Countries all over the world are doing whatever they can to make motorways safer. After all, there are more deaths caused by motorway accidents in the world than any other form of travel. However, there are some agencies that believe this number can be lowered. The Highways Agency has been working on turning a 7-mile stretch of road into a smart motorway. The idea is for this span of motorway to improve traffic flow while keeping consumers safe.
The start of this smart motorway scheme was started in January. The goal is to improve the 7-mile stretch of road that runs close to the Almondsbury Interchange near Bristol. This area gets a lot of traffic and is known for congestion and accidents. This is something that the Highways Agency has wanted to improve for a long time.
According to the agency, this new scheme is going to use a wide range of technology to hopefully manage congestion. This includes using variable speed limits that change during the day and allowing drivers to use the hard shoulder as an extra lane during the most congested times of the day.
The new technology also helps provide emergency services with new tools to manage accidents that may occur. For example, the Highways Agency will be able to provide information to drivers who are on the road. This includes indicating which lanes are closed well in advance. This will help direct drivers away from the accident without having to slow down traffic. Additionally, emergency services can be given safety zones and access to different routes if need be. The Highways Agency even has the power to do a full emergency closure of the roadway if it needs to.
Although all of this sounds good on paper, the Highways Agency really wants to know what drivers think it now that it is in place. It would like to hear feedback: both negative and positive. This will help the agency find out how to better improve smart motorways so that it can roll out the program in other areas. The Highways Agency invites drivers to visit its website and leave their feedback.
Paul Unwin, the senior project manager for the Highways Agency, said that there are more than 140,000 cars that use this little stretch of the M4 and M5 every single day. It has taken nearly two years to get this new scheme up and running. Now that drivers have suffered the heavy construction, maybe they can enjoy the hard work that has been put into the roadway. He reminds everyone to take the online survey and provide feedback that the Highways Agency can use to improve the smart motorway.