Smart Motorway Delay
Work to make the M27 a smart motorway to be completed in 2022.
19:54 21 July 2021
Work to make the M27 a smart motorway has suffered another delay. The work, which was initially due to be finished in the summer, will not be completed until 2022.
However, Highways England said it was "making good progress" in upgrading motorways with radar-based stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology. The technology along with other measures will be used to cut congestion and improve travel time.
Highways England added: "We are grateful for everyone's patience while we complete this work, and we expect the upgrade to be fully open in spring 2022."
Paul Clifton, BBC South transport, said: "It seems to be taking forever to finish the smart motorway sections on the M27 between Portsmouth and Southampton, and on the M4 between Reading and West London.
"For months, drivers on both motorways have been looking at hard shoulders that have been fully converted into a fourth driving lane.
"But they remain coned off. Out of use.
"Smart motorways remain hugely controversial. With the extra lane, they can carry more traffic than traditional motorways with hard shoulders.
"But many MPs are against them.
"Road safety organisations, including the AA and RAC, have consistently argued they are less safe than motorways with hard shoulders.
"Highways England maintains that isn't true.
"But the Department for Transport was sufficiently worried that it paused the opening of any more smart motorways until radar-based stopped vehicle detection technology is ready."
It is meant to identify a stationary vehicle in a live driving lane within 20 seconds, and alert control room staff.