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The Project Control Framework

This framework sets out how we, together with the Department for Transport, manage and deliver major road improvement projects.

M20 Junctions 4 - 7 Controlled Motorways

M20 Junctions 4 - 7 Controlled Motorways

Located in
Area 4Map of the Agency's Operational Areas
Scheme type
OtherRoad Schemes Managed by the Highways Agency
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What is a Controlled Motorway?

A Controlled Motorway is designed to tackle issues of local congestion on the motorway and keep traffic moving.  The system works by adjusting mandatory speed limits by using sensors buried in the road surface, which detect the speed and flow of traffic.  The Controlled Motorway system  works automatically and informs drivers of the reasons for the changes. 

The same system has proved to be successful on the M25.  It has also been used as part of the Active Traffic Management (ATM) trial used on the M42, which includes the use of the hard shoulder and emergency refuge areas during incidents.  These additional features are not included in the M20 Controlled Motorway system.

Why the M20?

Taking into account the current and predicted future levels of traffic using the M20, part of it was identified as a site that would benefit from a Controlled Motorway scheme. The M20 is also an important link between the entry routes from Europe into Britain, and the section between junctions 4 and 7 is a busy stretch of motorway, which can affect journey time reliability. To help deal with this issue the M20 has been changed to a Controlled Motorway on both carriageways between these junctions.

What do drivers see?

There are nineteen gantries over the 6 mile (9.5km) stretch of road displaying mandatory speed restrictions. These speed restrictions are in place for safety reasons, advising drivers of traffic conditions on the road ahead.

A leaflet has been produced giving full details of the Controlled Motorway and the types of signage that are displayed, and this is available from the publications page. In addition, Frequently Asked Questions are also provided to help with any further queries that you might have.

Benefits for you

Controlled Motorways have been successfully used on the M25 and have been shown to provide both safety and environmental benefits to road users:

  • Reduction of road traffic collisions.
  • More reliable journey times and improved traffic flows.
  • Reduced noise and harmful vehicle emissions.