Highways England has installed 175 airport-runway-style LED road studs to help mark out lanes at one of England’s busiest motorway junctions - Switch Island in Merseyside, where the M57, M58 and three A roads all join together.
The innovative studs are visible up to 900 metres away – far greater than traditional reflective road studs – and have been proven to help stop drivers drifting between lanes, reducing the risk of collisions.
The smart studs have been introduced as part of a £3 million project to improve journeys and safety in the area.
Cables under the road surface connect the studs to traffic lights through a nearby controller unit, allowing them to be automatically switched on when traffic lights change to green.
Construction work on the Switch Island scheme, which is being funded by the government’s £220 million congestion relief programme, is due to be completed this winter.
The project is designed to improve the flow of traffic and enhance safety, following 49 collisions at the junction in two years – an average of one every fortnight.
As part of the Switch Island scheme, new traffic lights are being installed at a height of over five metres – higher than HGVs and double-decker buses – so that drivers approaching the junction can clearly see when the lights are changing.
Other improvements include changes to the road layout and lane markings, new barriers between carriageways and coloured high friction surfaces. Four new overhead gantries will also display signs over each lane so drivers know which lane they should be in.
And a new 400 metre shared cycle path has been created through the junction, which links up with the existing cycle path alongside the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road.
The smart road studs which have been installed at Switch Island were designed by Oxfordshire-based company Clearview Intelligence.