The UK Highways Agency will install new motorway incident detection and automated signalling (MIDAS) technology on the M18 in South Yorkshire under a £317m pinch point programme.

The MIDAS loops will help monitor traffic and send automatic alerts to drivers. The agency’s regional control centre in Wakefield will use the information to avoid rear-end collisions in slow-moving traffic.

The technology will be installed in a 17km-long section of the motorway from the M18-M1 interchange to Junction 3. The work is expected to be completed in 2015.

The Highways Agency service delivery team leader Roger Wantling said: "Once the scheme is complete, the extra technology in place will improve road safety and reduce congestion and delays. During the work, we advise drivers to check local traffic conditions and leave extra time for their journeys if necessary."

"The extra technology in place will improve road safety and reduce congestion and delays."

The pinch point programme is part of the UK Government’s growth initiative announced in 2011.

The programme is being undertaken in three stages. The first two stages were approved in 2012 and the third in 2013.

The agency is undertaking 15 pinch point schemes in Yorkshire and Humber to provide small-scale improvements that will reduce congestion and journey times.

A representative from the UK Highways Agency said: "The aims of the pinch point project are to help to reduce congestion, make journey times more reliable, improve safety, enhance access to surrounding areas and benefit the economy."

Image: M18 running through South Yorkshire. Photo: courtesy of Pushcreativity.