What is the general population’s perception of smart motorways in the UK?

Lynch Luke, Elisavet Andrikopoulou, Nima Dadashzadeh

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Motorway users have various opinions about the types of smart motorways. Motorway utilization can be affected if road users have a negative perception of certain types of smart motorways, particularly on the topic of safety. There are three types of smart motorways that can be found in the UK. These are ControlledSmart Motorways (CSM), DynamicHard Shoulder(DHS), and All-Lane Running (ALR). This study focuses on the comparison of ALR and DHS smart motorways as ALR smart motorways are developed to replace and improve upon DHS smart motorways. The aim of this project is to understand how the general population perceives smart motorways in the UK. This aim will be achieved by answering a series of these research questions: (1) How does existing knowledge of smart motorways affect the perception of smart motorways; (2) How does age affect the perception of smart motorways; (3) How does car ownership affect the perception of smart motorways? Data were collected using an online survey disseminated to the UK adult population of vehicle and non-vehicle drivers via social media and advertisements. Descriptive statistics and cluster analysis were used to analyse the dataset and find similarity clusters. The primary research shows that ~57% of the survey respondents had never heard of or did not know the meaning of the 3 different types of smart motorways and only ~13% of respondents fully understand the different types. Car owners in both cluster analysis models show substantial variation in the results of the comfort / smart motorway choice variables. This research demonstrates that greater knowledge and awareness about smart motorways are required to improve the perception of smart motorways. It would seem that this is particularly true for all-lane running smart motorways which are both the newest and most physically different type of smart motorway with their removal of the hard shoulder.


  • Controlled motorways
  • Dynamic motorways
  • All-Lane Running motorways
  • People’s perception

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