Highways England rules out ‘smart motorway’ for M5

M5 traffic. Picture: Highways England

M5 traffic. Picture: Highways England - Credit: Traffic England

There are no plans to allow drivers to use the M5’s hard shoulder to reduce congestion in North Somerset or Sedgemoor, 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.

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

Rebecca Edmond, head of South West planning and development for Highways England, said: "There are no current plans to introduce a smart motorway to the Sedgemoor section of the M5.

"We are, though, finalising designs to bring more technological benefits to drivers between junction 23 (Bridgwater and Highbridge) and junction 25 (Taunton), a part of the motorway which currently suffers from delays."