Highways England reps give evidence to MPs on motorways

Prospect gives evidence to transport select committee on all lane running

MPs on Parliament's transport select committee invited Prospect reps to give oral evidence on the plans to introduce more sections of all lane running on motorways

Parliament’s transport select committee published a consultation document in early 2016 seeking views on the success and safety of Highways England’s introduction of sections of all lane running on motorways.

The use of ALR, also known as ‘Smart Motorways’, allows the hard shoulder to be used as a ‘live’ lane for traffic – either on a permanent basis or at times of peak traffic levels.

As Prospect represents members working as Traffic Officers on the motorway network, the union submitted written evidence to this consultation.

Dave Allen, Prospect negotiator, said: “While we recognise Highways England’s desire to improve traffic management on the country’s motorways, and the public frustration at hold-ups, we are also committed to providing a safe environment for the public to travel in and for our members to work in.”

Although Prospect is not opposed in principle to ALR motorways, it is concerned about the safety of our officers and the public in such circumstances.

In particular, we raised:

  • the lack of public knowledge of the ALR system, and the new signage that goes with it
  • the number and places of refuges for broken down cars and
  • the efficiency of the technology being introduced.

Prospect’s representatives were questioned closely at the select committee hearing. MPs were particularly interested in the impact of ALR on Traffic Officers’ safety and working conditions.

The committee will take further oral evidence from Highways England and others before publishing its final report and recommendations later in the year.