M4 Smart motorway

As we can see most of the work on converting the M4 Junctions 8/9  to 12 to a four lane smart motorway is now complete.  Asking why it is not open, I have been told that the Highways Agency has decided to introduce additional technology to detect stopped vehicles in a few seconds and to institute safety measures with lane closure and speed restrictions as necessary. There is a pause whilst this work is prepared and completed, when the full motorway will open between Junctions 12 and 8/9. The work from 8/9 to 3 is still underway, with more overnight closures to watch out for.


  1. G Wheatley
    May 4, 2021

    It was a bodgit building job and they are papering over the cracks in a flawed scheme, Sir John.

    I am reminded of the ‘Builders’ sketch in Fawlty Towers….
    “That’s a supporting wall – if I don’t put a joist in there, the whole bloody lot will come down”.

    ‘Smart’ motorways are going to kill more people than they save.
    Just like the Covid-19 measures.

  2. Alan Jutson
    May 6, 2021

    Not a Smart road at all, as has been proved by the comments of many Police forces in whose area they run through.

    Refuges too far apart, and far too small to be of any real safety/breakdown use.

    A motorway slip road is hundreds of metres long so you can pickup speed to join the carriageway at a sensible and safe speed, the refuges are about 50 yards long, with limited visibility, and an accident waiting to happen, even if you are lucky enough to reach one in the first place.

    I though after discussion Politicians voted against these sort of motorways 5 years ago !

  3. Alan Jutson
    May 7, 2021

    Interesting journey on the Smart section of the M3 Motorway today.

    One car with shredded tyre stranded in the live lane, just after we got onto the motorway London bound at Bagshot, passengers looking terrified as we passed, having not yet escaped as car was hard up against the barrier.

    Then on the opposite side of the road a lorry with two fire engines present, again in the live lane causing a huge amount of traffic chaos, and a tailback for miles.
    I wonder how long the fire engines took get to the scene through the traffic jam with no hard shoulder to travel on, for access to the scene.?

    Yes, very Smart !!!!

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