Journey times to be cut after M25 widening is completed

Getting in and out of London could be made easier after a new section of ‘smart motorway’ on the M25 was finally opened, reports.

The M25 gets notoriously congested between Kent and Surrey, with drivers often complaining of coming to a complete standstill at some of the busiest times. Now, in a bid to combat this, the Highways Agency has rolled out a new system whereby the hard shoulder can be used as an additional lane and technology is used to help manage congestion.

It follows a similar implementation of smart motorway technology on the M25 in Hertfordshire.

The new system has been dubbed an ‘all lane running’ motorway, which means the hard shoulder is used as a normal lane and so stopping is prohibited. Anyone needing to pull over must do so in emergency refuge areas, in service stations or at the next junction. To meet demand, 10 refuge areas have been created, as well as 88 overhead signs, 38 CCTV cameras, 33 verge-mounted signs and 13 emergency telephones, notes.

These roads will then be controlled with variable speed limits in the hope of keeping people moving and using real-time information to prevent travellers from grinding to a halt.

The Highways Agency claims its new system would not only cut journey times for the 140,000 drivers who use the section of road every day, but even provide a financial boost to London and the surrounding areas.