A multi-million pound upgrade on the M25 in Hertfordshire and Essex opened to traffic today, improving journeys for drivers and boosting the economy.
Early this morning, the M25 between junctions 25 and 27 became a smart motorway, upgraded from three to four lanes in each direction, 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.
The completion of this final section of smart motorway means that road users will now benefit from four lane capacity on the vast majority of the M25.
Roads Minister John Hayes said:
This upgrade is great news for 140,000 motorists who use this section of the M25 every day. It will mean smoother journeys, less congestion and provide a real boost to those businesses and road users that depend on this vital stretch of motorway. It is further proof that our £24 billion commitment to improve Britain’s roads by 2021 is helping to deliver a smarter motorway network that drives forward our economy and gets people to their destinations safely and on time.
John Martin, Highways Agency project manager said:
The new smart motorway will provide extra capacity and offer more reliable journeys.
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 unlikely event of a breakdown.
The improvements on all 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 introduction of smart motorways will reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability for drivers and maintain safety.
In April 2014 the section between junction 5 (Sevenoaks) and junction 7 (for the M23) opened as a smart motorway and journeys have already improved in the first six months, with reduced congestion.
The new infrastructure and technology that has been added between junctions 25 and 27, includes:
- 6 gantries that span both carriageways
- 4 refuge areas
- 15 emergency telephones
- 55 overhead signals
- 30 verge mounted signs
- 29 CCTV cameras
Road users can find out more about smart motorways online, on YouTube, in retail outlets such as motorway service areas, through radio advertising later this month, and leaflets. For further information please visit our campaign material page