M20 junctions 3 to 5: smart motorway
We’ve upgraded the M20 between junctions 3 and 5 to a smart motorway. This means there is extra capacity in each direction and new technology that helps improve the flow of traffic.
Smart motorways use the latest technology to sense traffic flow and set speed limits. This keeps traffic moving smoothly and prevents queues of traffic. The smart motorway design for the M20 between junctions 3 and 5 involved converting most of the hard shoulder into a traffic lane to create extra capacity. More gantries with electronic information signs, signals and CCTV cameras were also installed to give information about road conditions and speed limits which all helps smooth the flow of traffic, vary speed limits and manage traffic flows and incidents.
We’ve also built five new emergency areas on this 10.5km stretch. These have emergency roadside telephones and CCTV cameras to improve emergency service response times. Combined with the stretches of hard shoulder that we kept, it means there’s somewhere to go in an emergency every 1.950 metres.
This stretch also has a new concrete central reserve – which is much safer than the previous metal one, new noise barriers, better drainage and new low-noise surfacing.
We also replaced the old Teapot Lane Footbridge at Aylesford with a new, wider bridge.
People use the M20 for national, regional and local journeys and the motorway supports a lot of regeneration and growth in the area. The route also provides critical access to Dover, the Channel Tunnel, Heathrow, Gatwick and the wider south-east, south-west and the Midlands, via the M26 and M25.
The changes we’ve made to the stretch between junctions 3 and 5 means there’ll be less congestion and shorter journey times. The road’s additional capacity will help support economic growth in the region.