In recent months motorists have had to put up with restrictions on the 11-mile section of the road, between junction 8 (M25 interchange) and junction 10 (near Gatwick Airport), while Highways England have carried out tests on new technology to create a ‘smart motorway’.
The project aims to reduce congestion, improve journey times and reliability and provide greater capacity on one of the busiest stretches of motorway in the country.
Mike Grant, Highways England’s South-East delivery director, said: “This new stretch of smart motorway will tackle congestion on the hugely busy stretch around Gatwick Airport and will improve journey times for the 180,000 drivers who use it every day.
“Smart motorways add vital extra capacity, improve journey times and maintain high levels of safety. Drivers will also see better information about conditions on the road ahead and enjoy smoother journeys.
“I would also like to thank drivers for their co-operation and understanding during the final testing phase and hope they enjoy the improved journeys between London and the Sussex coast.”
A spokesman for Highways England said cutting-edge technology will set the speed limit to match conditions, helps spot any queuing traffic, incidents or broken-down vehicles, and informs drivers about conditions ahead.
The motorway’s hard shoulder has been converted to a new fourth traffic lane in each direction, which will boost the road’s capacity by a third.
There will also be improved Gatwick Airport access, including the removal of traffic lights and an additional access lane towards the airport, and new speed limits on the Gatwick access road, 50mph eastbound to the airport and 70mph eastbound towards the M23.