New emergency rest areas set for M5 due to smart motorway safety concerns - The Droitwich Standard

New emergency rest areas set for M5 due to smart motorway safety concerns

Droitwich Editorial 23rd Mar, 2024   0

A TOTAL of ten new emergency rest areas are due to be installed along the M5 in response to safety concerns regarding smart motorways which do not have permanent hard shoulders.

The emergency areas will be located along the M5 between junctions 4A Rubery and junction 6 Worcester, with works set to begin on Tuesday, April 2.

Emergency areas provide a place to stop for drivers in an emergency if they are unable to leave the motorway or stop at a service area. They are clearly signed at regular intervals and have bright orange road surfaces to help identify them.

Each area is 100 metres long with space for all types of vehicle. They are also equipped with emergency telephones.

For the upgrade to be carried out safely, the left-hand lane will be closed throughout construction.

Lanes two, three and four will remain open with a 50mph speed limit in place.

National Highways say they are in close contact with local authorities to minimise the impact of roadworks as much as possible.

At limited locations where it is necessary to temporarily close an emergency area, a new temporary emergency area will be provided nearby and clearly signed.

All sections of the emergency areas, which includes a total of 54 across the M1 and M5, are due to be completed by March 2025.

National Highways project sponsor, Felicity Clayton, said: “Safety is our highest priority and we have listened to drivers’ concerns about having more places to stop in an emergency on motorways which don’t have a permanent hard shoulder.”

The project is funded through £900 million of government investment in smart motorway safety improvements.

Drivers can use real-time traffic information for England’s motorways at as well as X (Twitter) updates by following @NationalHways.

Any closures will also be visible on satellite navigation.

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