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Smart motorways’ horrors exposed: Undercover probe finds one in 10 vital safety cameras not working


Smart motorways are plagued with surprising technical failures that put lives in danger, it may be revealed at the moment.

A Daily Mail reporter spent six weeks below cowl at a management room and found alarming issues with the lethal roads the place the exhausting shoulder is transformed to a stay lane. More than one in ten safety cameras have been both damaged, misted up or dealing with the mistaken manner.

In one terrifying incident a employee mentioned: ‘We’ve obtained no indicators, you’re all going to die. Whichever God you consider in, begin praying now.’

Almost half the cameras on one of the busiest stretches of the M25 have been failing on September 17, the day of our audit. Control room workers have been unable to test experiences of broken-down automobiles, which means motorists confronted being stranded in high-speed visitors. The Department for Transport final night time ordered an inquiry into our staggering revelations, which is able to pile strain on ministers to reinstate the exhausting shoulder.

Earlier this yr this newspaper revealed that 53 individuals had died on good motorways in the 4 years to 2019.

Eighteen of the fatalities have been blamed at the least partly on the best way the roads function.

A picture of the National Highways East Regional Operations Centre based in South Mimms. Screens at the front of the control room are used to monitor the network and big incidents. Two of the CCTV cameras being streamed to the whole control room are faulty

An image of the National Highways East Regional Operations Centre based mostly in South Mimms. Screens on the entrance of the management room are used to observe the community and large incidents. Two of the CCTV cameras being streamed to the entire management room are defective

The view from a National Highways CCTV camera on a section of the M6 where there is no hard shoulder. The camera is facing the ground rather than the road

The view from a National Highways CCTV digicam on a piece of the M6 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder. The digicam is dealing with the bottom moderately than the street

The view of a faulty National Highways CCTV camera on a section of the M62 where there is no hard shoulder

The view of a defective National Highways CCTV digicam on a piece of the M62 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder

Our newest investigation discovered that:

  • One in 4 cameras on junction 34 of the M1 close to Sheffield, the place there was a spate of fatalities, have been damaged or dealing with the mistaken manner on September 17;
  • One in 4 cameras have been damaged or obscured on the good motorway part of the M3 in Surrey the identical day;
  • The software program used to shut lanes went down a number of instances in the six weeks the reporter labored at one of six regional management rooms;
  • Bosses admitted in inside emails that there have been CCTV ‘blackspots’ on the M25;
  • In one management room workers reported a mean of virtually two CCTV and technological failures day-after-day for 2020;
  • Faulty and outdated {hardware} together with CCTV containers from 2004, are in use, making it exhausting for operators to find stranded automobiles;
  • Workers mentioned good motorways have been a ‘scam’ and warned there have been not sufficient emergency bays or sign gantries;
  • A methods failure throughout our reporter’s first shift noticed workers unable to implement vital lane closures or change obligatory pace limits till greater than half-hour had handed;
  • Another, scuffling with outdated expertise, mentioned: ‘We’ve obtained a number of defective c***.’

The revelations come simply as National Highways – the successor to Highways England – is in the method of rolling out an extra 300 miles of good motorway by 2025.

MPs and grieving households praised the Mail for the in-depth exposé into the killer roads and referred to as for instant motion.

Niaz Shazad, son of Nargis Begum who died after being hit by a lorry on the M1, mentioned: ‘With people including my own mother being killed on these roads, there needs to be accountability.’

Sally Jacobs, whose husband was killed on a piece of the M1 with no exhausting shoulder: ‘It’s now not manslaughter it’s homicide. They know they’re killing their residents. What are they ready for? A coachload of kids to be killed or one thing horrific like that?’

Mike Penning, who as roads minister authorised the growth of the programme in 2010 after a trial on the M42 close to Birmingham, referred to as on the Government to behave.

Sir Mike mentioned: ‘The Mail has found real evidence that the current system isn’t working and it’s simply too harmful.’ When he gave the go-head to the growth of the scheme, there have been protected stopping factors for motorists each 600 metres – however now some refuges are 2.5 miles aside.

Jim McMahon, Labour’s transport spokesman, referred to as for an pressing unbiased inquiry into the safety of the roads. He added: ‘What the Mail has uncovered will strike a lot of people with fear. National Highways has failed in its duty to keep people safe by putting lives at risk needlessly.

‘The fact they are aware of this and they continue to roll out smart motorways, they continue to refuse to reinstate the hard shoulder, is I’m afraid unforgivable.

‘The main thing for me is just how easy this is to put right pending a review – press a button and put the red X on the hard shoulder. It’s that simple and it may be carried out at the moment.’

Sir Edmund King, AA president, mentioned: ‘These findings will worry the public and confirm many of the fears the AA has raised over several years regarding the safety of smart motorways.

‘There should be an immediate inquiry to get to the root cause of these issues.’

From its regional operation centres, National Highways is tasked with retaining motorists protected by setting lane closures and pace limits, deploying visitors officers to accidents and fielding emergency calls from the general public. 

The Mail reporter was working below cowl on the South Mimms ROC in Hertfordshire, answerable for sections of good motorways on the M25, M1 and M4. They have been informed operators may not cease visitors based mostly solely on the testimony of broken-down drivers. Staff are forbidden from closing a lane with crimson X indicators above the gantries till the incident is confirmed by one of 4 ‘trusted sources’ – highways workers, law enforcement officials, contractors or CCTV cameras.

The view from a National Highways CCTV camera on a section of the M1 where there is no hard shoulder. The camera is facing the sky rather than the road

The view from a National Highways CCTV digicam on a piece of the M1 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder. The digicam is dealing with the sky moderately than the street

The view from a National Highways CCTV camera on a section of the M6 where there is no hard shoulder. The camera is facing trees rather than the road

The view from a National Highways CCTV digicam on a piece of the M6 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder. The digicam is dealing with bushes moderately than the street

Previous experiences revealed it took management room operators a mean of 17 minutes to identify a stranded automobile on a sensible motorway. In the management room, CCTV footage is streamed on massive screens to assist spot and monitor incidents.

But due to defective or misplaced expertise the screens typically confirmed clouds, the bottom or the message ‘no input available’. Many of the cameras dealing with in the mistaken route may be manoeuvred by operators to search out accidents. But the street is not being recorded, which means doubtlessly essential proof that may help a police investigation shall be missed.

A deadly crash on August 23 between J26 and J27 of the M25 – which left 4 individuals useless – was not caught by any CCTV. One operator mentioned: ‘It’s annoying whenever you get an incident and the one digicam that will effectively have caught it and there’s no image as a result of it’s dealing with the sky or the bottom or the fields.’

During the undercover reporter’s first shift, one operator may not discover a damaged down automobile on the M25 as a result of the essential digicam was caught dealing with a discipline.

An operator mentioned the safety methods had beforehand gone down for a complete eight-hour shift, with workers compelled to maintain paper data of incidents.

Faulty and outdated {hardware} was discovered throughout the management room – together with in the centre’s silver command workplace the place senior workers are based mostly if there’s a main incident. The management room is kitted out with CCTV management containers from 2004.

The view of a National Highways CCTV camera covered in condensation on a section of the M62 where there is no hard shoulder

The view of a National Highways CCTV digicam lined in condensation on a piece of the M62 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder

The view of a faulty National Highways CCTV camera on a section of the M25 where there is no hard shoulder

The view of a defective National Highways CCTV digicam on a piece of the M25 the place there isn’t a exhausting shoulder

Many do not work or are sluggish, which means it takes workers longer to identify stranded automobiles. Smart motorways price round £5million to £15million per mile in contrast with £79million a mile to construct an entire new lane.

An common of 26 drivers a day break down on good motorways, in accordance with authorities figures.

Deaths on roads with the exhausting shoulder eliminated have been 8 per cent increased than on typical motorways in 2019, in accordance with Department for Transport figures.

A ministry spokesman mentioned final night time: ‘Road safety is always our top priority. We take these claims very seriously and will ensure National Highways conducts a thorough investigation.’

Chief govt Nick Harris mentioned: ‘We recognise concerns continue to be raised about smart motorways. These upgrades work as a system, with technology, infrastructure and people working together, and data shows fatalities are less likely than on conventional motorways. If there is a problem with any one part of the system, other parts are activated to help keep traffic moving safely.

‘Our traffic officers work around the clock, every day of the year to help drivers and deal with incidents. We are, however, investigating these allegations as a matter of urgency.’

National Highways mentioned it did not recognise the figures from the audit produced by the Mail.

It mentioned CCTV cameras have overlapping fields of imaginative and prescient so if one digicam is defective, one other can be utilized to view the scene.

Have you or your family members been impacted by killer good motorways? We wish to hear from you

How Whitehall’s drive to save lots of money had lethal outcomes 

By Miles Dilworth 

Since the flip of the century, the cash-strapped Department for Transport has been trying to find cost-effective methods to ease rising congestion.

In its eyes, the conversion of the exhausting shoulder right into a stay lane to offer further street capability at minimal price is the panacea for jammed motorways.

And, following a profitable pilot on the M42 in 2006, ministers may argue these ‘smart’ motorways can be protected, too.

Pointing to trial knowledge that confirmed a drop in the accident fee from 5.2 a month to 1.5, then Labour transport secretary Ruth Kelly claimed ‘the safety fears that some people have haven’t materialised in any respect’.

The trial had been aided in half by sensors that triggered indicators asking drivers to decelerate in visitors, however, crucially, there have been additionally emergency refuge areas each 500 metres. These allowed motorists to park safely in the event that they broke down.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted in February that ¿mistakes were made¿ over smart motorways

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted in February that ‘mistakes were made’ over good motorways

So £150million was spent to create ‘dynamic hard shoulders’ on the M6, which may very well be opened and closed to ease congestion.

A assessment would additionally contemplate increasing the scheme to the M1, M25, M4 and M20 in future. But it didn’t take lengthy for it to change into clear that the opening and shutting of the exhausting shoulder was wreaking havoc.

At least 4 coroners have raised questions over safety following deadly collisions, with one even asking prosecutors to contemplate company manslaughter fees towards Highways England.

It has additionally been revealed that each South Yorkshire and Derbyshire Police warned street chiefs in 2013 that their plans to completely scrap the exhausting shoulder on elements of the M1 would trigger deaths. Nine motorists have been killed for the reason that schemes went forward, together with Jason Mercer in June 2019. His widow is in search of a judicial assessment of the good motorway community.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted in February that ‘mistakes were made’ over good motorways. But his division nonetheless plans to increase the community to 800 miles by 2025, up from slightly below 500.

The 68 miles of dynamic exhausting shoulder shall be phased out and transformed into all-lane operating. The spacing between refuge areas shall be diminished and the rollout of car detection expertise shall be accelerated.

The Government says deadly collisions are a 3rd increased on typical motorways by visitors quantity and factors to safety enhancements gained by introducing sensors and cameras – in the phrases of transport minister Baroness Vere ‘eyes in the sky’.

But campaigners say this expertise is patchy at greatest and does not justify the choice to axe so many emergency lanes.

‘Pray to no matter God you consider in’: The surprising phrases of a sensible m-way operator to the Mail’s SUSIE COEN when she went undercover on the management centre

By Susie Coen, Assistant Investigations Editor for The Daily Mail

Amid the groaning sound of the alarm warning of a broken-down automotive, the operator asks: ‘Is every little thing crashing? My cameras are gone.’

This is not the time for a complete system malfunction.

An HGV has struck a bridge on the M1, there’s a lorry on hearth on the A14 and vital indicators are wanted on good motorway sections of the M25 and M4.

‘We’ve obtained no indicators, you are all going to die… whichever god you consider in, begin praying now,’ says the jester of the room, a younger man who has tied up his shoulder-length auburn hair.

This does not really feel like a laughing matter.

The head of expertise strolls by way of in a polo shirt and denims, telling us he is attempting to reset the system between bites of his apple.

I’m lower than two hours into my first shift as a visitors operator at National Highways’ largest management centre and I’m shocked as I watch the antiquated computer systems grind to a halt for greater than half-hour.

I stick with 50mph on the M25 on my manner house.

A control room operator in the National Highways East Regional Operational Control Room as the system used to set lane closures and speed limits went down for more than 30 minutes

A management room operator in the National Highways East Regional Operational Control Room because the system used to set lane closures and pace limits went down for greater than half-hour

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By the top of my six weeks working on the coronary heart of a deadly roads system that politicians proceed to insist is ‘as protected or safer than typical roads’, nothing surprises me.

Critics together with former roads minister Sir Mike Penning say National Highways has fallen brief on ‘all their guarantees’ to maintain motorists protected.

From what I’ve seen from contained in the Regional Operations Centre (ROC), tucked behind a Welcome Break off Junction 23 of the M25, I could not agree extra.

‘Everything’s breaking,’ my supervisor says on one of my last shifts as she anxiously runs her lengthy fingernails by way of her blonde hair.

The whole communications system has gone down, leaving eight operators attempting to make use of 4 desk telephones to talk to visitors and police patrols, in addition to fielding calls from emergency SOS telephones.

Then the CCTV system breaks, which means workers cannot monitor the roads or reply to alerts from the costly radar system which detects stopped automobiles.

An experienced operator working at the East Regional Control Centre in South Mimms told an undercover reporter there are serious shortfalls in the technology used by the firm including dodgy

An skilled operator working on the East Regional Control Centre in South Mimms informed an undercover reporter there are critical shortfalls in the expertise utilized by the agency together with dodgy

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‘It occurs on a regular basis,’ she tells me and my fellow new starter once we end our ‘studying module’ on behave in the workplace. ‘Every single time I’m in the chair one thing like that occurs,’ she says, earlier than dashing off to make extra panicked calls to her superiors.

It has been greater than 4 months since I utilized for the £22,364-a-year function monitoring the most important roads in the East of England.

After two digital interviews, a medical examination and handing over my id paperwork, I’ve been given a job in the organisation’s hub answerable for good motorway sections on the M25, M1 and M4.

From the management room, painted two shades of blue as a result of they ‘ran out of paint’, operators carrying headsets every have 4 pc screens operating completely different applications.

Each shift they’re given one of 4 roles – setting indicators and indicators, name dealing with, deploying visitors officers on the radio channels, or organising the restore of any street harm.

At the entrance of the room is a wall of screens streaming CCTV cameras alongside the community. While some screens present a crisp image, others are dealing with clouds or transmitting a inexperienced display stating: ‘No video enter’.

Staff in the Control Centre tell of their safety concerns to the Daily Mail reporter

Staff in the Control Centre inform of their safety issues to the Daily Mail reporter 

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A colleague tries to discover a breakdown on the M25 between Junction 18 to 19, however the CCTV digicam he wants is damaged and dealing with a wheat discipline. ‘If you are going to crash on a discipline you may in all probability be alright, we’ll discover you,’ he jokes. ‘But if you are going to crash on the motorway we in all probability will not…’

After an preliminary few days on the management room flooring, I’m given two-and-a-half weeks of classroom coaching, the place I be taught to take calls from SOS telephones, set lane closures and pace limits and converse to on-road officers through radio (‘Sierra Echo one two, that is Hotel Alpha, over’).

On my final day of the intensive coaching programme, after passing my exams, we’re taught about good motorways. Crowded round a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop computer display in a clammy workplace, we’re informed their cost-saving advantages – it prices £79million-per-mile to widen the motorway, in comparison with £5million to £15million to put in the equal good motorway.

Dressed in my uniform, a navy polo shirt and fight trousers boasting the now redundant Highways England brand, I return to the management room for 30 ‘teaching’ shifts, the place I’ve an skilled operator listening in to my calls.

Diligent workers, from the previous police officer in his forties to the 19-year-old lady who left college with no {qualifications}, attempt their hardest to maintain individuals protected, solely to be let down by crumbling expertise.

‘There’s a lot hassle happening in the intervening time, with the general public fairly rightly questioning whether or not they’re [smart motorways] protected or not’, one operator, a former mechanic who has labored in the management centre for greater than a decade, tells me.

‘It’s protected if there’s expertise and if the expertise works, but when it is not bloody working…’

Pointing to a automotive that has been sitting on a sensible motorway part of the M25 for greater than half-hour, he provides: ‘He’s in a stay lane. That ought to’ve flashed up on right here to tell us that he is there. But he may very well be sat there for hours and we would not even find out about it, and if we do not know we’ve not set indicators.

‘So now he is in a stay lane with visitors bombing up behind him. That’s when a truck comes alongside and hits him and we go, ‘Oh effectively, we did not know he was there.’ I’m going to provide her the speak,’ one other operator tells his colleague after he notices me flicking by way of each CCTV digicam on the M25 whereas my ‘coach’ is in a gathering. ‘Common sense has no place right here,’ he says.

Smart motorways are a ‘recognized rip-off’, he provides. ‘Everyone thinks they’re getting numerous expertise, numerous indicators, numerous cameras, however what they obtained was just like the All Lane Running [where there is no hard shoulder] we have right here.

‘It’s not lit at night time, you do not have the indicators to inform individuals to maneuver over as a result of a few of them are a mile and 1 / 4 aside.’ One lady tells me the system -– together with the radios used to contact on-road visitors officers – as soon as went down for a complete day.Another workforce supervisor takes me into the Silver Command workplace to point out us use the digicam community, however not one of the management containers, which have been made in 2004, work.

‘This is Silver, how do none of them work?’ she says, annoyed as she punches completely different buttons. ‘What’s Silver?’ I ask.

‘If we have now one thing critical occur, individuals have to return in right here and sit in right here, it ought to actually be the desks the place they need to all be working accurately.’

Asked if that occurs typically, she says: ‘Yeah, sadly. We get a number of defective c***.’

Undercover footage obtained in the National Highways control centre in South Mimms shows staff speaking of their safety concerns

Undercover footage obtained in the National Highways management centre in South Mimms reveals workers talking of their safety issues 

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The cameras get ‘condensed on the within and you may’t see a lot’, one operator tells me.

‘Sometimes they only will not transfer or it will not focus so you possibly can see one thing actually close-up, however when you zoom out it is identical to shapes.’

When I return to the short-staffed management room, the workforce supervisor asks if anybody needs to remain on and assist the night time workforce.

Unsurprisingly, no one volunteers.

I’ll be beginning as a ‘name handler’ – fielding calls from broken-down drivers calling on roadside SOS telephones, amongst others.

Now I’ve my collar quantity –2335 – in concept I can log into ControlWorks, the system used to log and take care of incidents.

But initially of each shift, it takes hours and lots of protracted cellphone calls to the IT division for me and my fellow new starter to get into the system.

My first caller is a mild-mannered man whose Land Rover Defender has damaged down. He asks me to name his restoration firm, as apparently they fobbed him off.

I give him the recommendation I’ve repeated so many instances it is imprinted in my mind: ‘If it’s protected to take action, please stand behind the barrier at the least 1.2 metres away.’

I name his breakdown firm, cellphone him again with their ETA and schedule it for an hour. Phew.

On my shift a few days later, a person calls from the M25. There is a little bit of a language barrier however I collect he is blown a tyre and might’t keep in mind who his breakdown cowl is with.

He needs to vary his tyre – we do not advise doing this on the facet of a motorway – however he is scared due to the visitors.

We deploy a visitors officer to assist him and discover him on CCTV. I’m frightened about him, however ultimately I see assist arrive.

At 8pm the calls from contractors begin piling in. It’s our job to set the indicators and indicators to shut lanes – and typically whole carriageways – whereas they perform jobs.

For this, I flip to my Control Office Base System (COBS) display, which seems like an advanced model of Pac Man.

I’ve to search out the street on the map, scroll to the right junctions and set the indicators as requested. I then name the contractor again to let him know they’re protected to begin.

And the following week, I end what proves to be my last shift below the cruel strip lighting in South Mimms, Hertfordshire.

My fledgling profession with National Highways is over – however what an eye-opener the six weeks have been.

Tragic toll of Rollout: The failings we discovered… and the lives misplaced

By Susie Coen, Assistant Investigations Editor for The Daily Mail 

Highways workers often report faults in the cameras meant to maintain good motorways protected, in accordance with a Mail investigation at the moment.

At one management room involved operators flagged failures 218 instances in a yr, together with 29 in simply one month.

The damaged gadgets left them unable to test a report of a stranded automotive on the M25 – leaving the automobile stranded for vital minutes earlier than motion may very well be taken.

Two months later an undercover reporter working in a National Highways management centre witnessed the complete CCTV system crash a number of instances.

During one outage, the workforce supervisor informed the reporter: ‘Everything is breaking. It happens all the time, every single time I’m in the chair one thing like that occurs.’

On a busy stretch of the M25 where three people have died eight out of 19 cameras were broken, obscured by condensation or facing the wrong way

On a busy stretch of the M25 the place three individuals have died eight out of 19 cameras have been damaged, obscured by condensation or dealing with the mistaken manner

Fully-functioning CCTV systems are vital because staff are unable to close lanes

Fully-functioning CCTV methods are vital as a result of workers are unable to shut lanes

The Mail's audit of 804 CCTV cameras

The Mail’s audit of 804 CCTV cameras

Fully-functioning CCTV methods are vital as a result of workers are unable to shut lanes or scale back pace limits till an accident is confirmed by a digicam or patrol automotive.

If an incident can’t be confirmed on a CCTV feed, vital time is wasted ready for visitors officers to reach.

But a Mail audit of greater than 800 cameras – carried out by our undercover reporter who had entry to the system when working on the South Mimms management room in Hertfordshire– confirmed 112 have been defective, unusable or pointing in the mistaken route.

On a busy stretch of the M25 the place three individuals have died eight out of 19 cameras have been damaged, obscured by condensation or dealing with the mistaken manner.

And there have been issues with one in 4 cameras on the M3 in Surrey in addition to round junction 34 on the M1, the place there have been a number of fatalities.

The audit on Friday, September 17 was carried out by meticulously going by way of each digicam on ALR (all-lane operating) sections of the community. The reporter seen every video stream and logged what they noticed, together with the figuring out digicam quantity and site, in a spreadsheet. Our findings distinction markedly with what Baroness Vere, roads minister, informed MPs investigating good motorway safety in June. She assured them that operators working in management centres may carry up any CCTV digicam ‘in a flash’.

‘With the eyes in the air and the eyes on the ground, you can realistically make people safer,’ she mentioned. Speaking about her personal go to to the South Mimms management centre, she mentioned: ‘You can look at any CCTV camera at any time from a control centre.

‘If you break down on a Highways England road and you dial 999, if it is an all-lane running road, obviously there are eyes in the sky, so they will be able to find you very quickly.’

National Highways boss Nick Harris, who’s on a taxpayer-funded wage of greater than £400,000, additionally boasted concerning the digicam infrastructure, telling the Commons transport committee that good motorways had ‘more than 100 per cent’ CCTV protection.

Asked what number of cameras have been damaged at any one time, Mr Harris mentioned ‘99 per cent’ of the expertise was usually out there.

But inside experiences seen by the Mail reveal workers reported CCTV failures 11 instances in the month Mr Harris and Baroness Vere spoke to MPs. One, raised on 20 June, acknowledged: ‘CCTV faulty – black screen – important camera that views start of tunnel and emergency access gate’.

Two days later, one other worker wrote they have been unable to test an alert from the radar system used to observe the part of the M25 which has no exhausting shoulders due to damaged cameras.

The workers member wrote that visitors officers have been ‘having to be deployed meaning if anything was stationary, it will be sat there for some time before we can confirm it is there and take appropriate actions’.

Other experiences from 2021 embody a workers member claiming they have been unable to search out an incident on one of England’s most deadly good motorway sections as a result of six cameras ‘were all faulty’.

Another reported they may not hear a caller from a roadside SOS cellphone and the digicam they wanted to search out them ‘failed to work’.

A 3rd warned a expertise failure triggered ‘potential harm to other motorists’ as a result of they may not shortly test an alert of a stopped automobile on account of damaged cameras.

One report, from February 2021, mentioned ‘All regions lost CCTV’ leaving workers ‘unable to check for radar alerts’.

Operations supervisor Stewart Turner admitted to ‘black spots’ of CCTV protection on the M25 in a damning electronic mail to workers.

Briefing them about Insulate Britain protests, he wrote: ‘We appreciate there are some CCTV that is not working or black spots but this is about asking you to just do the best you can in staying vigilant.’

Other revelations embody an operator telling an undercover Mail reporter the outdated CCTV system is ‘so slow and s***.’

‘In theory you should be able to type the [camera] number in and it will appear, but because these are rubbish, you type in the number six times and it won’t seem’, he mentioned.

Another operator claimed one night time he went by way of ‘every camera’ on the National Highways community and ‘about 30 per cent of the cameras weren’t working’.

National Highways mentioned it did not recognise the information from our audit. It mentioned cameras overlapped, which means if one is defective, one other will have the ability to monitor a street.

[email protected]

The lives misplaced on the good motorways 

1) Nathan Reeves, 23, Tom Aldridge, 20, and Allan Evans, 59

February 2015 J12-13, M1, close to Flitwick, Bedfordshire

The three have been killed after driver Allan stopped to high up his oil on the exhausting shoulder when it was closed to visitors. Alan Peters, 78, did not see indicators it was closed and drove his double-decker coach into the again of the automotive.

Nathan Reeves, who was killed in M1 motorway crash

Nathan Reeves, who was killed in M1 motorway crash

2) Laura Cooper, 35

March 2016 J27, M25, close to Waltham Abbey, Essex

Laura was a passenger in a automotive that had stopped on a piece of the M25 with no exhausting shoulder and was struck by a lorry. She died 4 days later.

3) Anthony Marston, 54

August 2016 J10a, M6, close to Walsall

The father-of-two was killed immediately when he was hit by a lorry on a tough shoulder that was operating as a stay lane. Anthony, from Telford, Shropshire, had stopped briefly to refuel his Mercedes.

4) Jamil Ahmed, 36

August 2017 J5-6, M6, close to Birmingham

The restoration driver broke down on a tough shoulder opened to visitors and was hit by a lorry. His spouse Badra begged Highways England to cease eradicating exhausting shoulders after her husband’s inquest heard he had ‘nowhere to go’ when he was compelled to cease.

5) Sevim and Ayse Ustan

March 2018 J26-27, M25, Essex

Sevim, 49, and mother-in-law Ayse Ustun, 68, have been hit by a lorry after a puncture. Overhead gantry indicators did not shut the lane or warn of a broken-down automobile.

6) Dev Naran, 8, May 2018 

J5-6, M6, close to Birmingham

The schoolboy from Leicester died immediately after his grandfather Bhanuchandra Lodhia, 70, stopped his Toyota on a tough shoulder getting used as a stay lane and was hit by a lorry. Coroner Emma Brown mentioned the altering standing of exhausting shoulders may ‘confuse motorists’. She additionally raised issues that Highways England had ‘no system of automatic alert to a stopped lone vehicle in a live lane’.

Dev Naran, 8, from Leicester, died instantly after his grandfather Bhanuchandra Lodhia, 70, stopped his Toyota on a hard shoulder being used as a live lane and was hit by a lorry

Dev Naran, 8, from Leicester, died immediately after his grandfather Bhanuchandra Lodhia, 70, stopped his Toyota on a tough shoulder getting used as a stay lane and was hit by a lorry

7) Nargis Begum, 62, September 2018 

J30, M1, close to Sheffield

Nargis died when the automotive in which she was a passenger broke down. She and her husband Mohammed Bashir, 67, have been ready for assist when a lorry crashed into their automotive, which then ploughed into them.

Nargis Begum, 62, died when the car in which she was a passenger broke down

Nargis Begum, 62, died when the automotive in which she was a passenger broke down

8) Peter Lee, 60, December 2018 

J16, M60, Salford

Football photographer Peter died in a visitors jam after a van crashed into the again of his individuals provider. The father-of-two had been travelling together with his two daughters and associates once they obtained caught in visitors after a junction was closed to assist construct a sensible motorway.

Football photographer Peter Lee, 60, died in a traffic jam after a van crashed into the back of his people carrier

Football photographer Peter Lee, 60, died in a visitors jam after a van crashed into the again of his individuals provider

9)  Derek Jacobs, 83, and Charles Scripps, 78, March 2019 

J30-31, M1, close to Sheffield 

Derek was killed after he suffered a burst tyre and stopped in a stay lane. As he tried to climb the barrier, a Ford hit his automotive, sending it hurtling into him. He died with Charles, a passenger in the Ford.

10)  Jason Mercer, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, June 2019 

J34, M1, close to Sheffield

The males have been concerned in a shunt after coming to a cease as a result of there was no exhausting shoulder. They died after being hit by an HGV.

Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, was involved in a shunt after coming to a stop because there was no hard shoulder

Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, was concerned in a shunt after coming to a cease as a result of there was no exhausting shoulder

11) Costel Stancu, 37,

March 2019 J18-19, M6, Cheshire

Costel die in a crash with a van and a lorry. A coroner mentioned the good motorway might need elevated the danger posed to drivers.

12) Zahid Ahmed, 19

December 2019 J11a M1, close to Dunstable

Zahid was killed when the broken-down automotive in which he was a passenger was hit by a lorry on a piece of street with no exhausting shoulder.

13) Martin Davies, 54

March 2021 J14-15, M1, nr Milton Keynes

Martin was driving house to Staffordshire when his Volkswagen collided with a lorry veering away from a stationary automotive.

 

For pity’s sake finish the loss of life traps: By Claire Mercer, whose husband died at this spot. And extremely, seconds after this {photograph}, she witnessed ANOTHER smash 

Commentary by Claire Mercer for The Daily Mail

Last Friday, after I posed for the {photograph} that accompanies this text on the bridge overlooking the junction on the M1 the place my husband Jason was killed, I heard from behind me a sickening thud. It was a collision between a automotive and a lorry on the opposite facet of the street.

A lorry had slammed right into a automotive and dragged it tons of of yards down the carriageway. I used to be in shock: my very own husband, in spite of everything, had died on the alternative facet of the identical stretch of street.

Could there probably have been a extra visceral and painful reminder of how harmful the craze for good motorways has change into?

Motorways are at all times harmful and unpredictable: they want a devoted, protected area the place drivers can shelter from the hazards round them, particularly after a minor accident or a breakdown.

Last Friday, when I posed for the photograph that accompanies this article at the bridge overlooking the junction on the M1 where my husband Jason was killed, I heard from behind me a sickening thud. It was a collision between a car and a lorry on the other side of the road

Last Friday, after I posed for the {photograph} that accompanies this text on the bridge overlooking the junction on the M1 the place my husband Jason was killed, I heard from behind me a sickening thud. It was a collision between a automotive and a lorry on the opposite facet of the street

This needs to be apparent however for too lengthy, ministers have tried to bury their heads in the sand over the problem.

That is why the Mail’s seminal undercover investigation, revealed at the moment, is so necessary.

The ‘smart’ motorway – lauded by authorities and street bosses alike as each environment friendly and protected – is actually deadly and riddled with ongoing, deeply critical failures.

As the Mail reveals at the moment, many cameras are both damaged, defective or just not monitored, leaving motorists who’ve damaged down or stopped for any purpose stranded in lethal high-speed visitors.

Staggeringly, one in ten cameras was discovered to be defective out of greater than 800 gadgets nationwide.

Worse nonetheless, virtually half the cameras on one of the busiest sections of the M25 – the place three deaths have been attributed to good motorways – have been defective. On the day of the audit, one in 4 cameras was damaged on the stretch of the M1 close to Sheffield the place Jason died.

Pictured: Jason Mercer who was killed on the M1 smart motorway on 7 June 2019

Pictured: Jason Mercer who was killed on the M1 good motorway on 7 June 2019

Scene picture on the M1 motorway at junction 34 where a crash has happened on 24 September near to the spot where Jason Mercer was killed on the smart motorway on 7 June 2019

Scene image on the M1 motorway at junction 34 the place a crash has occurred on 24 September close to to the spot the place Jason Mercer was killed on the good motorway on 7 June 2019

Overall, the toll speaks for itself: figures from Highways England [now known as National Highways] present that between 2015 and 2019, 39 individuals died on good motorways.

But behind every of these numbers are particular person tragedies, as I do know all too effectively. On June 7, 2019, a couple of minutes after we ate breakfast collectively, Jason was driving north on the M1 between junctions 34 and 35 when he modified lanes and suffered a minor collision with a Ford Transit van.

As is required by regulation, my husband pulled over to trade insurance coverage particulars with the opposite driver – a 22-year-old supply employee from Romania referred to as Alexandru Murgeanu.

Except there was nowhere to go. In 2016, that stretch of the M1 had been transformed into an all- lane-running ‘smart’ motorway, which means the exhausting shoulder was open to visitors.

On digicam footage, Jason and Alexandru may be seen driving on, looking for someplace protected to cease, earlier than lastly pulling up as intently as they may to the safety barrier close to a gantry with a visitors digicam.

The inquest into their deaths would later reveal that the digicam wasn’t monitored and the lane remained open.

Hemmed in by the crash barrier – behind which was a 30-foot drop – motorists swerved to keep away from Jason and Alexandru, however six minutes after they pulled over, Prezemyslaw Szuba, a Polish lorry driver, failed to note in sufficient time to manoeuvre into a distinct lane. Instead, he ploughed into the again of Alexandru’s van, killing them immediately.

I knew Jason was useless the second I noticed law enforcement officials draw up in their patrol automotive some hours later. I keep in mind dropping to the ground, shaking with shock.

Jason died due to the good motorway: that was the decision of the coroner at his inquest who, whereas recording the first reason behind loss of life as Szuba’s careless driving, acknowledged that the shortage of exhausting shoulder contributed to the tragedy and that good motorways introduced an ongoing danger of future deaths.

Following the inquest, I launched a marketing campaign to focus on the failures and risks of good motorways and am bringing a judicial assessment towards the Government. Highways England is now being investigated for company manslaughter.

Szuba was jailed for ten months for Jason and Alexandru’s loss of life, however I consider he was wrongly imprisoned. If Highways England hadn’t eliminated the exhausting shoulder, the lorry driver would have been in a distinct lane and the collision would by no means have occurred.

Now, two years on from the coroner’s stark warning, the Mail’s damning file lays naked in terrifying element the continued dangers of good motorways.

They are dangers that have an effect on us all. What occurred to my husband and Alexandru wasn’t an uncommon, cataclysmic collection of circumstances – it may occur at any time, to anybody.

How many extra individuals must die earlier than ministers see sense and finish the good motorway insanity?

Claire is arranging a march and protest on November 1 in Westminster. Visit fb.com/smartmotorwayskill or smartmotorwayskill.co.uk for extra information

Read More at www.dailymail.co.uk

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