M4 Smart Motorway - campaign against 'All Lane Running'

Highways England is planning to spend nearly a billion pounds widening the M4 by using the hard shoulder for 'all lane running' (requiring 11 bridges to be replaced) and converting it to a ‘Smart Motorway’. The planned work would take place between junction 3 in London and junction 12, just west of Reading. The formal Examination ended in March 2016. Publication of its report and the Government decision are expected by 3rd September 2016.

A Transport Select Commmittee report on 'All Lane Running' concluded in June that “The Department should not proceed with a major motorway programme on the basis of cost savings while major safety concerns continue to exist.”

Please e-mail the Secretary of State to ask him not to proceed with All Lane Running on the M4 and to use the money saved to reduce traffic. Campaign for Better Transport have launched a template e-mail Letter to Secretary of State which you can customise. Please also send a similar message to your MPs and Councillors and local media.

Friends of the Earth, Campaign for Better Transport, and Reading Friends of the Earth gave evidence to the M4 Examination on environmental issues, arguing that, while a 'managed motorway' should be beneficial, increasing capacity by 'all lane running' without a hard shoulder is not justified and the anticipated traffic growth will lead to increased congestion and environmental damage. Highways England, using wide area simulations of traffic in 2037, predict traffic growth will cause average journey times and carbon emissions to rise, not fall, and over 4,000 properties will still suffer adverse night-time noise.

Summary of Impacts: A document outlining key impacts - based on evidence to the Examination by Highways England - giving a summary of impacts on safety, climate change, congestion, air quality and noise is at ‘Smart M4’ – congestion and pollution to rise. A Powerpoint presentation - based on the same material - is at Impacts of Smart M4. We would be happy to discuss these with any interested parties.

A downloadable flyer - to encourage people to e-mail the Secretary of State - with two images to print as A4 or as two A5s on A4 paper is at Smart_M4_Poster_x2.

Here we are demonstrating outside the Open Floor Hearing in Reading in November 2015.

Examination Programme and Documents:

The M4 Smart Motorway Scheme examination page is here: http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/South%20East/M4-Junctions-3-to-12-Smart-Motorway/. This contains links to relevant documents (under various tabs) including all 'Relevant representations' received and the 'Rule 8' letter setting out the examination timetable and links to the questions the Examiner is asking of Highways England and Objectors.

The first set of written representations and Local Impact Reports etc.were lodged by 'Deadline II' on 8th October and led to the choice of hearings and topics. Here are links to the inputs from:
Campaign for Better Transport,
Friends of the Earth,
Reading Friends of the Earth.
Reading Borough Council - oppose 'all-lane running'.
RAC Motoring Services - oppose 'all-lane running'.
You may like to check out inputs from your local authority and other organisations and individuals by searching the Deadline II Inputs page.

Further documents generated over the six months of the Examination can be found via the Examination page on the link above.


Please also contact us at m4@readingfoe.org.uk if you would like us to keep you up-to-date with progress or have any questions.

Information created by Reading Friends of the Earth.