Another section of ‘smart’ motorway will open next week on the M25 in Kent and Surrey.
Early next Wednesday (April 30) morning, the M25 between junctions 5 and 6/7 will open with the hard shoulder converted for use as a permanent traffic lane and enhanced on-road technology to manage traffic flow to improve the reliability of journey times, providing a boost for businesses and the wider economy.
This follows the opening of the smart motorway on the M25 between junctions 23 and 25 in Hertfordshire with traffic using the improved section since Monday, April 14.
The improvements on both sections of the M25 are part of a new generation of technology-driven improvements on the strategic road network known as ‘smart motorways’ with the permanent conversion of the hard shoulder for traffic, providing 24/7 extra capacity.
The Highways Agency says that the introduction of smart motorways will reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability for drivers and maintain safety.
John Martin, Highways Agency senior project manager, said: “The improvements on the M25 in Kent and Surrey are part of the £1.7 billion of investment into roads in the South East by 2021.
“The new smart motorway will provide extra capacity and offer more reliable journeys for the 140,000 drivers that use this stretch of road every day.
“I’m particularly pleased that the southern section of the M25 has opened well ahead of planned completion this winter thanks to rescheduling of the programme.
“Ahead of the opening next week, I would like to ask drivers to get smart and find out more about how to use it, the types of signs and signals they will see and what to do in the event of a breakdown.”
Work to remove the traffic management which has been in place during construction of the scheme started yesterday evening, in phases between the junctions, and be complete by the morning of Wednesday April 30.
The temporary 50mph speed limit will remain in place until all of the traffic management is cleared and the whole section opens.
The new infrastructure and technology that has been added between junctions 5 and 7, includes:
• 9 gantries that span both carriageways
• 10 refuge areas
• 13 emergency telephones
• 88 overhead signals
• 33 verge mounted signs
• 38 CCTV cameras
Construction continues on the smart motorway M25 between junctions 25 and 27 in Essex and completion is expected this winter.
Read next week’s Fleet News for more on smart motorways and where else in the country they’re being planned.