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Hard shoulder running planned for M25 in Essex

  • 10 October 2012
  • By Chris Tindall

The Highways Agency is planning to convert a second stretch of hard shoulder on the M25 into an extra lane for traffic, a week after announcing it was doing it on the same motorway in Kent.

The agency wants to take 15 miles of the emergency lane between junctions 23 to junction 27 in Essex and begin turning it into a lane for road users next year.

The plans follow successful use of the idea on the M6 and M42; the HA said accidents had more than halved since hard shoulder running was introduced on a 10.5 mile stretch of the M42 and journey times had improved.

“We’ve used our successful experience of operating managed motorways in the West Midlands to produce an updated design which would see the hard shoulder permanently converted to a running lane, with fewer overhead structures such as gantries,” explained HA project manager John Martin.

The Freight Transport Association said members welcomed the scheme, but added that it shouldn’t replace long-term road building projects.

FTA policy manager Ian Gallagher said: “The concept itself has been around for many years. We were very concerned about uncertainty over emergency stops, LGVs gathering and not being able to come off at junctions, side swipes and so on. The reality is that hard shoulder running seems to be running very well.”


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