A £3m project to cut congestion by opening up more of the M42 hard shoulder to traffic at busy times has been announced by transport minister Chris Mole.
When the scheme is complete in December road users travelling southbound on the M42 at Junction 5 (near Solihull) will be the first in the UK to be able to drive along the motorway hard shoulder between junction slip roads. Previously drivers were required to exit the hard shoulder when approaching the junction.
As work gets underway from Saturday August 1, the Highways Agency will be realigning the southbound hard shoulder through Junction 5 and installing six CCTV traffic monitoring cameras and two electronic message signs which will direct traffic and give information to road users. All the work is within the existing highway boundary.
Chris Mole said: “Active traffic management has made journeys on the M42 near Birmingham safer and more reliable. To maximise benefits and further increase capacity the Highways Agency is now making more of the hard shoulder available to traffic at busy times. This should also offer even greater safety benefits because traffic will be able to stay in lane at the junction, rather then having to move over when the hard shoulder ends.”
Derek Turner, Highways Agency director of network operations, said: “This is an important step in the delivery of the Managed Motorway programme. The results of this first scheme will shape future hard shoulder running schemes on our network, where junctions have similar traffic flows and will benefit from an additional lane through the junction."