Goodbye To The Gantry - How Motorways Are Getting Smarter

By: James Ruppert
Motorway gantry signs being removed 5G network test

Motorway gantries are set to be removed in a trial with 5G beaming information direct to your car. Changing and replacing the gantries started last year and is part of a major government investment worth £15bn to build a modern and resilient road network.

Highways England will test futuristic new technology soon that will see speed limits, traffic news and weather reports beamed directly to vehicle dashboards.


Goodbye To The Gantry: What could be the benefits

If it works as hoped, the 5G technology will enable the very latest cars to receive direct alerts such as warnings of tailbacks ahead, or advice about the best lane to take.

The point is that this will only really benefit owners of vehicles made in the last few years, which are able to receive this sort of information, and then seamlessly pass it in via Bluetooth to the driver.

Presumably the driver could receive this information via a smart phone, but needs to be viewable via a wireless screen or other device.


Goodbye To The Gantry: What Else Is Being Done? 

The £20 million trial is taking place on the A2 and M2 between London and Dover. Meanwhile, five gantries between junctions 24 and 35 have been removed on the M1 to create a £120 million smart motorway.

This will see Highways England improve 7.5 miles of the vital route in a project, which aims to make journeys faster and more reliable by providing an extra lane in each direction, particularly around East Midlands Airport.

So never mind high technology, simply taking out the huge overhead structures actually frees up some vital road space and will make journeys faster.

Those gantries won’t disappear overnight, but there seems to be a good reason to replace them with high technology and old-fashioned tarmac. Suddenly the future of motorways looks brighter.


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