North West of England to get 100 extra miles of motorway by 2020news
6th August 2018
Over 100 miles of extra lanes are to be added to the North West’s motorways through schemes starting in the next 18 months, says Highways England. Contractors will start work on the new motorway schemes, which have a combined value of around £500m, later this summer.
A new stretch of smart motorway was recently completed near the Trafford Centre, and drivers have also enjoyed an extra 10 miles of lanes on the M62 near Rochdale since December 2017.
Earlier this week, the final temporary narrow lanes were taken away from the Manchester smart motorway scheme. Over 200 electronic signs will be switched on later this month on a stretch of the M60 between Trafford Park and the M62/M66 interchange.
Highways England’s smart motorways programme manager for the North, Mike Bull, commented: “Smart motorways have been proven to be effective at tackling congestion, with the smart motorway on the M62 in West Yorkshire saving commuters an average of 30 minutes each week.
“We’ll be starting work on four new smart motorways in the North West over the next 18 months and will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, including only closing parts of the motorway overnight when traffic levels are much lower.”
The technology used in smart motorways keeps traffic moving at a steady speed. Traffic levels are monitored and variable speed limits can be set automatically using overhead signs.
Smart motorways also use new CCTV cameras, providing 100% coverage of the routes. This means that emergency services can get through easily once red Xs are displayed on overhead signs to quickly close lanes.
This summer, temporary narrow lanes will be implemented on a three-mile stretch of the M62 near junction 12 to allow contractors to work safely at the side of the motorway. A 50mph speed limit will be introduced as the work gets underway to further ensure the safety of workers, as well as drivers.
The smart motorway scheme is expected to be completed by spring 2020.
Written by Ian Johnson