The latest section of smart motorway has opened on the M25 in Kent and Surrey today (Wednesday 30 April).
The M25 between junctions 5 and 6/7 has opened 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 14 April.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill attended an event to mark the opening at the South East Regional Control Centre in Godstone, where the signs and signals for the motorway are set.
He said: “Motorways are the backbone of Britain. With around four million vehicles using them each day, they are vital to building the UK economy. This additional capacity on the M25 is part of the government’s record investment of £15.1 billion to provide over 400 lane miles of additional capacity by 2021.”
Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton added: “This is the second section of the new generation of smart motorways to be opened and demonstrates our role as a world class roads operator. We have built upon our experience of operating the M42 pilot scheme to make the new generation quicker to build, more efficient to operate and more intuitive for drivers, while maintaining safety for everyone.”
The improvement work on the M25 has been carried out by Connect Plus.
Chief executive officer of Connect Plus Tim Jones said: “I am delighted that we have achieved another major milestone on our journey to transform the M25, on behalf of the Highways Agency, into a high capacity world-class motorway with exemplary levels of safety and reliability. Connect Plus has implemented a range of new and innovative technology and new operating procedures to this section of the strategic road network. We now look forward to operating it in a safe and effective manner and to completing the northern section later this year”.
The drivers that use this 12 mile stretch of motorway will benefit from a new style of ‘smart motorway’ where pioneering technology and use of the hard shoulder as a permanent running lane combine to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow, improving the reliability of journeys.