ITS (UK) member Highways England is promising drivers in the North West over 100 miles of extra lanes on the region’s motorways to tackle congestion and improve journey times.
Four new smart motorway schemes, worth around £500 million, are due to start construction work within the next 18 months.
Contractors for Highways England will begin work on the first one later this summer – on a 9-mile-stretch of the M62 which links the M6 near Warrington to the M60 near Eccles.
Drivers have already been able to use over 10 miles of extra lanes on the M62 near Rochdale since December last year, and a stretch of smart motorway has also been completed on the M60 near the Trafford Centre.
The final temporary narrow lanes were removed earlier this week on the Manchester smart motorway scheme, and more than 200 electronic signs are due to be switched on later this month on a 9-mile-stretch of the M60 between Trafford Park and the M62/M66 interchange at Simister Island.
Mike Bull, Highways England’s smart motorways programme manager for the North, said, “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 North West’s new smart motorway routes will provide over 100 miles of extra lanes benefitting the hundreds of thousands of drivers who use our motorways every day for commuting, business and leisure.”