In spite of being the buzzword that seems to be on everyone's lips at the moment most people still don't seem to have a deeper insight into what the smart motorway is. In this article, we are going to explore what the smart motorway is, the different types of smart motorways where to find them and what to do in the event that your car breaks down on a smart motorway.

What are Smart Motorways?

Smart motorways are freeways that make use of technology to minimise and control traffic and enhance journeys.


Types of Smart Motorways


  1. Controlled motorways


The controlled smart freeway makes use of three lanes that have different predetermined speed restrictions along the road. However, it retains a hard shoulder that ought to be used only in the event of an urgent situation.


  1. Hard Shoulder Running


This involves freeing the hard shoulder momentarily during traffic in order to lessen the clogging on the freeway. However, overhead symbols on gantries need to be observed since they state whether it is okay to drive along the hard shoulder or not.


  1. All Lane Running


As the name suggests, the all lane running involves making use of each lane in light of different speed restrictions. The design of this freeway is in such a way that drivers have to halt at an emergency safe haven in case of any incidents.


Where are Smart Motorways in the UK?


There are many smart motorways that are already in use in different locations all over the UK. We are going to classify them under the different types of smart motorways.


All Lane Running Locales


  • M62 J18-20
  • M6 J10a-13
  • M3 J2-4a
  • M25 J5-6/7
  • M25 J23-27
  • M1 J28-31
  • M1 J32-35a
  • M1 J39-42


Controlled Motorway Locales


  • M60 J8-18
  • M42 J3a-M40 J16
  • M1 J6a-10
  • M26 J16-23
  • M25 J10-16
  • M25 J18-10
  • M25 J7-8
  • M20 J4-7
  • M25 J2-3
  • M25 J27-30
  • M1 J25-28


Hard Shoulder Running Locales


  • M62 J25-30
  • M6 J8-10a
  • M6 J5-8
  • M4 J19-20
  • M5 J15-17
  • M1 J10-13
  • M42 J3a-7 (pilot)
  • M42 J7-9
  • M6 J4-5


What to do when you break down on a Smart Motorway


One of the things that most motorists dread is breaking down on the motorway because it could very well cost you your safety. Even so, if you happen to be caught up in such a scenario, there are some steps you need to take.


  • If you are able to reach an emergency refuge area, then use it.
  • In the event that there is no refuge area in your vicinity, try and go on to the edge as long as there is no safety boundary and it is secure for you to move there.
  • Put on your hazard warning lights.
  • If by any chance you halted in the nearside lane and there is a safety boundary, you can exit from your car through the nearside left-hand door and wait at the rear of the barrier. However, if you cannot move, it is advisable to wait in the car and keep your seat belt on.
  • If it is workable, exit the car and get to the roadside emergency telephone, then do so and get in touch with the Highways England but if it is not a viable option, remain in the car, keep your seat belt on and call 999.


There is no doubt that smart motorways are a step in the right direction when it comes to dealing with the issue of congestion and clogging of the freeways. However, you need to be conversant with what it is you have to do in the event of an incident along the way.