Stopped vehicle detection upgrades

Making journeys even safer with radar-based technology

Stopped vehicle detection upgrades

What's happening

We're upgrading motorways across the country with technology which detects stopped vehicles. Every motorway where the hard shoulder has been permanently converted to a live traffic lane will have the new radar-based technology by the end of September 2022.

This new stopped vehicle detection will enhance the existing systems that work together to help drivers feel safe and be safer on motorways without a hard shoulder. Already motorways have a system called MIDAS (Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling) which uses sensors to monitor traffic volumes and automatically set signs and signals as the motorway becomes more congested. Our upgraded motorways also include technology, Red X signs which close lanes to other traffic when a stopped vehicle is identified, emergency areas that are set back from the road for drivers to pull into, and signs and signals which can alert drivers to hazards and change the speed limit, if necessary.

How it works

We will install new radar units at the side of the road to monitor the motorway in both directions, detecting vehicles that have stopped.

The advantage of this new system is that it is specifically designed to detect a stationary vehicle, typically in 20 seconds, and alert a control room operator who can see the incident on camera, close lanes and dispatch a Highways England traffic officer to attend to the stopped vehicle.

Using stopped vehicle detection means that there is a significant reduction in time taken for the control room operators to be notified of problems, to verify the presence of stationary vehicles and get help deployed more quickly.

About our roadworks

The vast majority of this upgrade work will be carried out overnight using temporary lane closures, with all restrictions removed during the day. We may need to cut back some vegetation to ensure the radar units can see the road, but we will keep this to a minimum and we don’t expect to have to remove any mature trees. Towards the end of the upgrade at each location, we may need to close the road overnight for testing and commissioning work. There will be clearly signed diversions in place and, again, we will remove all restrictions during the day.

Before we start work at any location, we will write to people who live near the motorway and to local representatives including councillors and MPs.

Our programme

We will be delivering these upgrades in phases, and all upgrades will be complete by the end of September 2022.

Location Region Status
M25 J5-7 (M26 near Clacket Lane to M23 near Hooley) South East Already in place
M25 J23-27 (South Mimms to M11 near Epping Forest) South East Already in place
M3 J2-4a (Thorpe Interchange to Farnborough) South East Introduced December 2020
M20 J3-5 (M26 merge to Aylesford) South East Introduced March 2021
M1 J32-35a (Thurcroft to Stocksbridge) Yorkshire and North East Work started  February 2021
M6 J2-4 (Coventry to Coleshill) Midlands Work started May 2021
M23 J8-10 (M25 junction to Crawley) South East Work started May 2021
M4 J3-8/9 (Heston to Maidenhead) South East Planned for 2022
M4 J8/9-12 (Maidenhead to Reading) South East Planned for 2021
M27 J4-11 (Southampton to Fareham/Gosport) South East Planned for 2021-2022
M1 J23a-25 (East Midlands Airport to Nottingham/Derby turn off) Midlands Planned for 2021-2022
M6 J13-15 (Stafford South to Stoke-on-Trent) Midlands Planned for 2021-2022
M1 J39-42 (Durkar to Lofthouse) Yorkshire and North East Planned for 2021-2022
M1 J28-31 (Alfreton to Sheffield/Worksop turn off) Yorkshire and North East Planned for 2021-2022
M62 J10-12 (M6 near Fearnhead to M60 near Alder Forest) North West Planned for 2021-2022
M1 J13-16 (Bedford to Daventry) Midlands Planned for 2022
M5 J4a-6 (Catshill to Worcester) Midlands Planned for 2021-2022
M56 J6-8 (Hales Four Seasons roundabout to Tatton) North West Planned for 2021-2022
M6 J16-19 (Stoke-on-Trent to Knutsford) North West Planned for 2022
M62 J18-20 (Simister Island to Rochdale) North West Planned for 2022
M6 J10a-13 (Essington to Stafford South) Midlands Planned for 2022
M3 J9-14 (Winchester to M27) South East Planned for 2022
M6 J21a-26 (Croft Interchange to Orrell Interchange) North West Planned for 2022
M1 J16-19 (Daventry to the Catthorpe Interchange) Midlands Planned for 2022

Find out more

Email our project team at