Highways England rules out ‘smart motorway’ for M5

PUBLISHED: 07:44 19 August 2019

M5 traffic. Picture: Highways England

M5 traffic. Picture: Highways England

Traffic England

There are no plans to allow drivers to use the M5’s hard shoulder to reduce congestion in North Somerset, Highways England has confirmed.

Parts of the motorway, near Cribbs Causeway, have 'smart' technology to allow the usually unused hard shoulder to act as an additional lane to reduce hold-ups and keep cars moving.

But Highways England has ruled out replicating the scheme in Somerset, despite regular hold-ups around Portishead and Clevedon's junctions.

Smart motorways have variable mandatory speed limits, with the hard shoulder often being opened up to traffic in the event of congestion.

Highways England and North Somerset Council, however, both desire to reduce congestion approaching junction 19 from the southbound side.

During the weekday rush-hour times it is common for cars to queue over the Avonmouth Bridge as motorists try to return to Portishead.

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