Work starts on M4 emergency gates

Work to install an emergency gate on the M4 to help release traffic in the event of an accident will begin today. The gate will be installed in the central reservation of the motorway between junctions 14 and 15 between Newbury and Swindon.

The gate can be opened by the Highways Agency or the emergency services to allow drivers stuck behind the scene of an incident to turn around onto the opposite carriageway.

"The distance between junctions 14 and 15 is around 12 miles, which means that - if an incident closes the road - a lot of drivers can become stuck on the motorway. This gate will allow the Highways Agency and emergency services to direct these drivers on to the opposite carriageway, where they can return to the previous junction and pick up the diversion route.

"This is part of our commitment to making sure that the M4, which is a vital national artery, is as resilient as possible."

– Rob MacKenzie, Highways Agency project manager