Rapid rise in ‘smart motorway’ speeding tickets


The number of fixed penalties handed out on smart sections of UK motorways has risen from 2,000 to 52,000 between 2010 and 2015.

The figures have been revealed by the BBC’s The One Show and also revealed the revenue generated by the 236 miles of smart motorways in England.

The data shows that revenue collected by central government has grown from £150,600 to more than £1.1m in a five-year period.

But despite that, the government has stressed that smart motorways are there to improve capacity rather than revenue.

What are smart motorways?

Smart motorways use active traffic management to increase capacity on motorways by using variable speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder when necessary.

They are operated by Highways England and there are already plans to increase smart motorways by around 200 miles, the next stage of a £6bn investment between 2010 and 2040.

Where are smart motorways?

The majority of smart motorways in the UK are in England, with the M1, M25, M42 and M6 all subject to active traffic management.

One particular section of the M1 saw police issue almost 8,500 tickets in 2015, generating £425,000 in fines.

Five years previously, police did not issue a single fine in the same section of the M1.