Benefits, features, tools and systems of a managed motorway
What features would the new system use?
You may be familiar with some of the features that could be used on the M4 Managed Motorway project:
- Traffic and travel information delivered through enhanced variable messaging signs (VMS) with real-time information for drivers, both on the motorway and on approach roads.
- A coordinated entry ramp signals system.
- Dynamic speed and incident management through advanced lane use management and variable speed sign systems.
- Enhanced network monitoring delivered by traffic sensors in the roadway and CCTV cameras.
- Emergency telephones and stopping bays to provide drivers with improved safety when their vehicle breaks down or if there is an emergency stop required.
- Road improvements such as some widened and lengthened on and exit ramps and nearby intersection improvements.
What are the benefits for drivers and the community?
- Travel time reliability - is improved by safer and smoother traffic flow along the motorway. This will provide you with more certainty about your journey while on the motorway.
- Improved safety - crash rates on motorways are reduced making your journey safer.
- Less frustration - you will have a smoother trip and there is less likelihood of being stuck in stop-start traffic.
- Better information - you will be kept up-to-date with information about real-time traffic conditions, travel times and traffic incidents both on the motorway and on approach roads. This will enable you to make informed decisions about which route to take before you enter the motorway and once you are on the motorway.
- Reduced vehicle emissions – being able to drive more smoothly and not having as much stop-start traffic means your vehicle will have better fuel consumption and produce fewer emissions.
- Reduced journey times – traffic keeps moving on the motorway so your journey time may be reduced, particularly during peak periods.
- Minimal impacts to drivers during installation - the system maximises use of the existing traffic lanes. This means minimal impacts to drivers while some infrastructure improvement works are carried out at on and exit ramps and systems are installed along the motorway.
Key principles for achieving improved reliability
- Intelligence - the system provides intelligent and intuitive technology that continually monitors traffic conditions and analyses traffic data to make early decisions before congestion builds up.
- Control - the system incorporates a range of tools including ramp signals and variable messaging and dynamic speed signs, to minimise the risk of congestion and traffic incidents on the motorway.
- Information - the system provides up-to-date information about traffic conditions and incidents to drivers who are already on or approaching the M4 motorway.
Achieving improved reliability
We will improve reliability for the M4 by:
- Understanding how, where and when traffic demands affect the M4 motorway.
- Understanding the physical traffic capacity of the M4 and what are the constraints to improving capacity.
- Adopting innovative approaches to ensure that peak period traffic keeps moving on the M4, for example, the introduction of coordinated entry ramp signals to manage the rate at which more vehicles join the motorway.
- Ensuring that M4 on and exit ramps have sufficient space to manage traffic volumes without impacting traffic already on the motorway or on local arterial roads.
- Providing real-time travel information to drivers on the arterial roads approaching the motorway and on the motorway itself.
- Considering the need for priority access at some on-ramps for certain vehicles such as trucks.
- Understanding the safety, community and economic priorities for how drivers use the M4, including how often and for what purpose.
- Developing and testing operational strategies.
- Identifying the locations where existing services (e.g. electricity and communication cables) could affect, or be affected by, construction and/or installation of new infrastructure for the managed motorways system.
Contact the M4 Managed Motorway Project infoline on 1800 265 572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.