A NEW smart motorway emergency area is being trialled on a Hampshire motorway.
The redesigned M3 stop-offs have been given a bright orange road surface to make them more visible to drivers.
This is just one of the ways we are helping drivers to understand smart motorways and their benefits.Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan
The first area went live near Camberley on Friday.
More upgrades are planned on smart motorways across the country if the change proves to be successful.
Highways England has announced plans for a new £244 million smart motorway scheme, which will run between junction 4 and 11 of the M27.
It will extend the road to four lanes by turning the hard shoulder into a permanent running lane.
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: ‘We know that smart motorways are safe. But we also recognise that drivers need to have confidence when using them and be clear about where they can stop in an emergency.
‘That is why we are trialling these highly visible new style emergency areas.
‘The bright orange colouring will make them as easy as possible to spot and should also discourage drivers from using them in non-emergency situations.
‘This is just one of the ways we are helping drivers to understand smart motorways and their benefits.’
Smart motorways use variable speed limits to manage traffic, technology to keep drivers informed and converting the hard shoulder into a traffic lane.