M4 managed motorway expansion plans revealed

Plans to increase capacity on the M4 have been announced by the government.

The scheme will see variable speed limits and the hard shoulder converted to a traffic lane for 31 miles between the A312 at Heathrow Airport to Theale.

The changes, which the Highways Agency estimates will cost between £614m and £862m, aim to reduce congestion, improve journey times and cut air pollution.Exhibitions on the plans are being held between 18-29 March.

Refuge bays will be placed along the motorway in place of the hard shoulder, where people in broken-down cars will be able to wait for rescue services – monitored by CCTV cameras.

If approved, the scheme could start in the early years of the next spending review period (post 2015).

Malcolm Bingham, from the Freight Transport Association, said: “Using all four lanes is new so we’ve got to look to see how we can educate the motorists so they’re not confused by it.”

Story: BBC News