The number of collisions on a stretch of the M1 appears to have fallen since it became an all lane running smart motorway nearly two years ago.
Based on a Freedom of Information request to Derbyshire Constabulary, the Derbyshire Times reported that officers were called to 124 collisions between junction 28 (Alfreton) and junction 31 (Aston) in the year before the smart motorway was introduced but only 52 incidents in the following year.
However, the higher figure relates to the year to March 2016, when the scheme, which began in July 2014, was in construction. It comprises 63 injury collisions and 61 damage only collisions.
During 2016/17, after the scheme fully opened, police attended 38 injury collisions and 14 damage only collisions. This fell to a total of 20 collisions from April 2017 to January 2018.
In the first year during which the scheme was being constructed– 2014/15 – police attended were a total of 177 collisions. The total number of collisions attended during 2013/14, i.e. before construction work began, was 148.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary told Highways that the role of the police in attending incidents was the same for smart and conventional motorways.
Highways England states that all lane running schemes based on smart motorway technology is safer than conventional motorways but MPs, breakdown organisations and the police have all raised concern that the loss of the hard shoulder to create an extra lane creates additional risks.