The announcement last week outlines why new smart motorways will be removed from Government road-building plans, in light of financial pressures and recognition of the lack of public confidence felt by drivers.

The Government and National Highways have pledged to continue to invest £900 million in safety improvements on existing smart motorways. This includes plans to install 150 extra emergency areas across the network, and to improve technology to detect stopped vehicles on existing smart motorways.

Ross Moorlock, Brake's Interim CEO, said: “On behalf of victims killed and seriously injured in road crashes on all types of roads, and to prevent future tragedies, Brake supports evidence-based policies and investment by Government, particularly investment in safe road infrastructure that protects people, as well as requirements for new vehicles to have the latest safety technologies.

"Our research, in 2020, told us that fewer than half of UK drivers understood the rules for driving on smart motorways. It is vital that any initiatives designed to improve the safety of our roads take into account the safety of all road users. The charity supports the Government’s £900 million investment in further safety improvements on existing smart motorways. With more than 75 deaths and serious injuries on UK roads, every day, we urge this Government to continue making road safety a priority.”