Smart Motorways

Posted on Monday 27th July 2015 in Drivers, Motorcyclists, Speed

Highways England have released new details about plans to change the M23 near Pease Pottage into a Smart Motorway.

A Smart Motorway uses new technology to ease congestion through the busiest times on the roads. Highways England have highlighted the need to be aware of the regulations surrounding these motorways, as they are different to normal, but the consequences are still the same to regular highways.

Speed limits are displayed in a solid red ring overhead, and these are monitored by sensors which raise and lower the it based on how much congestion there is. This enables traffic to keep moving even in the busiest of times, and in exeptional circumstances, the hard shoulder is also opened to give more road to drive in. If a vehicle breaks down, the constant monitoring allows a lane to be closed (indicated by a red X in the overhead displays), creating a safer environment to deal with the situation.

The speeds shown on Smart Motorways are the legal limit for that road, and the law still applies to this. The Highways England summer campaign involves five messages:

  1. Watch your speed.
  2. On-time journeys: a constant flow of traffic allows for less queuing and a more reliable journey.
  3. Be safe on the motorways.
  4. Don’t risk breaking the limit.
  5. Respect the road workers.

Although the only stretch of motorway in Sussex is the M23, other roads in the country are also in the process of being converted. This summer, watch out for the speeds and make sure you use the right lanes.

To find out more, please click here.