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The proposed upgrade of the M4 from junctions 3 (Hayes) to 12 (Theale) to a smart motorway has been given development consent by the Department for Transport.

The government says the scheme will enable “proactive management of the M4 carriageway, including slip roads and motorway to motorway intersections…on this major section of motorway.”

The decision follows a six-month examination during which the public, consultants and interested parties were given the opportunity to give evidence with a recommendation made to the then Secretary of State for Transport on 3 June.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “The decision supports the recommendation made by the Planning Inspectorate and is the 11th application for a significant highway project to be examined.

“To date, The Planning Inspectorate has examined 58 applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects, all within the statutory timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. This certainty of knowing when a decision will be made and following full consideration of public view provides developers and investors with the confidence needed to plan the infrastructure improvements this country needs.”

The work will be managed by Balfour Beatty and Vinci.