Roadworks loom as 'smart motorway' work begins on M3

'Smart motorway' in operation on the M4/M5 junction Image copyright Balfour Beatty
Image caption The scheme will see part of the M3 changed to four lanes

Preparation work has begun for months of roadworks to widen the M3 through Surrey.

The scheme, costing £129m, will convert the hard shoulder into a fourth lane along a 13.4-mile route through Hampshire and Surrey.

The Highways Agency said the work between junctions 2 and 4a will turn that part of the M3 into a "smart motorway".

This involves using technology to control traffic flows.

Tom Selby, from the Highways Agency, said he did not anticipate any "significant delays" with the scheme.

He said: "The whole idea behind smart motorways is that it's an improvement on traditional widening and the construction programme is shortened as a result of that."

He added that preparation work, including installing speed cameras, had begun, however, a start date for construction work had not been fixed.

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