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Kent MP Tracey Crouch demands M20 Smart Motorway shouldn't open until safety measures implemented

An MP is trying to put a stop to motorway upgrades.

Tracey Crouch, who represents Aylesford and Chatham, is demanding the Smart Motorway on the M20 shouldn't be opened until safety measures to spot broken down vehicles are in place.

Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford
Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford

She wrote a letter to the transport secretary Grant Shapps asking for the road to remain at a reduced speed until stationary vehicle detection systems are installed.

She said: "I know that this means cones and slow speeds for a bit longer but it also means potential tragedies are avoided.

"If we are going to have this 'stupid' motorway it needs to be as safe as possible right from the off."

The MP has been battling to find out what safety measures will be in place to spot stranded vehicles since October.

She spoke of the death of constituent Sam Cockerill's partner, Steven Godbold, in the House of Commons last week urging the government to reassess the road scheme.

The MP wants stationary vehicle detection systems to be installed
The MP wants stationary vehicle detection systems to be installed

The 52-year-old recovery worker was struck by a lorry on the M25 as he stood on the hard shoulder on a call out.

A six-mile stretch of the M20, between junction 3 for the M26 and junction 5 for Aylesford and Maidstone, which runs through the MP's constituency, has been subject to roadworks for more than two years while it is converted into a Smart Motorway.

Her demands come after a damning report on the schemes said lives could have been saved if safety measures had been put in place during their construction.

The report by MPs comes after 38 deaths on the routes in five years and is scathing about the failure of Highways England and the Department for Transport to act amid growing concerns about safety.

All future Smart Motorway schemes were put on hold in October after the Department for Transport announced a full scale review of their safety will take place.

A spokesman for the government department said the evaluation will begin in "due course."

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