Press release

M23 smart motorway plans to go on show this weekend

Plans to upgrade an 11-mile section of the M23 between the M25 and Gatwick to a smart motorway go on show this weekend.

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Drivers, business owners and local residents are invited to find out more about the plans, which will add an extra lane in each direction to the M23 near Gatwick Airport, between junction 8 for Merstham and junction 10 at Copthorne, to upgrade it to an all lane running smart motorway. New technology will help to manage traffic to reduce delays and give drivers up to date information about conditions on the road ahead.

Public information events are being held this weekend (Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September, and again next weekend (Friday 6 October and Saturday 7 October), where people can find out more about the plans and put any questions directly to the project team. Highways England project manager Miguel Machado said:

This new stretch of smart motorway will tackle congestion and improve journey times not only for the tens of thousands of drivers who use the M23 every day, but also for business travellers and holiday makers using Gatwick Airport, as well as residents and businesses based in the area.

Smart motorways are central to our ambitious plans for modernising the motorway network and will add 120 miles of new lanes to motorways in the South East by 2020. They add vital extra capacity, improve journey times and maintain high levels of safety. Drivers will also see better information about conditions through new smart motorway technology which helps us to manage incidents, smooth traffic flow and make journeys more reliable. I encourage anyone interested in the upgrade of the M23 to a smart motorway to come to meet the project team at one of the information events to find out more.

The M23 is a key strategic road which connects Crawley and Gatwick Airport to the M25 motorway, routes into London and the rest of the UK.

This stretch of the M23 is heavily used by traffic travelling to and from Gatwick Airport and between Brighton and London, especially during UK holiday periods. The upgrade to a smart motorway will add a third extra capacity on this section, and will improve safety, ease congestion make journey times more reliable. Junction 9 on the M23 is also the main access for traffic travelling to and from Gatwick Airport, and currently experiences heavy congestion on a daily basis.

Under the plans, the hard shoulder will be permanently converted into a live running lane between junctions 8 and 10 in both directions. New signs and signals will be used to vary the speed limit to reduce congestion at busy times, and to control traffic if there is an obstruction on the road ahead.

Work is scheduled to start in March 2018, with the smart motorway being fully operational in early 2020.

Anyone interested in the scheme can visit the Highways England’s project page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 28 September 2017