England’s motorways are getting smart!
Get smart, know your motorways!
England’s motorways are changing. Many now use a range of new technology to vary speed limits in response to driving conditions. These smart motorways make the hard shoulder available to traffic. This could be permanently or at particularly busy times of the day. These smart motorways are managed by our regional control centres. They use CCTV so that Highways Agency traffic officers can be deployed to incidents if they occur and help to keep traffic moving.
This leaflet tells you what to expect and how to use a smart motorway:
Different types of smart motorway include:
Controlled motorway — Controlled motorways have three or more lanes with variable speed limits. The hard shoulder should only be used in a genuine emergency.
Hard shoulder running — The hard shoulder will be opened at busy times and the speed limit will be reduced. Do NOT use the hard shoulder unless overhead signs show that you can do so.
All Lane running — There is no hard shoulder on these sections of motorway. Obey variable speed limits and do not stop on the motorway. If you need to stop in an emergency, use an emergency refuge area, motorway service area or leave at the next junction.
We use a red X symbol to show that a lane is closed because of an incident or people working on the road. Driving in a lane with a red X symbol is dangerous and drivers must NOT use it.