Smart Motorway Now Open – but Without Smart Technology

In the first week of July, Highways England announced that the new smart motorway on the M3 is already open for use – but this announcement comes with the news that the smart motorway is still not equipped with the expected smart motorway technology.   Although the smart motorway has opened right on schedule, road users of this portion of the M3 will still not be able to benefit from the smart technology that was promised, according to Highways England.    

Portion of the

Portion of the "Smart Motorway"

The £174 million smart motorway project


The smart motorway project, which had a budget of a total of £174 million, is supposed to come with smart technology. But as of now, the upgrade on this section of the M3, which is a 13.4-mile long portion that runs between the town of Farnborough up to the M25, has only resulted in an additional lane which can be used by vehicle drivers. Highways England is quick to point out that the main work when it comes to construction in the area has already been completed, and the additional lane for traffic is already open as promised and according to schedule.


The smart technology to be employed on the motorway, however, is still lacking, and will only be switched on after a while, according to Highways England.


For now


For now, road users can expect the previous speed limit of 5 miles per hour to still be in effect, and this phase of testing will continue for about three more weeks, with the complete upgrades to be finished in July.


According to the Project Manager of the scheme, Pranav Devale, they are still delighted to have been able to open this stretch of motorway and to have finished the upgrade on schedule. The new portion of this smart motorway will be able to address problems with congestion as well as improve the time of travel for approximately 130,000 vehicle drivers tackling this portion of the motorway every single day.


Pranav Devale added that smart motorways can add essential capacity to road networks as well as improve travel times and enhance safety for road users. Once the smart technology is in place, drivers will be able to view important information on road conditions ahead. Drivers will also be able to benefit from a smoother journey on the road, which has now been fully resurfaced. Pranav Devale also pointed out that they have carried out extensive repair and maintenance on the network of the M3, beginning when it was first constructed in 1971.


Pranav Devale stated his thanks to the drivers for their understanding and cooperation, especially during the final phase of testing, and expressed hope that the drivers will be able to enjoy a better journey time to and from London to the south coast. 

Posted on 21 Aug 2017 in News

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