First section of permanent smart motorway goes live

11/04/2014
Highways Reporters

The first section of a new generation of motorways has opened on the M25 today (14 April).

An eight mile section of the motorway in Hertfordshire is the first in the country of a new style of 'smart motorway' schemes 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.

One more section on the southern part of the M25 is due to open next month, with a third later in the year on the northern section, with similar schemes being rolled out across the country including the M1, M3, and M62.

Smart motorways deliver additional road capacity more quickly and at less cost than traditional road widening schemes, while remaining at least as safe.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: "The additional capacity on the M25 is part of the government’s record investment in the strategic road network, with £15.1 billion being invested to add over 400 lane miles of capacity on our busiest motorways by 2021.

"Our motorways are the backbone of Britain and vital to building the UK economy, with approximately four million vehicles using them each day."

Graham Dalton, Highways Agency Chief Executive added: "The Highways Agency is a world class roads operator and we have built upon our experience of operating the M42 pilot scheme. The design changes have meant that smart motorways are quicker to build, more intuitive for drivers and more efficient to operate, while maintaining safety."

The improvement work on the M25 has been carried out by Connect Plus.

Tim Jones, chief executive officer of Connect Plus, said: "I am delighted that Connect Plus has achieved another major milestone on its 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 developed new operating procedures for 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 action later this year."

Work to convert this section of motorway, between junctions 23 and 25, to smart motorway began in February 2013; temporary narrow lanes have been in place to keep three lanes open to traffic in either direction at peak times and to create a safe working environment.

Construction on the second section of this scheme, between junctions 25 and 27, has already started and is due for completion towards the end of 2014.

Meanwhile a similar scheme, between junctions 5 and 6/7 has completed construction and after a period of essential testing and commissioning of systems, is due to open next month. This is ahead of the original planned completion of December 2014 and follows a reprogramming of the work schedule, and good weather. The hard shoulder will be a permanent running lane between junctions 5 and 6 with a traditional hard shoulder between junctions 6 and 7 where there are already four lanes available to traffic.

The new technology has been added to the road to provide drivers with safe and reliable journeys. This includes infrared CCTV, being used for the first time by the Highways Agency, to enable staff in the control centres to have increased visibility of the network and will be able to respond even quicker to incidents.

The section between junctions 23 and 25 also includes:

•   five super span gantries (over both carriageways)
•   three single span gantries (over one carriageway)
•   nine refuge areas
•   20 overhead signals
•   28 CCTV cameras

An estimated 1.1 million man hours have gone into converting this section into a smart motorway.
Highways jobs

Highways Infrastructure Manager

Northumberland County Council
£60,253 - £63,540
We have a rare and exciting opportunity for the role of Highways Infrastructure Manager Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Highways Project Technician

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
We’re looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Chief Officer

Leeds City Council
£85,207 to £93,727
We need a Chief Officer with that rare blend of strategic perspective with a genuine talent for engaging and supporting our workforce to be... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Leeds City Council

Programme Director for Climate Change

Warwick District Council
Up to £91,500
This exciting new role will join our Corporate Management Team to formulate, oversee and implement the Climate Emergency Action Programme. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwick District Council

Sustainable Travel Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum
Are you passionate about the environment, and the support services required to keep it safe, clean and green? Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Parks Constable

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,726 per annum
You will have previous experience as an attested police officer or as a Special Constable, British Transport Police or Royal Parks. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Collision Investigation Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,844.00 - £38,228.00 Per Annum
Are you excited by the opportunity to make a difference to the roads of Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Transport for Greater Manchester

2 x Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety)

Dacorum Borough Council
£31,218 to £39,786 (Inclusive of London Fringe Weighting) + Car Allowance   
Seeking to appoint 2 x fully qualified Environmental Health Officer’s to work within our... Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recruiter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Asset Management (Regeneration & Environment)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£55,856 - £59,773
We have a current vacancy for the role of Head of Asset Management, and we are looking for a dynamic individual to lead the service Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Environmental Education Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
Looking for instructors who complement our enthusiastic, motivated and friendly staff team. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Structures Asset Manager

Kent County Council
£52,713 - £58,774 per annum (salary dependent on experience) 
If you have the ability to succeed in either of these roles and are able to prioritise competing demands and objectives, coupled with... Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Structures Senior Engineer

Kent County Council
Starting salary £33,082 per annum
Providing engineering support for maintenance of highway structures, liaising and working closely across KCC. Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within the team associated with... Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Permit Officer – Place

Enfield London Borough Council
£27,228 - £29,241
You will have the ability to understand and learn relevant legislation and be able to work on your own initiative but also work as part of... Enfield (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recruiter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recruiter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Valuing our roads: What is a network worth?

Also inside:

Traffex review 

Diary of a flood.

Beautiful roads

Live Labs exclusive briefing 

View the latest issue

Latest Video