Smart Motorways: 'Would you rather get somewhere 20 minutes late, or be killed?'

25 March 2021, 14:12 | Updated: 25 March 2021, 14:39

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"Would you rather get somewhere 20 minutes late, or be killed?"- Nick Ferrari questions the safety of smart motorways.

With the news a review has been launched into smart motorways amid "genuine worries" over the number of crashes and deaths associated with the scheme, LBC looks back at Nick Ferrari's views on the subject.

Read more: Smart motorways: Grant Shapps orders review after 'genuine worries' about death stats

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday announced the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will carry out an independent review of safety data for the controversial roads.

In a written statement to Parliament, he said: "While the evidence has suggested that ALR motorways are in most ways as safe as, or safer than, conventional ones, I am determined to go further and ensure that they are the safest roads in Britain."

In February Nick Ferrari questioned if there were not "mixed messages" with the Government "working flat out to make sure you don't die of Covid, but meanwhile is sanctioning turning hard shoulders into moving lanes of traffic where people are dying."

Read more: Pet Shop Boys feature in £5m campaign to increase smart motorway safety

Neil Greig the Director of Policy and Research at IAM Roadsmart, the UK's leading road safety charity spoke to LBC about the matter.

Mr Greig told LBC smart motorways have "not been delivered as promised, they're not as smart as they should have been."

When Nick asked the road safety campaigner if he supported "turning off" the smart motorways, Mr Greig said he was willing to "give them one more chance."

"How many more deaths will that cause?" Nick challenged.

To which the reply was "there are always deaths on motorways."

The ensuing debate led to LBC presenter Nick Ferrari asking the road safety campaigner a very direct question.

"Would you rather get somewhere 20 minutes late, or be killed?"

This led to what can only be described as a classic LBC confrontation when Nick took the campaigner to task over the issue of smart motorways and safety.

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