When we start to return to some kind of normal life after our scientists and the NHS have defeated Covid-19, people will start using motorways to visit relatives and friends they haven’t seen for a year or more.

But they will be risking their lives if they travel on so-called “smart” motorways which have already taken so many poor souls because of live driving lanes replacing the safety of hard shoulders in the case of a vehicle breakdown.

Many of us from this part of Dorset will start to use the M5 and M27 again but if there is any sign that parts of them have been turned into “smart” stretches then I will drive on normal roads instead even though it would mean extending journey times.

It’s time Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, got a grip, listened to the people and used some common sense.

He recently told the House of Commons Transport Committee that smart motorways were too expensive to scrap and to replace them with hard shoulders.

So what cost is one life – or those of scores of people who have already died?

His statement comes after he surprisingly told the committee that Highways England’s rollout of such motorways was “entirely wrong” and drivers still didn’t know how to use them.

For, he said, he was surprised to learn that this Government-owned company, in charge of the rollout, failed to have technology in place to spot stranded motorists in live lanes.

It is time for Mr Shapps to do a U-turn and return live inside lanes back to hard shoulders.