The Transport Secretary has asked for an “evidence stocktake” to gather the facts about smart motorways in response to recent safety fears.

Since they were introduced in the UK there have been several deaths on smart motorways.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “Any death on our roads is one too many, and our deepest sympathies remain with the family and friends of those who lost their lives.

“The Transport Secretary has asked the Department for Transport to carry out, at pace, an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about smart motorway safety. We are committed to safety and are supporting the Department in its work on this.”

A smart motorway is a section of a motorway which uses traffic management to increase capacity and reduce congestion in busy areas. This includes using the hard shoulder as a running lane.