Region’s latest ‘smart motorway’ projects announced
The ‘smart motorway’ programme is to be extended across the North West over the next five years as part of a £1.5billion investment in the region’s roads.
Highways England has revealed plans to begin work on seven new smart motorway projects – totalling 80 miles - by 2020, in addition to the 17-mile scheme currently under construction on the M62 and M60.
According to the agency, the schemes will make roads safer, cut congestion, and improve journey times. The new project will deliver the “biggest increase in capacity on the region’s roads in 50 years”, it added.
Key to the scheme is the technology being installed to monitor traffic, provide information to drivers, and ease congestion by varying speed limits and using the hard shoulder.
Two of the schemes on the M62 will link up with existing projects, creating the “biggest single stretch of smart motorway in the country”, covering nearly 60 miles between the North West and Yorkshire.
The new stretches of smart motorway will be on
M62 between J10 at the M6 near Warrington and J12 at the M60 near Eccles
M62 between J20 at the A627(M) near Rochdale and J25 near Brighouse, West Yorkshire (including seven miles in the North West)
M60 between J24 at the M67 near Denton and J4 at the M56 near Cheadle
M6 between J16 at Crewe and J19 at Knutsford
M6 between J21a at the M62 near Warrington and J26 at the M58 near Skelmersdale
M56 between J6 and J8 near Manchester Airport
M53 between J5 at Queensferry and J11 at the M56 near Ellesmere Port
Other major schemes planned included bypasses on the A556, A585 and A57, new motorway junctions on the M55 and M56, and junction upgrades on the M6.
Highways England Major Projects Director for the North, Jeremy Bloom, said the schemes would bring “significant long-term benefits” to drivers and the economy as a whole.
“The construction work will, of course, bring some disruption in the short term but we will ensure that we keep this to a minimum to keep traffic flowing. When the schemes are completed, road users will experience safer, more reliable and less congested journeys,” he added.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .