Dr Julian Lewis: I congratulate the Committee on its work and thank the Government for having listened to the recommendations so positively. Will my hon. Friend put a little more flesh on the statistics? Can he give us some actual figures – if not now, then subsequently – on what point-nought-nought-something per cent. means in actual lives lost? Do those statistics show any significant differences between hours during daylight and after dark?
[Huw Merriman (Chairman of the Transport Select Committee): I thank my right hon. Friend for his words. Like him, I think that the Government deserve a huge amount of credit for accepting all the recommendations. He will know from chairing a Select Committee that it can sometimes be disappointing to receive the responses, but this one was fantastic. He makes the correct point that this is all about the statistics. There is a perception that smart motorways are not safe, and we have to get that right, otherwise people will not use them. If we use the data from 2015 to 2019, we see that there is indeed a better fatality rate, at least. The serious collision rate is perhaps a little more patchy. If we then take 2019, we see that the reverse is true. For that reason, we called for a pause until we can get to the bottom of that.
My right hon. Friend asked about the statistical measure – for example, I referred to the 0.12% figure on all lane running motorways. It is measured per 100 million vehicle miles. It is important to recognise that this is on a proportionate basis. It does not compare a small amount of the network with a much larger one in terms of fatalities. I do not have the data on day and night, but I will write to him with that.]