According to Highways England, congestion on our motorways costs an estimated £2 billion pounds a year with 25% of the cost being a result of incidents on our major road networks. The enforcement of smart motorways is set to cut congestion creating economic benefits across the country.
The technology behind smart motorways has been meticulously designed to ease congestion and increase the reliability and efficiency of our motorways. The system is controlled and monitored through the use of cameras and other intel which is relayed directly to regional traffic control centres, allowing real-time updates for road users.
Monitoring congestion and enforcing variable speed limits at peak times assists traffic, preventing the frustration of stop/start driving and delayed travel times. The over lane smart boards also play a key role in updating road users with traffic signs, travel updates, warnings of hazards and lane closures.
In addition, the hard shoulder, used as an additional lane is a cost-effective way of expanding the motorway without physically widening it, increasing road capacity at peak times. Emergency refuge areas have still been considered and it has been estimated that when traveling at 60mph there is a refuge area every 75 seconds for use in cases of emergency. Each refuge point has an emergency telephone which pinpoints the vehicle's location.
For more information and tips on how to drive on a smart motorway click here. You will find top tips and a series of informative videos highlighting how to travel safely and what to do in cases of emergency.
Top tip: Make sure you always check your vehicle before making a journey on the motorway, ensure your tires are safe, your lights are working correctly and you have sufficient oil, water, and fuel to get you to your destination safely.