Highways to hold exhibitions on plans to use M4 hard shoulder

The Highways Agency is holding public information exhibitions to explain its plan to utilise the hard shoulder on the M4 between junctions 3 and 12.

The route of the proposed Smart Motorway

The route of the proposed Smart Motorway

The ‘smart motorway’ scheme would see the removal of the hard shoulder, with a variable speed limit, CCTV coverage and emergency refuge areas.

Seven exhibitions are planned between the 18th March and 29th March 2014:

Date Time Where Address
Tuesday 18th March 2014 2pm to 8pm Feltham St Giles Hotel, Hounslow Road, TW14 9AD
Wednesday 19th March 2014 2pm to 8pm Uxbridge Hillingdon Park Baptist Church, 25 Hercies Road, UB10 9LS
Friday 21th March 2014 2pm to 8pm Reading Theale Village Hall, Englefield Road, RG7 5AS
Saturday 22th March 2014 10am to 4pm Maidenhead Holy Port War Memorial Hall, Moneyrow Green, Holyport SL6 2NA
Thursday 27th March 2014 2pm to 8pm Slough Copthorne Hotel Slough, Cippenham Lane, SL1 2YE
Friday 28th March 2014 3pm to 8pm Wokingham Winnersh Community Centre, New Road, RG41 5DU
 Saturday 29th March 2014 10am to 4pm West Drayton St Martin’s Church Hall, Church Road, UB7 7PT

While converting the hard shoulder into an extra lane for a managed (or ‘smart’) motorway is acknowledged as by far the cheapest option for expanding motorway capacity not everybody is in favour.

For people who break down, the hard shoulder is a safe haven. To take it away permanently, when congestion only exists for a few hours each day, would create an undue risk.

The AA voiced concerns over the scheme in July last year, while road safety charity Brake has suggested that congestion on the motorway could delay or prevent emergency service vehicles reaching people who have been injured in the event of a crash.

Local haulier Roy Bowles Transport, based in Colnbrook, has also been vocal in opposition to the scheme.

The Highways Agency say such schemes are at least as safe as conventional motorways.

Funding has yet to be approved and the scheme is unlikely to be delivered before 2021.

 

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