Couriers believe smart motorways are more dangerous than not taking enough rest, according to a survey.

The Courier Support Survey, conducted by Courier Exchange, found 40% of courier firms put smart motorways as the greatest risk to health and safety, followed by not enough rest on long journeys (37%) and excessive stress and workplace pressure (27%).

The results came after Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak said he would ban new smart motorways from being built.

Sunak said: “Smart motorways are unpopular because they are unsafe.

“We need to listen to drivers, be on their side and stop with the pursuit of policies that go against common sense.”

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National Highways recently said it would invest an additional £500m into improving the safety of the controversial traffic management system.

Analysis by National Highways earlier this year found that they were the safest roads on the strategic road network in terms of serious or fatal casualties.

Almaz Cleary, Courier Exchange sales manager, said: “This can be an emotive issue, but the most important consideration should be that those using the UK’s roads – especially people such as couriers who rely on them so heavily – have the information they need to operate safely and with confidence.”