You will have heard the phrase ‘smart motorway’ or ‘managed motorway’ over the last few years but are you still unsure of what they are? Large scale roadworks have been disrupting the roads for lengthy periods of time to create smart motorways and one of the latest legs of work has been completed in the midlands on a stretch of the M6 motorway. With promises of faster-moving traffic and shorter delays, here’s everything you need to know about smart motorways.
Not a new concept
Smart motorways have been steadily introduced since the mid-90s. Connecting London to Leeds and the likes thereof, smart or managed motorways have been a work in progress across the country for almost 25 years.
An extra lane
One of the main concepts of the smart motorway is that in busier periods of time when traffic starts to back up, the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane. This spreads the traffic out and can even reduce emissions and noise pollution.
Variable speed limits
Throughout stretches of smart or managed motorway, variable speed limits are introduced. This is to minimise congestion and maximise the safety of drivers on the road. These variable speed limits are also helpful in poor weather, encouraging extra caution and visibility on busy and potentially dangerous roads.
With more plans for developments across the country in the coming years, the primary focus of smart or managed motorways is the safety of drivers on the road. Motorways can be dangerous places and congestion easily builds up. The further introduction of these roads should make for a more pleasant driving experience, getting to destinations safely and quickly.
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