Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Call to halt LTC over use of ‘smart’ technology

CAMPAIGNERS have called for the Lower Thames Crossing to be halted over its use of “smart technology”.

The Government put a pause on so-called smart motorways in January following a barrage of safety concerns.

The technology enables computerised control of motorway lanes, opening up hard shoulders to traffic at peak times but they have been blamed for accidents across the country.

Motorists can be left stranded in a live lane if they break down and the technology is said to be responsible for a number of deaths and injuries.

The Thames Crossing Action group has called on the Government to pause the £8.2billion project to link Kent with Essex which includes smart technology in its design.

The group said: “We have contacted various government representatives and bodies to call on them to pause the proposed ‘smart’ Lower Thames Crossing in line with the Government announcement that new ‘smart’ motorways have been paused.

“Whilst we welcome reports that address concerns and dangers of ‘smart’ motorways what we really need as a matter of urgency is action to back things up. How many more have to die before actions are taken?”

The group added: “Action need to be taken on existing ‘smart’ motorways now. Plus no new road projects that use ‘smart’ technology should be allowed to progress until such time as there is proper evidence to show they are fit for purpose.

“Just the same way as the proposed Lower Thames Crossing should not be granted permission as it too is not fit for purpose on so many levels.”

Mark Bottomley, Development Director, Lower Thames Crossing for National Highways, said: “Safety is our highest priority. The new crossing will be an all-purpose trunk road, similar to the A13 and other A-roads in Essex that are used by tens of thousands of people every day. It is being designed to the highest standards recommended today, but we will continue to adapt our plans to incorporate advances in safety design and technology that will come forward in the years ahead.

“While the crossing is designated as an A road we will of course be reviewing the Government’s announcement and considering any changes we may need to make.”


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