M4 / M5 interchange Dynamic Hard Shoulder enhancements
We are upgrading dynamic hard shoulder motorways, starting with the central reservation barriers.
These enhancements have been developed as part of our work to upgrade older Dynamic Hard Shoulder (DHS) motorways to the latest safety standards.
As announced in the Government response to the Transport Committee recommendations, the conversion of DHS motorway to All Lane Running is being paused, while we consider alternative ways in which to operate the dynamic hard shoulder.
In the meantime, we'll be installing further safety measures for DHS motorways that are in operation, including upgrading the central reservation barrier, carrying out drainage improvements and constructing new emergency areas.
We are upgrading sections of the M4 and M5 central reservation barrier from steel to concrete, to improve the safety and reliability of journeys. The M5 will have three new emergency areas created, providing more places to stop in an emergency.
We’ll maintain capacity by installing 3 narrow lanes with a 50mph average speed restriction in place. Any other restrictions will be limited to overnight when traffic flows are lowest.
We’re coordinating closely with another National Highways project to refurbish two bridges at the junction 15 and 16 interchanges on the M5, sharing roadworks and resources to provide as smooth a journey for drivers as possible.
We are also providing an enhanced free recovery service to help any drivers who break down or are involved in an accident as quickly as possible and keep traffic moving for everyone else.
Despite these steps we expect that some delays are inevitable, especially at peak times. We will be encouraging drivers to plan their journeys to avoid these times if possible.
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