130,000 drivers who use the M4 between Hayes and Theale in are set to benefit from a major project to upgrade the road to a smart motorway.
32 miles of the M4 will have an extra lane created in both directions, with upgraded signs, signals and technology to inform drivers about conditions ahead.
Plans about the upgrade are going on show this weekend, Saturday 7 July, with the first of six public events ahead of main construction starting later this year.
Drivers, business owners and local residents are invited to find out more about the plans, which will add an extra lane in each direction to the M4 between junction 3, near Hayes, and junction 12 at Theale, to upgrade it to an all-lane-running smart motorway. New technology will help to manage traffic to reduce delays and give drivers up to date information about conditions on the road ahead.
Work is due to start this autumn on the stretch between junctions 8/9 and 10, between Maidenhead and Wokingham. Six public information events are being held in the area, starting in Maidenhead this weekend, and visiting Wokingham, Theale and Reading over the next two weeks. The M4 smart motorway scheme has already been through a comprehensive consultation as part of the complex planning process, and people interested in finding out more about the plans are encouraged to attend an event and put any questions directly to the project team. Further events will take place early next year between junctions 8/9 and junction 3 (Hayes).
Highways England delivery director Mike Grant said:
“Upgrading the M4 to a smart motorway between junctions 3 and 12 is a massive job and will provide huge benefits not only to the 130,000 drivers using it each day by tackling congestion and improving journey times, but also for business travellers and holiday makers using the corridor to get to and from the airports in the south, as well as residents and businesses based in the area. Junction 8-9 lower
“Smart motorways add vital capacity to our motorway network and are central to our ambitious plans for modernising the motorway network, adding 120 miles of new lanes to motorways in the South East by 2020. Drivers will also see better information about conditions through new smart motorway technology which helps us to manage incidents, smooth traffic flow, make journeys more reliable and improve journey times, while maintaining high levels of safety.
“The public exhibitions starting this weekend are an ideal place for anyone interested in the upgrade of the M4 to a smart motorway to meet the project team and find out more.”
The M4 is the main strategic route between London, the west of England and Wales.
Under the plans, the hard shoulder will be permanently converted into a live running lane between junctions 3 and 12 in both directions. New signs and signals will be used to vary the speed limit to reduce congestion at busy times, and to control traffic if there is an obstruction on the road ahead.
Work is scheduled to start in September this year, and will be carried out in phases, with the smart motorway being fully operational in spring 2022.
Public information events are starting this weekend (Saturday 7 July, Holyport War Memorial Hall, near Maidenhead) with a further five events running until Thursday 19 July in Reading. People are encouraged to attend to find out more about the plans and put any questions directly to the project team. Further events will be held over the next few months along the route of the scheme.
The public information events will take place as follows:
Holyport War Memorial Hall, Holyport, Maidenhead, SL6 2NA Saturday 7 July 2018 10am – 1pm
Sindlesham Court, Sindlesham, Wokingham, RG41 5EA Wednesday 11 July 2018 3pm – 8pm
Dorney Village Hall, Dorney Reach, Maidenhead, SL6 0DS Thursday 12 July 2018 2pm – 7pm
Theale Village Hall, Theale, Reading, RG7 5AS Friday 13 July 2018 3pm – 8pm
The Nicholsons Centre, Nicholsons Lane, Maidenhead, SL6 1LB Monday 16 July 2018 2pm – 9pm
The Oracle Shopping Centre, Reading, RG1 2AG Thursday 19 July 2018 9am – 8pm
Anyone interested in the scheme can visit the project page on the Highways England website: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/m4-junctions-3-12-smart-motorway/