M4 junctions 3-12: smart motorwayRecently updated

Making the M4 a ‘smart motorway’ between junctions 3 and 12.

Region:  South East
Start date:  March 2017
Cost:  £586.4 to £862.4 million
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  March 2022
Programme:  Smart Motorways

What impact will this have on my journey?

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Traffic England

M4 junctions 3-12: smart motorway

Making the M4 a ‘smart motorway’ between junctions 3 and 12.

Progress report

The Secretary of State made a formal final decision on 2 September 2016 to grant development consent for the scheme. You can find the documents relating to this decision on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Following this decision there was a six week period in which the decision could have been challenged in the High Court. This process of legal challenge is known as Judicial Review. The deadline to challenge in the High Court was 15 October 2016, which has now passed.

What next?

Before we start the scheme’s main construction work, we will begin preparation work which will include archaeological surveys and site surveys. The majority of this work will be take place on the highway verge and land adjacent to the scheme. We plan to start this work around the 31 March 2017.

The work will require limited traffic management and lane closures in order to minimise disruption to road users. We plan to start the main construction work in late autumn 2017.

Timeline

  • Advanced motorway signalling and traffic management feasibility study identified this motorway
  • link as a priority for additional capacity: March 2008
  • Department for Transport announces a programme of smart motorways, including this scheme: 2009
  • Scheme development commenced: 2010
  • Roads Minister announces funding for this scheme: 2013
  • Public consultation: November 2014 - December 2015
  • Speed limit consultation: January-February 2015
  • Planning application submitted: 30 March 2015
  • Planning application accepted for examination: 27 April 2015
  • Notification of acceptance under the Planning Act: 28 May 2015
  • CH2M and Arcadis appointed to develop detailed scheme design: July 2015
  • Balfour Beatty and VINCI appointed to develop methodology and programme: July 2015
  • Secretary of State announced final decision: 2 September 2016
  • High Court Challenge period ended: 15 October 2016
  • Start of enabling works: by end March 2017
  • Start of main works: Late autumn 2017
  • End of works: End of March 2022

Why we need this scheme

The M4 motorway (M4) is the main strategic route between London, the west of England, and Wales. It connects directly to the M25 and Heathrow Airport. The M4 carries over 130,000 vehicles per day and currently suffers from heavy congestion making journey times unreliable. Traffic flows on the M4 are forecast to increase to an average of 160,000 vehicles per day over the next 20 years. This will result in even more congestion if nothing is done.

The scheme in detail

This scheme will use the latest technology to improve journeys by monitoring traffic flow and setting speed limits accordingly. This helps to keep traffic moving smoothly, instead of continually stopping and starting. Information about road conditions and speed limits will be displayed to drivers on electronic road signs. The proposal also involves converting the hard shoulder permanently to a traffic lane. This will create much needed extra capacity necessary to support economic growth. The conversion of the hard shoulder will be continuous through junctions unless there is an operational reason not to do so. We propose that the new lane created from the hard shoulder would continue through junctions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8/9 and 11. We aren’t proposing this for junctions 3 and 12 or at junctions 4b and 10, as these are motorway to motorway links. To enable the provision of a smart motorway along the whole length of the proposed scheme, it will be necessary to widen or replace a number of bridges where there is currently no hard shoulder.

Aims

The objectives of the proposed scheme are to:
  • reduce congestion
  • smooth the flow of traffic to improve journey times
  • make journeys more reliable
  • support the economy and facilitate economic growth within the region, by providing much needed capacity on the motorway techniques
  • continue to deliver a high level of safety performance on the network using smart motorway techniques minimise environmental impacts of the scheme

Environment impact

Smart motorways typically have a lesser environmental impact than traditional motorway widening schemes as there is less physical work. This minimises the potential impact on watercourses, habitats, landscape etc. Additionally, the technology used for Smart motorways allows traffic flows to be regulated; reducing congestion and therefore reducing air quality issues. We’ve undertaken an environmental assessment including:
  • air quality
  • cultural heritage
  • landscape
  • nature conservation
  • geology and soils
  • materials and noise
  • vibration
The results of this environmental assessment will be published . This will include any mitigation measures needed such as speed limit reductions and noise barriers.

Project media files

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 7 February 2017 to 11 February 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J7 and J10 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 3 March 2017 to 07:00 on 4 March 2017. Location : The M3 westbound entry slip at junction J3 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 23 December 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J8 and J10 . Status : Currently Active. Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 10 March 2017 to 07:00 on 11 March 2017. Location : The M3 westbound between junctions J4 and J4A . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J6 and J8 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 23 January 2017 to 17:00 on 23 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 28 February 2017 to 06:00 on 1 March 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J4A and J3 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 23 January 2017 to 06:00 on 24 January 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J5 and J6 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 13 February 2017 to 18 February 2017. Location : The M3 westbound between junctions J3 and J4A . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound entry slip at junction J8 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Period : from 23:59 on 29 January 2016 to 06:00 on 1 July 2017. Location : The M3 westbound between junctions J2 and J5 . Status : Currently Active. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound exit slip at junction J8 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 3 March 2017 to 07:00 on 4 March 2017. Location : The M3 westbound between junctions J2 and J4A . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J8 and J10 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 26 January 2017 to 17:00 on 26 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 18 February 2017 to 07:00 on 19 February 2017. Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J4 and J2 . Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Period : from 22:00 on 14 October 2016 to 06:00 on 25 November 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J11 and J10 . Status : Currently Active. Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 30 January 2017 to 2 February 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J6 and J5 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J7 and J10 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 24 January 2017 to 17:00 on 24 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J10 and J7 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M3 eastbound entry slip at junction J3 . Status : Pending. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed. Schedule : From 20:00 on 18 February 2017 to 07:00 on 19 February 2017. Reason : Road repairs are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J10 and J8 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 25 January 2017 to 17:00 on 25 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J6 and J7 . Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:00 and 17:00 from 20 February 2017 to 24 February 2017. Reason : Horticultural works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J10 and J8 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 26 January 2017 to 17:00 on 26 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J8 and J7 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 23 January 2017 to 17:00 on 23 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J10 and J7 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 24 January 2017 to 17:00 on 24 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J8 and J10 . Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:00 on 25 January 2017 to 17:00 on 25 January 2017. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J10 and J7 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 26 January 2017 to 2 February 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J5 and J6 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 21:30 on 25 January 2017 to 06:00 on 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J8 and J7 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 24 January 2017 to 06:00 on 25 January 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J5 and J6 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 21:30 on 27 January 2017 to 06:00 on 28 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J8 and J7 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : From 21:30 on 26 January 2017 to 06:00 on 27 January 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J7 and J8 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 30 January 2017 to 06:00 on 31 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound entry slip at junction J11 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Schedule : From 21:30 on 27 January 2017 to 06:00 on 28 January 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J7 and J8 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Location : The M4 westbound entry slip at junction J6 . Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 09:00 and 17:00 from 20 February 2017 to 24 February 2017. Reason : Horticultural works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : From 22:00 on 23 January 2017 to 06:00 on 24 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound between junctions J12 and J11 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 24 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J6 and J7 . Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm
Status : Pending. Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 23 January 2017 to 26 January 2017. Location : The M4 eastbound entry slip at junction J8 . Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed. Reason : Roadside drains works are planned.
Posted: January 21, 2017, 1:31 pm

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