It was obvious that removing the hard shoulder was going to result in people getting hurt due to a lack of safe space. It now seems that legal action is being started against their roll out. I know others in the know here have indicated that they were not keen on them.
Yes, it's one thing if your car just goes into limp home mode so you can drive slowly, it's another thing when you have a flat tyre or something inhibiting. The use of the hard shoulder as an extra lade was obviously just a cheap way to widen motorways.
Unfortunately, especially for those who have lost their lives, it was bound to happen. Legal action over this ridiculous idea is long overdue. I have no problem with the smart motorway per se, but the lack of a safe area for motorists who find themselves in difficulty has to be the most ill thought out idea in Christendom.
The real reason for rolling out smart motorways is becoming clearer by the day, in addition to the savings made by failing to properly expand the road capacity to match demand, the revenue stream from fines is astonishing:
"A total of 62,337 tickets were issued between junction 30 and 35a of the M1 in just two years and eight months, boosting government coffers by up to £6,233,700."