'Intelligent' diversion routes


Diversion routes provide safe alternative routes for drivers who are diverted from our network. We have around 2,700 pre-planned, pre-designated diversion routes for emergency use, covering 98% of our network, which allow drivers to safely navigate around closures on our roads.

The initiative

We’re constantly looking for new ways to improve diversion routes, minimising disruption for both drivers and the communities living and working near our roads. And in 2020, we started to look at how we can use advances in technology to create more ‘intelligent’ diversion routes, with smoother flowing traffic and better signage.

First, we worked with local experts and highways authorities to choose the most suitable diversion routes for our customers and their vehicles. For example, avoiding congested town centres and low bridges.

After identifying the best routes, we explored using a range of technologies to:

  • help keep drivers informed of what’s happening on the road ahead
  • enable our frontline teams to respond to incidents faster

We also worked with local highway authorities to develop strategies for adjusting traffic signal timings along these routes when required, to help keep the traffic flowing.


We now have over 300 pre-planned ‘intelligent’ diversion routes ready to deploy across the South East, Yorkshire and North East of England if there’s a closure on our roads.

These improved diversion routes mean drivers have access to the information they need at key decision points, helping them make informed choices about their journeys. Reduced journey times along these routes also means that there’s less disruption for drivers and neighbouring communities.

Our focus now is on future-proofing these solutions so that they keep working for our customers as traffic on our roads increases.

'Intelligent diversion routes
"The new system allows us [Hertfordshire County Council] to speed up our response to unplanned road closures, which reduces disruption and helps to keep traffic moving."
Councillor Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, Hertfordshire County Council