West Midlands motorways will become more dangerous and there will be more accidents if the government presses ahead with plans to abolish hard shoulders, an inquiry has warned.
The Government’s plan, known as "all lane running", is designed to cut congestion on motorways and speed up journey times by adding an extra lane.
But the House of Commons Transport Committee said: "Our concern is that the risks arising from converting the hard shoulder into a running lane are an unacceptable price to pay for such improvements."
It produced a report after holding an inquiry when it heard evidence from organisations including the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, which represents the region's local councils.
The scheme MPs are concerned about is different to the scheme which is used on parts of the M42, where the hard shoulder is only used by traffic if there is heavy congestion.
Electronic signs on the M42 tell drivers when they are allowed to use the hard shoulder.
What's planned on other motorways is simply to open up the hard shoulder permanently, effectively scrapping the hard shoulder and turning it permanently into an extra motorway lane.
Louise Ellman MP, chairman of the inquiry, said: "The permanent removal of the hard shoulder is a dramatic change. All kinds of drivers, including the emergency services, are genuinely concerned about the risk this presents."
Where is the hard shoulder being scrapped?
Opened in 2016
M6 Junctions 10a–13. 9.6 miles between Wolverhampton and Stafford
To be opened by 2020
M6 junctions 16 to 19. 18.2 miles between Stoke and Manchester
M6 junctions 2 to 4. 11.8 miles between Coventy and Birmingham
Work due to start by 2020
M6 junctions 13 to 15. 17.4 miles between Stafford and Stoke
Planned for after 2020
M42 Birmingham Box. 6.7 miles around Birmingham
M1 junctions 19 to 23A. 30.9 miles running through the Midlands east of Birmingham
Watch: The M6 as seen from the motorway