A campaign group protesting about the government’s continued rollout of smart motorways will carry a long procession of burial coffins to the department for transport’s office building next week.

Smart Motorways Kill said the protest involving 38 coffins across Westminster Bridge to Parliament Square and then on to the DfT building in Horseferry Rd on 1 November will be non-disruptive, but will create a “striking image” that people will remember.

The group was formed by Claire Mercer, the widow of Jason Mercer, who was killed in 2019 when an HGV struck him on a stretch of smart motorway on the M1 after he was involved in a minor collision.

She is now trying to take National Highways to court for corporate manslaughter after it was revealed lifesaving technology had not been fitted to many parts of the smart motorway network.

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Speaking after the latest stretch of smart motorway was opened along the M4, Mercer said: “National Highways have said they are limiting speeds on this new section to 60mph, until they get round to fitting the lifesaving technology.

“But HGV’s are already limited to 56mph.

“The one that hit my husband was and yet my police liaison officer, my counsellor and my family all asked me not to read Jason’s post mortem report and my GP point blank refused to read it to me, despite my direct request.

“So that kind of tells you what 40 tonnes travelling at less than 60mph does to a human body.”

A Facebook page about the protest has been set up.