M27 smart motorway will make journeys more reliable, promises Highways England
PLANS for the M27 smart motorway have been unveiled to the public and Highways England have vowed the scheme will make journeys better.
The 15-mile stretch between junction 4 to junction 11 will be converted to an ‘all four lanes running’ smart motorway over the next two and a half years in a bid to combat congestion in the south.
Highways England route manager John Henderson said: ‘This scheme will add an extra 33 per cent capacity to the motorway and help with congestion.
‘We chose this stretch of motorway to start with as one of our first smart motorway schemes down south because of the traffic.
‘The scheme aims to make people’s journeys better and more reliable in terms of time and knowing how long it will take them to get somewhere providing there is not an accident.’
The smart technology installed will be able to detect traffic slowing down, enforce lower speed limits and manage incidents.
Construction is due to start at junction 4 later this year and work up to Junction 11 in sections.
John said: ‘Feedback from our scheme on the M25 told us people didn’t want large sections coned off so we will be doing it in smaller sections and three lanes will nearly always be open.’
Thirteen emergency areas will be installed along the stretch of motorway and are placed approximately 2km apart and will be equipped with telephones to contact the control room for assistance.
John said: ‘If you are travelling 60mph every 75 seconds you will pass an emergency area and we have found 93 per cent of drivers don’t have a good reason to be on the hard shoulder so that leaves seven per cent.
‘Most cars do not break down on the spot so motorists should be able to get to an emergency area.’
Information about the M27 smart motorway scheme is available online at highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/m27-junctions-4-to-11-smart-motorway/ and exhibitions for the public will be held over the next two months.