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Smart Motorways Get Moving – At Last!

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I notice that Highways England has awarded a total of £9.7m for new smart motorway schemes.

The idea behind smart motorways is to take a technology driven approach to motorway driving.  The aim is to increase traffic capacity whilst relieving congestion and maintaining safety standards.  

To do this the hard shoulder is incorporated for traffic use, either permanently or during peak periods, creating an additional lane and so increasing capacity.  This so-called ‘all lane running system’ has attracted some criticism on safety grounds.
Improved technology allows these traffic management methods:

•    Changing speed limits to smooth traffic flow, reducing the frustration of stop-start driving.  
•    Activating warning signs alerting drivers to hazards and traffic jams.
•    Closing lanes to allow, for instance, access for emergency vehicles.

There has been criticism that the government has been slow in providing the funding for the changes but the recent announcement by Highways England seems to have answered that.  

The motorways affected are M3, M6, M27, M60 and M62.