doc-spreadsheet doc-text doc-image doc-video doc-slideshow doc-pdf

Concerns about smart motorway technology

dusk road

The technology behind England’s smart motorway network stops working on a regular basis, the BBC says it has discovered. Figures used by a Panorama programme, reported by BBC News, show hundreds of incidents when crucial safety equipment was out of action.

Obtained via a Freedom of Information request, the figures show that between June 2022 and February 2024 there were 397 incidents when smart motorways lost power, impacting the technology used.

These outages sometimes lasted days:

  • For five days in July 2023 there were no signs, signals, camera or radar at junction 18 on the M6 In September 2023, there were no signs, signals or CCTV for five days at junction 22 of the M62
  • In December 2023, there were no signs, signals, sensors or CCTV for three and a half days at junction 6 on the M5

According to the BBC, the worst problems were in the latest period covered by the FOI figures. In the six months leading up to February 2024, there were 174 power outages – almost one a day.

Skip to content