New look orange coloured emergency areas are to be rolled out on the M1 between Catthorpe and Northampton later this month.
The new look emergency areas have bright orange road surfaces to help improve visibility so they are more obvious to drivers on smart motorways. It is also hoped that it will encourage drivers to only use them in emergency situations.
The first of the new emergency areas went live on the M3 near Camberley last month. A further 14 emergency areas will have the distinctive orange colour added along the M1 between junctions 19 (Catthorpe) to 16a (Northampton).
Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “We recognise the public concern about smart motorways and we also believe that changes such as these will help drivers have confidence when using them and be clear about where they can stop in an emergency.
“That is why we are trialling these highly visible new style emergency areas. The bright orange colouring will make them as easy as possible to spot and should also discourage drivers from using them in non-emergency situations.
“This is just one of the ways we are helping drivers to understand smart motorways and their benefits. I hope it helps drivers feel more confident about using a smart motorway.”