South East emergency area retrofit programme

We’re building additional emergency areas to our all lane running smart motorways in the South East.

Start date 2024
End date TBC

Project information


Emergency areas provide a place to stop in an emergency if drivers can't exit the motorway or stop at a motorway service area.

They are marked by blue signs featuring an orange SOS telephone symbol. Each is coloured orange and is around the same length as a football pitch. They’re positioned at regular intervals, providing somewhere safe to stop and have phones linked directly to our control rooms.

Read our advice about driving on motorways, including what to do in an emergency.

Our investment in new emergency areas is all designed to help road users feel safe and be even safer on our roads. It's part of other improvements we're making, including:

  • technology, such as stopped vehicle detection
  • better and more signs
  • more information about smart motorways online and in an updated Highway Code

Through all the work we are doing, we’re determined to:

  • further reduce the number of casualties on our high-speed road network
  • improve public confidence in our smart motorways

continue to build and operate one of the safest and best performing road networks in the world.  


Traffic information

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

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