M27 junctions 4 to 11: smart motorway

We're converting the M27 between junction 4 (M3 interchange) and junction 11 (Fareham) by turning the hard shoulder into a permanent running lane, making a dual four-lane motorway.

Start date Started
End date spring 2022
Cost £244 million

Latest updates

  • 29 June 2022

    Upgraded motorway now open

    This week we’re changing the speed limit between junction 4 and 11, which marks the lifting of the final restriction on the upgraded section. It means you can now drive at national speed limit.

    If you’ve been using the road recently you’ll know all four lanes of the upgraded carriageway were open and the speed limit was 60mph. Drivers were kept at a lower maximum speed limit while we adjusted the technology which detects stopped vehicles. We continue to make adjustments but our testing shows we can now increase maximum speed on the upgraded section.

    Thank you to everyone for your co-operation and understanding during this phase. Routine operational checks of the system continue. 

    All motorways, with or without a hard shoulder, are designed and operated with drivers centrally in mind, to be easy and straightforward to drive on. The technology currently used on smart motorways, all focussed on drivers, is a system of inter-related features creating a layering effect. These include:

    • Variable speed limits to help keep traffic moving, reducing frustrating stop-start traffic and making journeys quicker 
    • Clearly signed and orange-coloured emergency areas set back from the road and with telephones linking directly to our control rooms 
    • Detection systems to monitor traffic for changes in flows 
    • Stopped Vehicle Detection (SVD) technology which can identify a stationary vehicle, typically within 20 seconds
    • CCTV cameras that our operators are able to move and zoom to monitor and manage congestion and incidents, where notified. The system has the ability to see 100% of the carriageway Signs and signals to provide information to drivers which can alert them to hazards ahead
    • Red X signals to close lanes to other traffic when a stopped vehicle is identified 
    • Enforcement cameras to deter the minority who break speed limits and ignore Red X signals 

    If drivers get into difficulty between junctions 4 and 11, they will be able to use one of 23 places to stop in an emergency. There is a place to stop in an emergency every 1.27 miles on average, which includes 13 new emergency areas. We will consider retrofitting additional emergency areas on this stretch at a later date.

    With the fourth traffic lane open and in use the capacity on this vital route along the south coast between Portsmouth and Southampton will be boosted by a third.

    If you’d like to know more about the main features of smart motorways, and advice and guidance on safer driving and what to do in an emergency, visit our new ‘Driving on motorways’ hub

    What’s still to be done

    We’ll be continuing with some final activities, information about any closures will be available here.


  • 08 June 2022

    Upgrade moves into testing phase

    With construction finished, this week will see our project move into its next phase – testing and calibrating the new technology that helps road users.

    You’ll notice cones and barriers starting to be removed overnight on 12 February, with four lanes open to traffic. There’s 15-miles of traffic management to remove, so this will take us several nights. All cones will be lifted between junctions 4 and 11 by 6am on 18 February.

    When the traffic management is removed, the four lanes will remain at 60mph while the new technology, including stopped vehicle detection, is calibrated and commissioned. Our roadworks must be fully removed to allow for testing to be carried out. There are several additional measures in place to help keep you safe while we carry out these tests. These include:

    • Limiting drivers to a maximum of 60mph between junctions 4 and 11.
    • Keeping the temporary CCTV used during the roadworks in place alongside the new permanent CCTV installed as part of the upgrade. There will be 142 cameras in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the commissioning period.
    • The dedicated free recovery service will also stay in place. There will be 10 vehicles in operation during this time, two HGV recovery units, four light vehicle recovery units and four recovery impact protection vehicles.
    • Gantry signs will be turned on and operating, meaning variable speed limits can be used to smooth out traffic and tackle stop-start congestion. The Red X sign can also be used to close one or more lanes. The gantry signs are manually operated by the staff in our control room.
    • Traffic officers will be patrolling to help road users.
    • And if you get into difficulty you will be able to use one of 23 places to stop in an emergency, which includes 13 new emergency areas. There will be a place to stop in an emergency every 1.27 mile, on average. If you’re travelling at 60mph, you’ll reach a place to stop in an emergency on average every 70 seconds on the eastbound carriageway, and 75 seconds on the westbound carriageway.

    With the fourth traffic lane open and in use the capacity on this vital route along the south coast between Portsmouth and Southampton will be boosted by a third.

    If you’d like to know more about the main features of smart motorways, and advice and guidance on safer driving and what to do in an emergency, visit our new ‘Driving on motorways’ hub.

    Transport select committee response:

    On 12 January 2022 the Government’s response to the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into the roll out and safety of smart motorways was published. It included a commitment to pause the rollout of future all lane running (ALR) smart motorway schemes until a full five years’ worth of safety and economic data is available from upgrades delivered before 2020. This will allow an informed decision to be made on next steps.

    During the pause we will ensure current smart motorways without a permanent hard shoulder are equipped with best-in-class technology and resources to make them as safe as possible.

    This will include investing £390 million to install more than 150 additional emergency areas so drivers have more places to stop if they get into difficulty. This will represent around a 50% increase in places to stop by 2025, giving drivers added reassurance.

    Upgrade projects which are more than 50% complete will be completed and will open with all their new features. The M27 falls into that category. Leaving traffic management out during the pause would lead to significant disruption for road users.

    We’ll be opening with radar Stopped Vehicle Detection technology in place, giving you reassurance. We’ll also be opening with the originally planned number of emergency areas, and more will be installed at a later date.

    Surfacing work in June

    We’ll also be continuing with surfacing work during June. We carry out this work overnight or at weekends to minimise the impact on road users.

    We complete this work in sections, and the details of upcoming closures are listed below. All closures will be from 9pm until 6am the following morning.




    7, 8, 9 & 10 June

    Junctions 9 to 8
    Junctions 9 to 11

    Westbound carriageway
    Eastbound carriageway

    9 & 10 June

    Junction 7

    Eastbound entry slip

    11 & 12 June

    Junctions 9 to 8
    Junction 5

    Westbound carriageway
    Eastbound entry slip

    13, 14 & 15 June

    Junctions 8 to 9
    Junctions 11 to 9

    Eastbound carriageway
    Westbound carriageway

    13 to 17 June

    Junction 5

    Eastbound entry and exit slips

    16 & 17 June

    Junctions 9 to 11

    Eastbound carriageway

    16 to 24 & 27 to 30 June

    Junctions 9 to 8

    Westbound carriageway

    20 to 26 June

    Junctions 11 to 9

    Westbound carriageway

    29 & 30 June

    Junctions 5 to 4

    Westbound carriageway

    All diversions will be clearly signposted. These dates may be subject to change due to operational requirements, or adverse weather conditions.  Therefore, we advise road users to plan their journeys in advance. You can keep up to date by visiting our Traffic England website: www.trafficengland.com or by following our Twitter feed: @HighwaysSEAST. 

    Hamble bridge pollution control preparation work

    We’ll soon be carrying out work on the M27 Hamble bridge to help reduce any pollution from the road surface being washed into local waterways. This work will comprise of some preparation work, which will include drainage and waterproofing to the bridge.

    To do this safely, we’ll be temporarily putting narrow lanes back in between junction 8 and 9 on both sides of the M27 from 9.00pm 7 May 2022 until 6.00am 30 May 2022. There will also be a reduced speed limit of 50 mph through the narrow lanes. We’ll be working day and night to get this work completed as quickly as we can, and there will be over night full closures in place to provide safe working areas for the team.

    We’ll be sure to monitor traffic flows during this time. We apologise in advance as the work may be noisy at times, but we’ll do our best to minimise this.

    These works on the M27 Hamble bridge aren’t directly associated with our motorway upgrade scheme, but we’ve timed them to take place before the scheme is complete and while we have teams already in the area. This should reduce disruption on the network in the future.

  • 21 December 2021

    Safety barrier improvements - junction 11 westbound exit slip

    You may have noticed some delays recently on the M27 westbound as you approached the exit at junction 11. We’ve been carrying out some improvements to the safety barrier on the slip road. And to help keep everyone safe, we needed to reduce the slip road from two lanes to one.

    The slip road was fully reopened on 21 December and we’d like to apologise for any disruption this essential work has caused. Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding.

  • 21 October 2021

    Weekend Closure on M27 near Fareham

    Road users are advised to plan ahead if they are intending to use the M27 at the end of October, due to a weekend closure between junctions 9 and 11. 

    The M27 will be closed between junctions 9 and 11 from Friday 29 October to Monday 1 November, in order to carry out deep reconstruction works. This work was due to take place earlier in October, but was postponed due to bad weather.
    The eastbound M27 will be closed between junctions 9 and 11 from 9.00pm on Friday 29 October until 6.00am on Monday 1 November, to allow for the re-scheduled work. 

    Signed diversions will be in place throughout the weekend closure. Traffic travelling eastbound should leave the M27 at junction 9 and take the third exit at the roundabout onto the A27 towards Fareham. Drivers should continue on the eastbound A27 and re-join the M27 at junction 11.
    Please be advised that junction 9 will remain open throughout and shoppers can still access the Whiteley Shopping as usual during this time.
    Our apologies for the disruption or congestion these works may cause. Please do plan ahead and leave extra time for your journey and check our National Highways live traffic information on www.highwaysengland.co.uk/traffic.  You can also check local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps as well as our twitter feed at @HighwaysSEAST.    

  • 26 August 2020

    North Fareham footbridge installation

    As we continue to upgrade the M27 between junctions 4 and 11 to modern motorway standards, we will be installing the new North Fareham footbridge, which will be situated between junctions 10 and 11 of the M27.

    The bridge installation will require a full closure of the M27 between junctions 9 and 11 from Friday 4 September at 9.00pm until Monday 7 September at 6.00am. This closure will include access off and onto the M27 at junction 10. Once the footbridge has been installed, we’ll be able to re-open the motorway again.

    The bridge installation is taking place overnight, as we need to install the footbridge as quickly and safely as possible. There is less traffic at night, which allows us to close the motorway with reduced impact for the travelling public, and we need to work through the night in order to allow us to re-open the motorway, as soon as the installation is complete.

    We apologise in advance for any disturbance caused, as the bridge installation may be noisy at times, and we have written to local residents to inform them of this installation in advance.

    The closure dates may be subject to change owing to operational requirements or adverse weather conditions. Diversion routes will be clearly signposted.

    We would advise road users to plan their journeys in advance by visiting the Traffic England website or by following our Twitter feed: @HighwaysSEAST 

Project information


The M27 motorway upgrade stretches from junction 4 (M3 Interchange) to junction 11 (Fareham), and will directly connect to the M3 junction 9 (Winchester / A34 Interchange) to junction 14 (M27) motorway scheme. The scheme is 24km (15 miles), and all links on the M27 between junction 4 to 11 will be upgraded to four lanes. The hard shoulder will be retained between junctions 7 and 8.

The scheme will involve:

  • permanent conversion of the hard shoulder to create a fourth lane and changing the junction slip roads to accommodate this
  • new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs and signals on gantries - these will show variable mandatory speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents
  • emergency refuge areas throughout the length of the scheme
  • the hardening of the central reserve and installation of a reinforced barrier to improve safety

The aims of this scheme are to: 

  • reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic by turning the hard shoulder into a permanent running lane 
  • improve journey time reliability on the strategic road network 
  • support the economy and facilitate economic growth by providing increased capacity on the motorway 
  • continue to deliver a high level of safety performance on the network using smart motorway techniques 
  • minimise environmental impacts of the scheme and where possible allow for enhancements to be made to the environment 


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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