Highways England state the M3 ‘Smart’ motorway is now open. Well, not entirely

The BBC reports that the 13.4 mile stretch of ‘smart’ motorway on the M3 from junction 2 to 4a is now open. Good news. Local residents have survived years of dislocation.

The BBC’s report and Highways England report say that there remains some work to complete the managed motorway project, such as testing the signals, and construction of the Woodlands Lane Bridge.

Forgive me for being a cynic. When the BBC reports,

Pranav Devale, project manager for Highways England, said the upgrade to the motorway has been completed on time.

and then in the same article says,

The 50mph speed restriction will be lifted and all four lanes will operate at 70mph in normal conditions once testing is complete, a spokesman for Highways England said. The testing phase is expected to last for up to three weeks.

and then through looking at the Highways England status report of the project, HERE, reveals the project isn’t yet finished, with ongoing road, and lane closures. Here’s one part of the report.

M3 eastbound within J3 | Eastbound | Road Works
Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J3 and J2 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 3 July 2017 to 7 July 2017. Schedule : From 20:00 on 7 July 2017 to 07:00 on 8 July 2017. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 17 July 2017 to 20 July 2017. Schedule : From 20:00 on 20 July 2017 to 07:00 on 21 July 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Note the final words, all lanes will be closed. I know the project won’t have overrun by much. Better to be honest and admit the slight overrun.

9 thoughts on “Highways England state the M3 ‘Smart’ motorway is now open. Well, not entirely

  1. I thought the idea of the “Smart” motorway, was that the 4th lane (ex-hard shoulder) would be used in peak times only. Travelling back to Lightwater late Saturday evening all lanes were in use and there are no overhead lane signs needed close a lane.


  2. Not bad yesterday, fast flowing all 4 lanes, albeit restricted to 50mph still …. then showed its still the faster way to a bottlenck as 2 lanes crawled on the interchange down to one lane to join the M25 Northbound …. cant grumble – Stansted Airport in 85 mins ….


  3. I thought the M3 work was finished except for the M25/M3 junction, but last night returning from Gatwick it was closed J2 to 4A, what with that and the M25 closed Leatherhead to A3 it all made the journey a lot slower. To add to the fun for travellers, the overheads also said the A3 was closed at Guildford.


  4. And still they can’t get the signage right. After midnight last night travelling J2 to J3 there were 50mph signs & showing inner 3 lanes closed for workmen, this was repeated at the next overhead, then 40mph. But no workmen anywhere and just before J3 de-restricted again. Plus the promised pre Christmas opening of the Woodlands bridge hasn’t happened.


  5. finally found the refn in Windleshams F/B page – it does seem to fully open, despite needing some ongoing tlc after the date ….

    “the new Woodlands Lane Bridge will be opening on Friday 22 December 2017. Minor work may take place after this date, but we do not anticipate this work to have any significant impact on the operation of the bridge.”


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