M1 smart motorway to be reviewed after horror crash killed two near Sheffield

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Smart motorways will be the subject of a Government review after a double fatal crash on the M1 near Sheffield in June.

Jason Mercer and Alexandry Murgeanu were both killed following a ‘minor crash’ near Meadowhall between J34 and J35.

The two men got out of their cars to exchange details after the incident – but both were then hit by a lorry and died at the scene.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their death prompted Jason’s wife Claire to lead the calls for the ‘deadly’ scheme to be scrapped.

Claire and Jason MercerClaire and Jason Mercer
Claire and Jason Mercer

The Government has now launched a review into All Lanes Running Smart Motorways after Sarah Champion MP raised the issue during transport questions in the Commons.

Commenting on the announcement, Sarah said: “I am delighted that the Government has committed to review All Lanes Running.

“The so-called ‘Smart Motorway’ is nothing of the sort. By removing the hard shoulder, a vital safety refuge is lost.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The Government was warned about the dangers of these schemes by the Transport Select Committee in 2016, three years before Jason’s death.

“But they chose to press on with increasing capacity on the cheap, at the expense of the safety of motorists.

“Jason’s death need never have happened. No-one else should have to suffer as Claire has.

“I hope that the Government will now see sense, prioritise motorists’ safety and stop these dangerous projects.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There are two types of smart motorways in the UK. The first is where the hard shoulder is opened to traffic when it is busy. The second is where the hard shoulder is open all the time.

It was on the latter where both Jason and Alexandry were killed.

Transport Minister George Freeman said he would meet with the pair but also said: “I'm delighted to confirm the Secretary of State will be announcing a very short review in order that we can make sure that we deal with that problem quickly.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs ‘we know people are dying’ on smart motorways but added greater detail is required on how safe they are compared to full motorways.

He insisted he wants to ensure all motorways in the country are ‘as safe as they possibly can be’ and said the review could report within a matter of weeks.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.