MOTORISTS ON busy sections of the M42 motorway in the Midlands will be allowed to use the hard shoulder as a congestion busting measure, the Highways Agency said this week.
The Agency is to start work this summer on a new £40M traffic management system for the M42 which will see the hard shoulder brought into use as a live traffic lane in 2004.
Overhead gantries every 500m will tell motorists when they can use the hard shoulder.
Dubbed the Active Traffic Management (ATM) scheme, the pilot, to be carried out between junctions 3A and 7, will also see access to the motorway controlled at selected junctions.
Overhead gantries will apply variable speed limits like those on part of the M25.
With the hard shoulder in use as an extra carriageway, emergency refuge areas will be provided for breakdowns.
Incident Support Units (ISUs) will be on permanent standby to provide rapid accident response.
Consultant Mouchel has a six year contract to project manage the scheme . Another contract to determine the impact on the M42 and surrounding roads is out to tender.
INFOPLUS www. nceplus.co.uk/magazine/ transport (Also see page 13)