M3 J2-4A Managed Motorway

Scheme outline

Upgrade of the existing M3 between junctions 2 and 4a to allow dynamic hard shoulder running (use of the hard shoulder as an extra lane at peak times). Where necessary, junction capacity will be increased to prevent traffic queues building up on the slip roads and encroaching on the main carriageway.

This scheme was introduced as part of the National Infrastructure Plan in autumn 2011.

This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.

Other upgrade
under motorway restrictions
Highway authority
Highways Agency


24 October 2014

Under Construction! Advance work started Aug 2014, with 13 miles of 50mph limit and cones in use from 1st November 2014.

17 January 2016

Work appears to be progressing well. Some gantries and MS4 signal masts have been erected, but nonetheless remain empty. Contraflows have switched around, to accommodate progress between J4A and J3.

27 September 2016

This was due to be completed in December 2016, but has now been delayed until June 2017 to incorporate the replacement of Woodlands Lane bridge.

17 May 2017

Many new directional signs have now been erected and the overhead information boards are connected and occasionally show information. The new concrete central barrier has just a few remaining short gaps. Lots of resurfacing has been done, with some short areas remaining.

10 July 2017

Highways England report that this scheme has now officially been completed and the new Smart Motorway is in operation, though a temporary 50mph limit will remain in place for a short time in some places for minor finishing works.

More information


With thanks to Jonathan Harmer, Tobye, Michael Pritchard and Bert for information on this page.