THE M5 is to get new bright orange 'emergency areas' as part of a 'retrofit' programme to make the motorway safer.

The emergency areas have been announced for the M5 by National Highways, providing a place to stop in an emergency if you can't exit the motorway or stop at a motorway service area.

There will be 10 new emergency areas on the M5 between junctions 4a and 6 (Worcester) with work getting underway this spring.

The work will start on Monday, April 22 with work scheduled to be complete by spring 2025.

While the work is completed, lane one of the motorway will be closed. Lanes two, three and four will remain open with a 50mph speed limit in place.

CCTV cameras will continue to monitor the carriageway and 24-hour free recovery will be in operation.

A spokesperson for National Highways said: "They're clearly signed at regular intervals along the motorway and have bright orange road surfaces to help you identify them.

"At 100 metres long they have plenty of space for even the largest lorry plus a recovery vehicle, and they're equipped with emergency telephones linking directly to our control rooms to get help on the way quickly."

Work to create extra emergency areas on motorways across the Midlands starts in spring 2024, with a coordinated series of upgrades getting underway along the M1 and nearby on the M5.

The aim is to retrofit 54 new emergency areas on four motorway stretches across the Midlands - on the M1 and M5.

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A National Highways spokesperson said: "The exact number of emergency areas on each section of motorway may change. This is because we can't rule out finding unexpected conditions which prevent work at any individual location after constructions begins.

We’ll deliver this work in phases, starting spring 2024, and expect to complete our work by spring 2025."

The lane one closure will be installed overnight using a temporary barrier to protect the workforce and the travelling public.

Existing emergency areas on the motorways will remain open wherever possible. At limited locations where it's necessary to temporarily close an emergency area, a temporary emergency area will be provided nearby and 'clearly signed'.