9 out of 10 drivers hate using smart motorways

A whopping 93% of motorists say they don’t enjoy driving on smart motorways – and 1 in 10 will actually take a longer route to avoid them.

The results of a survey by ATS showed that the chief concern of smart motorway users is having nowhere to pull over in the event of a breakdown or accident.

Younger motorists did show slightly greater acceptance of smart motorways, but it was still slim pickings, with only 14% of those aged under 35 saying they enjoy them.

Of those aged 65 and over, only 3% said they liked smart motorways.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the UK’s least-liked motorway, the M25, has extensive stretches of smart motorway – but so too does the M1, which the survey found is the UK’s favourite motorway.

ATS carried out the survey in the light of findings that showed key technology on smart motorways to keep drivers safe has not been working as it should.

The BBC’s Panorama found that sensors that detect vehicles stopped in live lanes have frequently been losing power, sometimes remaining out of action for days at a time.

“With news that smart motorway tech leaves drivers at risk, our new data reveals an almost universal dislike for smart motorway technology,” said ATS Euromaster technical support engineer Simon Wayne.

“It’s perhaps not surprising that the M25, a smart motorway, was ranked the worst motorway in the UK to drive on.

“The results also point to a direct correlation between people disliking driving on smart motorway sand having had an accident or broken down on a motorway before.”

With National Highways defending smart motorways and saying that reinstating hard shoulders could both reduce capacity and actually put more drivers and passengers at risk of death and serious injury, it seems motorists’ dislike of them is only set to continue.  

Ask HJ

What's a good small car for motorway driving?

What would be a reliable car for motorway driving 4 times a week but a small car?
The latest Toyota Yaris Hybrid could be a good choice - it's a small car that's very reliable and comfortable, even on the motorway. You could also look at the excellent Volkswagen Polo.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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