Smart Motorways: Wife of man killed on M1 launching judicial review to get back hard shoulder

The wife of a man who was killed in an accident on the smart motorway section of the M1 has said she will launch a judicial review to get the hard shoulder back for motorists.

Claire Mercer, who lost her husband Jason two years ago, had set the government a deadline of 6pm this evening (April 21) to give the hard shoulder back on motorways.

She has now said that she will take her case to the High Court in an attempt to get a judicial review.

Jason Mercer and Alexandru Murgeanu were killed on the M1 when a lorry crashed into his stationary car, earlier this year a coroner concluded that a lack of hard shoulder contributed to his death.

  • Claire Mercer speaks to ITV News

Claire told ITV News: "No one has ever been asked to oversee smart motorways to assess the dangers, it's all just come in bit by bit, nobody has looked at the whole thing which is why we have been left with such a lethal set of circumstances.

"I'm sure when you lay it out in court, how each step was carried out, how each decision was made, then nobody can think it was the right idea.

"We've had many different coroners say that smart motorways contributed to many different deaths, so why would a judge in a High Court find any different?"

Yesterday the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced that any new smart motorways would have radar technology fitted to detect vehicles that have stopped and are causing a hazard.

Mr Shapps has also said that the technology will be retrofitted to existing smart motorways quicker.

The Transport Secretary has said that fatal accidents are less likely on all lane running motorways than on conventional ones with a hard shoulder.