Every new All Lane Running (ALR) motorway will open with radar technology in place to spot stopped or broken-down vehicles quickly, the UK government has announced.

Additionally, all existing ALR motorways will have the technology fitted six months earlier than originally planned.

ALR motorways – which don’t have hard shoulders – are fitted with technology and features not seen on conventional motorways, such as set-back emergency areas, and red X signs on gantries to close live lanes. Radar detection to spot stopped vehicles is also being rolled out.

To accelerate improvements, by the end of September 2022, Highways England says it will:

  • install radar technology on all existing stretches of ALR motorway, 6 months earlier than planned
  • upgrade special cameras 10 months earlier than planned, so that they can be used to spot and prosecute motorists ignoring red X signs and illegally driving down closed lanes, putting themselves and others in danger
  • install around 1,000 additional approach signs 6 months earlier than planned, alerting drivers to their nearest place to stop in an emergency

“Despite the data showing that fatalities are less likely on All Lane Running motorways than on conventional ones, this doesn’t mean all drivers necessarily feel safe on them,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“That is why I tasked Highways England last year with delivering an action plan to raise the bar on safety measures even higher.”

The pledge comes as Highways England publishes its progress report 2021, setting out the progress it has made against an action plan published last year to boost safety and backed by a £500 million investment. The first-year progress report includes commitments to speed up the completion of safety measures, as well as the latest safety data.