Orange emergency stopping areas being introduced on M3 smart motorway


Vehicles on the new13.4-mile long M3 "smart" motorway near Longcross, Surrey, between Farnborough and the M25.

The first orange coloured emergency stopping area will be trialled on the M3 in Surrey.

Located near Camberley, it will be a refuge area painted in a bright orange paint so that drivers who need to use it can see it easily during the day or night.

Highways England chief executive Jim O'Sullivan said: "We recognise the public concern about smart motorways and we also believe that changes such as these will help drivers have confidence when using them and be clear about where they can stop in an emergency.

"That is why we are trialing these highly visible new style emergency areas. The bright orange colouring will make them as easy as possible to spot and should also discourage drivers from using them in non-emergency situations.

The brightly coloured stopping areas are just one part of the upgrade of the M3, which has been plagued by roadworks upgrading it to a smart motorway since 2004. The improvements will also see the hard shoulder opened up during peak times.

If successful, orange emergency stopping areas will also be introduced on other motorways throughout the UK.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: "Our roads are some of the safest in the world but we are always looking at making them safer.

"Smart motorways are adding extra lanes to our busiest motorways and – as recent evidence shows – reducing the rate of crashes.

"We are making emergency refuge areas more visible to ensure motorists in trouble can easily identify where to stop safely."