The UK Government has said that new All Lane Running (ALR) motorways in the country will use radar technology to detect stopped or broken-down vehicles.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that the technology will be in place before any new stretch of ALR motorway is opened.

ALR motorways without hard shoulders are equipped with technology and features not seen on conventional motorways. These include set-back emergency areas and red ‘X’ signs on gantries to close live lanes.

The announcement comes after Highways England released its smart motorways stocktake first-year progress report for this year, detailing progress made to boost safety.

The report includes commitments to speed up the completion of safety measures, as well as the latest safety data.

Highways England will install radar technology on all current stretches of ALR motorway by the end of next September, six months earlier than planned.

It will also upgrade cameras to spot and prosecute motorists ignoring red ‘X’ signs and illegally driving down closed lanes, and install around 1,000 approach signs to alert drivers to the nearest stopping place in an emergency.

According to data in the report collected from 2015 to 2019, ALR motorways are one of the safest types of road in the country.

Shapps said: “Despite the data showing that fatalities are less likely on ALR motorways than on conventional ones, not all drivers necessarily feel safe on them.

“This is why last year, I tasked Highways England with delivering an action plan to raise the bar on safety measures even higher. This progress report shows the extensive work already carried out, but we want to do more.

“Alongside the raft of measures already undertaken, I am announcing that all new ALR motorways will open with stopped vehicle detection technology in place, as well as a programme to speed up the roll-out of the technology on previously built stretches of ALR motorways to next year.

“This will help us further reduce the risk of accidents on the country’s roads.”