Variable speed limits planned for M3 motorway
By mattcollison | Friday, March 08, 2013, 13:15
NEW speed limits could be rolled out along the stretch of the M3 motorway near Camberley.
The Highways Agency has launched a consultation into draft regulations for the introduction of mandatory variable speed limits.
The technology-driven improvements are planned for 13.4 miles of the M3 between junction 2, where the motorway meets the M25 near Chertsey, and junction 4a, near Farnborough.
Variable speed limits will be displayed on overhead and verge mounted signs and the hard shoulder converted into a traffic lane under the proposals.
An eight week consultation will finish on Friday May 24 into the draft regulations.
Simon Kirby, Highways Agency project manager, said: "This major upgrade will ease congestion, and make journeys more reliable for the 130,000 road users, including hauliers and commuters, who use this section of the motorway every day. \
"The consultation is an opportunity for relevant stakeholders, such as local authorities, emergency services and transport associations to comment on the proposed new measures, and we also welcome views from members of the public."
The Highways Agency will use the variable mandatory speed limits to manage traffic flows during periods of congestion, or following an incident, by slowing down vehicles or closing lanes to smooth out traffic and reduce the risk of collisions.
The hard shoulder will also be permanently converted to a traffic lane to add vital extra capacity.
Sensors in the road surface detect the speed, volume and flow of traffic. The system then calculates the optimum speed to keep traffic moving and reduce the 'stop-start' traffic which leads to congestion. Drivers see the current speed limit displayed on electronic signals on the overhead gantries.