M25 Junctions 5-7: Smart Motorway

Project status:   Current


Start date:   May 2013
End date:  Spring 2014


Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)

Cost:  £129 million


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April 2014 update

  • Works in the central reserve have been completed with the construction of a concrete safety barrier and a new surface water drainage arrangement. 
  • We are currently finishing off works in the verges and surfacing the new lane 1.
  • All new gantry signs have been  installed.
  • Construction works are due for completion in April, weather permitting, following testing and commissioning which is ongoing.

All lane running

As part of our smart motorway initiative, the new road layout for this section of the M25 will involve “all lane running”. This means the hard shoulder is permanently converted into a traffic lane on these sections of the motorway.

Instead of the hard shoulder you will see regularly spaced emergency refuge areas, each one with an emergency telephone. We have also installed CCTV cameras to help us spot incidents and deal with them as fast as possible. Put your hazard lights on to help us.

If you can’t make it to an emergency refuge, the smart motorway technology lets us close any lane by displaying a red “X” on the gantries, moving traffic away from the incident and keeping it clear for emergency vehicles. Do not drive in a lane with a red “X” displayed over it.

All lane running increases the capacity of the motorway to reduce congestion and make your journey more reliable. It does this at a lower cost and with less disruption than a traditional road widening scheme.

 

Traffic bulletin : Anti-clockwise M25 closed tonight on Kent/Surrey border

Road users are reminded that part of the anti-clockwise M25 will be closed tonight (Tuesday 8 April) on the Kent/Surrey border while new technology is tested and commissioned.

The anti-clockwise M25, between junctions 6 and 5, will be closed overnight, between 10pm and 6am.

The work is part of a scheme to add vital capacity to the motorway between junction 5 (Sevenoaks) and junctions 6/7 (Godstone/M23).

This will include the inspection and familiarisation of the new cameras with infra-red capability that will help the regional control centre, based at Godstone, to monitor the M25 even at night.

 

A fully signed diversion route will be in place via the A22 southbound, A25 east and A21 northbound to re-join the M25 at junction 5.

What is happening?

We are improving the M25 by making it a "smart motorway" (previously known as managed motorways) between junctions 5 and 7. 

Smart motorways help relieve congestion by using technology to vary speed limits. They also allow the hard shoulder to be used as a running lane to create additional capacity. They deliver these benefits at a significantly lower cost than conventional motorway widening and with less impact on the environment during construction.

Find out more about smart motorways.

When and where is this happening?

In the October 2010 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that the M25 Junction 5 to 6/7 Smart Motorway scheme would be prepared for start of construction before 2015, subject to the outcome of statutory processes. Find out more about our Current Delivery Programme.

Alongside the Budget announcement on the 21st March 2012, the Government confirmed that this scheme was planned to commence in financial year 2013/14. Start of works commenced in May 2013 following preparatory works from September 2012.

This smart motorway scheme will be carried out on the M25 between junctions 5-7 between Redhill and Sevenoaks.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The M25 is one of Europe's busiest motorways, handling around 200,000 vehicles every day. It is at the core of our network and is suffering from increasing congestion levels and journey times. We need to manage traffic flows better and to help achieve this we have already widened the carriageways from junctions 16 to 23, and from junctions 27 to 30, from 3 to 4 lanes in each direction.

Since June 2008 we have been considering options to improve the traffic flow from junctions 5 to 7. In January the Secretary of State decided that this section of motorway could be improved by the introduction of a system to replace the hard shoulder with a fourth running lane (otherwise known as Smart Motorways - All Lanes Running). Our aim will be to provide the minimum amount of improvements necessary to deliver the safe operation of smart motorways.

Widening of the M25 is one of the recommendations of the Orbit Multi Modal Study which reported in November 2002. The study was tasked with addressing the problems of the M25 motorway and the orbital transport corridor around London. The study involved widespread public consultation and looked at the current problems and potential solutions to them.

The report recommended that most of the dual 3 lane sections of the M25 should generally be widened to dual 4 lanes.

The other sections to be widened are:

M25 Jct 16 to 23 (M40 - A1 (M)) - 21.8 miles (35 kilometres) - Completed

M25 Jct 27 to 30 (M11 - Dartford) - 14.3 miles (23 kilometres) - Completed

M25 Jct 23 to 27 (A1 (M) - M11) - 16.8 miles (27 kilometres)

M25 Jct 1b to 3 (Dartford - M20) - 3.1 miles (5 kilometres) - Completed

The estimated outturn cost of £129 million was approved by the Secretary of State in November 2012 prior to the start of construction.

How will the scheme be carried out?

A number of cameras, information signs and signals on gantries will be installed as part of the improvement scheme. As the scheme design progresses we will provide more information on the location of these features.

Using our knowledge of operating the M42 and M6 smart motorway schemes we have developed the smart motorway concept. These developments include permanently converting the hard should to a running lane and developing the design so that schemes will have:

  • Fewer overhead gantries which span the whole motorway
  • Fewer signals over each lane and more verge mounting signing
  • Comprehensive CCTV cameras – although there will no longer be the need for the dedicated cameras and operating systems required for opening and closing the hard shoulder.

Signs and signals will still be used to inform drivers of conditions on the network and when variable speed limits are in place.

What are the benefits?

This project will relieve congestion and smooth the flow of the traffic, improving safety and journey times. These benefits will also support economic development in the region.

We already have evidence of the benefits that a smart motorway scheme can bring. The first smart motorway scheme opened to traffic on the M42 motorway in 2006. Recent analysis of the data gathered since opening has found that journey time reliability improved by 22 per cent and reduced emissions by up to 10 per cent due to traffic flowing more smoothly.

In addition, personal injury accidents have reduced by more than half (55.7%) since hard shoulder running was introduced. There was also an overall reduction in the severity of accidents with zero fatalities and fewer seriously injured.

How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

We have appointed Skanska Balfour Beatty as contractor for these works. They can be contacted as follows:

Suzy Keeley 
Head of Communications
Community Relations Team
Skanska Balfour Beatty Joint Venture
M25 J5-7 Smart Motorway Major Improvement Works
Junction 6, Godstone Compound
Rooks Nest, Godstone
RH9 8BY 

Making Part 1 Claims

Once the notices are issued, Part 1 claims for the M25 Junctions 5 to 7 Smart Motorway scheme will be processed by the National Part 1 Claims Team in Birmingham. Find out more about Part 1 claims.

Part 1 claims submitted in respect of the M25 Junctions 16 to 23 and Junctions 27 to 30 schemes are being managed by the Design Build Finance and Operate (DBFO) company Connect Plus. All requests for further information relating to Part I claims on these schemes should therefore be directed to Connect Plus who can be contacted at Connect Plus House, St Albans, South Mimms, Potters Bar EN6 3NP or by telephone on 02033 868500. The contact for Part I claims at Connect Plus is John Worsfold.

Details of scheduled roadworks are provided to help you plan your journey. Please note that works are weather- and resource- dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice. This information is not updated in real time so please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guide only.

Will there be roadworks?

Yes, roadworks will be in place in order to allow us to safely undertake this work. This is a very busy section of motorway so we have carefully planned the work so there will continue to be three lanes open in each direction during the day when traffic flows are at their highest. Lane closures can be in place overnight from 22:00 to 06:00 with some overnight closures which will be publicised in advance. Full lane closures will be needed for the installation of the super span gantries. These will also take place overnight and full details will be available below.

Road Works

DateDurationDetailsAllow an Extra
17 April 2014N/AM25 junctions 5 to 7 clockwise carriageway - there are not any closures.N/A
17 April 2014N/AM25 junctions 5 to 7 anti-clockwise carriageway - there are not any closures.N/A
18 April 2014N/AM25 junctions 5 to 7 clockwise carriageway - there are not any closures.N/A
18 April 2014N/AM25 junctions 5 to 7 - anti-clockwise carriageway - there are not any closures.N/A
19 April 2014N/AM25 clockwise carriageway - junctions 5 to 7 - there are not any closuresN/A
19 April 2014N/AM25 anti-clockwise carriageway - junctions 7 to 5 - there are not any closures.N/A
20 April 2014N/AM25 clockwise carriageway - junctions 5 to 7 - there are not any closures.N/A
20 April 2014N/AM25 anti-clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 7 - there are not any closures.N/A
21 April 2014N/AM25 clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 7 - there are not any closures.N/A
21 April 2014N/AM25anti-clockwise carriageway junctions 7 to 5 - there are not any closures.N/A
22 April 2014N/AM25 clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 7 - there are not any closures.N/A
22 April 2014N/AM25 anti-clockwise carriageway junctions 7 to 5 - there are not any closures.N/A
23 April 201410pm to 5:30amM25 clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 6 - one lane closed - required for TarMac repairs.Anticipated delay approximately 10 minutes.
23 April 201410pm to 5:30amM26 westbound carriageway one lane closed - required for TarMac repairs (affecting M25 junctions 5 to 6).Anticipated delay approximately 15 minutes.
23 April 201410pm to 5:30amA21 northbound carriageway to M25 clockwise carriageway is closed - diversion via the M25 junctions 4 and return - required for TarMac repairs (affects M25 junctions 5 to 6).Anticipated delay approximately 30 minutes.
23 April 201410pm to 5:30amM25 anti-clockwise carriageway junctions 6 to 5 - 2 lanes closed - required for traffic management removal.Anticipated delay approximately 10 minutes.
24 April 201410pm to 5:30amM25 clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 6 - one lane closed - required for TarMac repairs.Anticipated delay approximately 10 minutes.
24 April 201410pm to 5:30amM26 westbound carriageway - one lane closed - required for TarMac repairs (affects M25 junctions 5 to 6).Anticipated delay approximately 30 minutes.
24 April 201410pm to 5:30amM25 anti-clockwise carriageway junctions 6 to 5 - 2 lanes closed - required for traffic management removal.Anticipated delay approximately 10 minutes.
25 April 201411pm to 6amM25 clockwise carriageway junctions 5 to 6 - 2 lanes closed - required for TarMac repairs.Anticipated delay approxiamately 10 minutes.
25 April 201411pm to 6amM25 anti-clockwise carrigeway junctions 7 to 6 - 2 lanes closed - required for traffic management removal.Anticipated delay approximately 10 minutes.

How will you manage traffic?

Three narrow lanes are running during the day time. A temporary 50mph speed limit (enforced by average speed cameras) is in place to ensure the safety of our workers and road users through the works.

Will there be diversions?

Clearly signed diversions will be in place and are outlined above.

Progress to date

Ecology

We have carried out investigations along the side of the carriageway through the length of the works. 

Archaeology

Archaeological work is ongoing on off site areas.

ActivityDate
Publish Environmental StatementAutumn 2010
Site clearanceFrom September 2012
Installation of new concrete barrier in central reservationLate 2012
Start of WorksMay 2013
Completion of work to upgrade the Central Reservation BarrierMid July 2013
Completion of Traffic Management SwitchEarly August 2013
Installation of first new GantryMid September 2013
CompletionSpring 2014

Business Case

M25 Junctions 5 to 7 Managed Motorways - Business Case
Business Case - Information correct as at December 2010

Leaflet

M25 Junctions 5-7 Smart Motorway - Smart Motorways Leaflet
M25 Junctions 5-7 Smart Motorway - Get smart know your motorways

Newsletter

M25 Junctions 5-7 Managed Motorways - Newsletter Issue 1
M25 Junctions 5-7 Managed Motorways - Newsletter Issue 1

Report

M25 Junctions 5 to 7 Managed Motorways - Summary of Consultation Responses
Summary of Consultation Responses Managed Motorways – All Lanes Running M25 J5 to J7
M25 Junctions 5-7 Managed Motorways - Environmental Assessment Report
For a copy of the Environmental Assessment Report for this scheme please email the team at:
M25junction5to7MM@highways.gsi.gov.uk