicles involved throughout the incident, died seven weeks later. 

The incident, once more in 2019, was initially reported to Highways England spherical 1pm, nonetheless communication logs current the company didn’t shut a carriageway no matter requests to take motion to allow an air ambulance to land on the scene.

The files focus on an incident involving the deaths of Derek Jacobs, 83, and Charles Scripps, 78, who died as a result of a car accident on March 22, 2019, on the M1. Pictured: The air ambulance is seen attempting to land at the scene of the crash, in 2019

The knowledge give consideration to an incident involving the deaths of Derek Jacobs, 83, and Charles Scripps, 78, who died due to a automotive accident on March 22, 2019, on the M1. Pictured: The air ambulance is seen attempting to land on the scene of the crash, in 2019 

The air ambulance crew have been pressured to land on an adjoining space sooner than making their approach to the crash web site. 

The paperwork moreover confirmed that Highways England staff have been caught up in ‘trapped website guests’ and so found difficulties in navigating the 4 lanes. 

Highways England didn’t say if there had been a fault with their signalling system on the time of the incident nonetheless a spokesperson for the company provided sympathies to the friends and households of Jacobs and Scripps. 

They added: ‘We labored fastidiously with the emergency firms as part of a multi-agency response into the tragic and complex incident which handed off on March 22 2019.’

With police nonetheless investigating the incident, the spokesperson acknowledged it might be inappropriate to supply contact upon any extra particulars. 

Highways England did not say if there had been a fault with their signalling system at the time of the incident but a spokesperson for the company offered sympathies to the friends and families of Jacobs and Scripps (stock image)

Highways England didn’t say if there had been a fault with their signalling system on the time of the incident nonetheless a spokesperson for the company provided sympathies to the friends and households of Jacobs and Scripps (stock image)

Jacobs’ widow Sally, 83, has slammed Highways England for pushing on with their so-called wise motorways enterprise and claims her husband would nonetheless be alive if the arduous shoulder had been accessible to him.

She suggested the paper: ‘While you kill any individual by probability it’s manslaughter. Nevertheless they know what’s going on, so deaths on wise motorways must now be seen as murder. 

‘They won’t hear. I cannot convey my beloved Derek once more, nonetheless I can try and stop this occurring to totally different people.’

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service acknowledged that their staff are expert to deal with work beneath all forms of freeway conditions.

They added that they proceed to work alongside Highways England to verify their crews can use restricted entry routes on the M1 when responding to emergencies. 

There are currently more than 20 sections of 'smart motorways' on seven different motorways

There are in the mean time larger than 20 sections of ‘wise motorways’ on seven completely totally different motorways 

It comes solely weeks after an announcement that crash statistics on so-called wise motorways are to be analysed by the roads regulator amid safety concerns.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has commissioned the Office of Rail and Freeway (ORR) to carry out an unbiased overview of safety information no matter insisting the roads are safe.

He has moreover ordered his officers to proceed their work with Highways England – the Authorities-owned agency responsible for England’s motorways and primary A roads – on ‘creating potential future decisions’ for decreasing accidents on wise motorways.

The design of all lane working (ALR) wise motorways, which comprise the arduous shoulder being reworked proper right into a working lane, has led to safety concerns following lethal incidents involving stationary vehicles being hit from behind. 

In a written assertion to Parliament, Mr Shapps acknowledged: ‘Whereas the proof has instructed that ALR motorways are in most strategies as safe as, or safer than, commonplace ones, I’m determined to go extra and be sure that they’re probably the most safe roads in Britain.’ 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) has commissioned the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to carry out an independent review of safety data despite insisting that smart motorways are safe

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) has commissioned the Office of Rail and Freeway (ORR) to carry out an unbiased overview of safety information no matter insisting that wise motorways are safe

Good motorways have claimed not lower than 38 lives over 5 years: That is what you may need to know

What is an excellent motorway?

Good motorways comprise quite a lot of methods to deal with website guests transfer, most controversially using the arduous shoulder as a dwell working lane. 

Refuges the place drivers can stop are positioned every mile or so. Variable velocity limits are moreover used.

What variety of are there?

Motorways with sections the place the arduous shoulder has been eradicated embody the M1, M4, M5, M6, M25 and M62. The wise neighborhood stretches to spherical 500 miles in England, with an additional 300 miles deliberate by 2025.

What are the benefits?

Good motorways are designed to increase functionality with out the additional disruptive and pricey strategy of widening carriageways.

Nevertheless are they safe?

Points have been raised about incidents the place stopped vehicles are hit from behind. Highways England has insisted wise motorways are ‘not lower than as safe as, or safer than, the usual motorways they modified’. 

Nevertheless a survey of drivers by the RAC found 70 per cent felt eradicating the arduous shoulder on motorways compromised safety.

What variety of have died?

BBC Panorama in January last 12 months found that not lower than 38 people had died on stretches of wise motorways over the sooner 5 years.

What do officers say?

An ‘proof stocktake’ printed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last March mentioned that the hazard of a collision between shifting vehicles is lower on wise motorways than commonplace motorways. 

Nevertheless the probability of a crash involving a shifting vehicle and a stationary vehicle was found to be elevated when the arduous shoulder was eradicated. 

An 18-point movement plan included additional refuges for emergencies and sooner rollout of a radar-based system to determine stranded vehicles.

Are wise motorways utilized in several European nations?

The overwhelming majority of motorway-style roads in Europe have a eternal emergency lane.



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