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Smart Motorways - Are we being properly informed?

This article in the Times is interesting; it shows one of the common failures of leadership in Government, but also reflects how the media often deal wih issues.

The point of the article is that the Government has put a stop to all new smart motorways after 33 deaths in 5 years. On the surface this sounds like a good decision and, before I continue, I should say that my heart goes out to the family and friends of each and every one of these victims.

However, it misses the most important point until near the end, which is that smart motorways may have saved more lives than they cost the quote from Transport Secretary Mark Harper dodges the issue as well:

“Today’s announcement means no new smart motorways will be built, recognising the lack of public confidence felt by drivers and the cost pressures due to inflation,”

How can the public have confidence in a system when Ministers and Government don't have the strength of character to properly comment on all the facts - and haven't had for some time - and when the media hide the most important points of their articles until the end, something which reflects pretty much all commentary on this issue over a long period of time. There are clearly two sides to this debate, but the one sided commentary means we may be getting misinformed - something that is true for many issues.

The impact of this decision today will be additional cost, but more importantly, it could cost more lives.

Political renewal requires better leadership from politicians and for the media to better present the most important facts.


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