If SMART motorways technology doesn’t work then accidents which could have been avoided will occur

27 September 2021

It has been reported today (27 September) that technology in National Highways Control rooms, the centres which monitor SMART motorways and other roads so that they can maintain safety, is unreliable. and regularly cuts out.

Prospect members working in the centres have confirmed that issues exist and may compromise safety, as well as putting extra pressure on staff.

General Secretary of Prospect Mike Clancy said:

“The problems uncovered in National Highways control rooms are hugely worrying. Prospect has been warning National Highways about the potential impact of unreliable technology for some time but nothing has been done about it.

“Prospect members are having intolerable strain put on them resulting in high levels of resignations which puts even more pressure on those who remain. These are underpaid, safety critical roles that rely on the technology. If the technology doesn’t work then accidents which could have been avoided will occur.

“As a matter of urgency the government should halt the roll out of new SMART motorways until the technology is fixed. It must also properly fund both control room staff and Traffic Officers to improve recruitment and retention. Motorists’ lives may depend on it.”


Prospect has members working in aviation, road, rail and maritime transportation, as well as regulation and research.

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From protecting our rivers to keeping us safe, Prospect members do vital work across a range of professions.