Archive for April 15th, 2015

April 15, 2015

Active Traffic Management

Smart motorway

Active traffic management (ATM, also known as, ‘smart lanes’ or ‘managed motorway’) is method of increasing peak capacity and smoothing traffic flows on busy major highways. Techniques include variable speed limits, hard-shoulder running (use of the shoulder as a travel lane during congested periods) and ramp-metering (traffic lights at entrance ramps regulating the flow of incoming traffic). Drivers are alerted to changing conditions by overhead, electronic signs.

It is currently in operation in Birmingham, England. The scheme had initially been criticized by some due to possible safety and environmental concerns, however a Highways Agency report into the first six months of the scheme showed a reduction in the number of accidents and the system was expanded to other highways in the UK. It is seen as a less expensive alternative to widening a road.

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