The new M1 smart motorway near East Midlands Airport is now operational.
This also means that speed limits are now in place when the signs are active.
The M1 between junctions 23a (Nottingham and East Midlands Airport) and the approach to junction 24 for Derby – now has four traffic lanes and the hard shoulder.
This latest addition by Highways England, means variable mandatory speed limits are in place.
A spokesman for Highways England said: “If no special speed limit is displayed then the national speed limit applies.
“A speed limit displayed inside a red circle is legally enforceable. If you don’t keep to this speed limit, you are breaking the law.
“Speed cameras are in operation on smart motorways. If you don’t keep to the speed limit, you may receive a fine.”
A smart motorway uses technology to actively manage the flow of traffic. The technology is controlled from a regional traffic control centre. The control centres monitor traffic carefully and can activate and change signs and speed limits. This helps keep the traffic flowing freely.
Smart motorways increase the capacity of the road, without the expense and hassle of widening the road, by either temporarily or permanently opening the hard shoulder to traffic.
Highways England is responsible for smart motorways in England.
Quick tips from Highways England
On a smart motorway:
• never drive in a lane closed by a red “X”
• keep to the speed limit shown on the gantries
• a solid white line indicates the hard shoulder – don’t drive in it unless directed.
• a broken white line indicates a normal running lane
• if your vehicle experiences difficulties, eg warning light, exit the smart motorway immediately if possible
• use the refuge areas for emergencies if there’s no hard shoulder
• put your hazard lights on if you break down