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

Luke Lynch (1) , Dr. Elisavet Andrikopoulou (2) , Dr. Nima Dadashzadeh (3)
(1) MSc Information Systems, University of Sheffield, UK , United Kingdom
(2) Senior Lecturer, School of Computing University of Portsmouth, UK , United Kingdom
(3) Postdoctoral Research Fellow Intelligent Transport Cluster, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom , United Kingdom


Motorway users have various opinions about the types of smart motorways. Motor-way utilization can be affected if road users have a negative perception towards certain types of smart motorway, particularly on the topic of safety. There are three types of smart motorways in the UK. These are Controlled, Dynamic and All-Lane Running. This study focuses on the comparison of ALR and DHS smart motorways as ALR smart motorways are aiming to replace and improve upon DHS smart motorways. The aim of this project is to understand how the general population perceive smart motorways in the UK. This aim will be achieved through answering a series of these research questions: (1) How does existing knowledge of smart motorways effect perception of smart motorways; (2) How does age effect perception of smart motorways; (3) How does car ownership affect perception of smart motorways? Data were collected using an online survey disseminated to the UK 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 motorway 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. Greater knowledge and awareness about smart motorways is 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.

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Luke Lynch
luke[email protected] (Primary Contact)
Dr. Elisavet Andrikopoulou
Dr. Nima Dadashzadeh
Lynch, L., Andrikopoulou, E., & Dadashzadeh, N. (2023). What is the general population’s perception of smart motorways in the UK?. Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 8(3), 19–33. https://doi.org/10.21625/essd.v8i3.954

Article Details

Received 2023-03-01
Accepted 2023-03-30
Published 2023-03-31