on to motorways and improve vehicle flow has been launched by
transport and environment minister Lord Whitty.
The system, known as ramp metering, works during peak travel times,
risk of accidents for drivers entering motorways from slip roads.
Six sites at key junctions along the M3 and M27 around Southampton
have been chosen by the Highways Agency to pilot the scheme, which is
used extensively in the United States, as well as in France and
Traffic signals installed on motorway entry slip roads control
vehicle flow on to the main carriageway at a 'metered' rate. These
are linked to sensors in the road which measure the volume of traffic
travelling along the motorway and identify when it is safe for
motorists to join the traffic flow.
The success of the system will depend on drivers complying with the
traffic signals which, like ordinary urban signals, will be enforced
by the police.
Lord Whitty said:
'I am pleased to launch the trial of ramp metering on the M3 and M27
motorways. The system has proved highly successful in reducing
congestion and improving safety in other countries and we look
forward to sharing those benefits with motorists in England.
'I look forward to seeing the results of the ramp metering trial
which has been introduced by the Highways Agency in line with
proposals outlined in the government's 10 Year Plan for Transport.'
Highways Agency chief executive Peter Nutt said:
'The agency is committed to finding the best ways to manage traffic
flows to ensure drivers have smoother and safer journeys on the
national road network. Ramp metering is an excellent high-tech
solution to improve traffic management. 'I would ask motorists to be
aware of the new signals which are designed to improve access on to
motorways during peak times.'
1. Ramp metering operates successfully in the United States at over
3,000 sites and is used in France and Holland.
2. The ramp metering scheme on the M27 and M3 will cost£4m.
The Highways Agency has appointed Owen Williams as consultants on the
3. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the DETR which manages, maintains and improves the network of motorways and other main A roads in England on behalf of the secretary of state. It works closely with other transport operators and with local authorities to integrate the network with the rest of England's roads and other forms of transport.
4. In addition to the ramp metering trials, a strategic study of
travel along the M27 corridor is being carried out by consultants MVA
Limited on behalf of the Government Office for the South East. The
study, which is due to report in November, will take account of
whatever early information is available on the ramp metering trials
in making recommendations on multi-modal solutions to reduce
congestion and delay on the M27.