From: Jon Noton, Harrogate.
NO doubt many readers will be aware of the recent revelations in The Yorkshire Post, and other newspapers, about the dangers of so-called ‘smart’ motorways.
These are the ones where the safe hard shoulder has been asphalted over to create an extra lane.
There’s virtually no provision for anyone unfortunate enough to have broken down to escape the traffic racing along behind them.
If you have travelled along the motorways immediately south or west of Leeds in the last few years, you will have experienced them.
Despite warnings from police chiefs, motoring organisations and a parliamentary committee that advised a suspension of further development, the Government blindly pressed ahead with its roll-out of these perillous roads.
Now it has emerged that 38 people have died on ‘smart’ motorways in the last five years – all almost certainly avoidable had the hard shoulder been available.
Five of these fatalities were on the M1 near Sheffield. Among the numerous ministers and secretaries in the Transport Department during the period that these tragedies occurred was Harrogate MP Andrew Jones.
I have written several times to Mr Jones. At first he sent me polite justifications for ‘smart’ motorways but as the deaths have increased he has remained quiet. Perhaps now that he is no longer associated with the road position, he feels that it is not his responsibility.
I would disagree. He should always be held to account for his actions and could help to restore some of his reputation by pressing the current Minister for Transport to do everything to reverse the ‘smart’ motorway policy, and restore our motorways to the previous safer system.
From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.
I DON’T even own a smartphone so I have no personal axe to grind over the proposed crackdown on their use while driving (Jayne Dowle, The Yorkshire Post, February 6).
However, my car contains a radio, CD player and cigarette lighter, all of which can be operated quite legally while driving.
With the latter there is the added risk of a lighted cigarette falling into one’s lap.
Smokers have accepted the ban on smoking in public places with good grace so I would venture that a ban on smoking while driving might not be a step too far.