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Manchester smart motorway upgrade

Removal of the temporary narrow lanes on the M62 will start in October and on the M60 later in the autumn

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The timeline for Manchester's smart motorway, which will benefit 180,000 drivers
The timeline for Manchester's smart motorway, which will benefit 180,000 drivers

A phased opening of Manchester’s smart motorway, which will see current restrictions on the M62 and between junctions 8 and 10 on the M60 lifted will begin next month.

 

The first sections to complete will be along a five mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale and on a two mile stretch of the M60 near the Trafford Centre.

 

The removal of the temporary narrow lanes on the M62 will start in October and on the M60 later in the autumn. The full smart motorway scheme stretches between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

 

The new technology will then be tested to ensure the 100 traffic sensors which have been installed along the 17-mile route are working effectively, before the new electronic variable speed limit signs are switched on from junctions 8 to 10 on the M60 and junctions 18 to 20 on the M62 by the end of the year.

 

Extra lanes on the M62 are also due to open in time for the Christmas getaway – increasing capacity on the stretch of motorway between Greater Manchester and Yorkshire by one third, according to Highways England.

 

“We will be able to begin a phased opening of the new smart motorway scheme this autumn – benefiting the 180,000 drivers who use the route every day,” said Jon Stokes, senior project manager at Highways England.

 

“When the smart motorway is complete, drivers will be able to travel in an extra lane on the M62 and variable speed limits will keep traffic moving at a steady speed – tackling the stop/start conditions and tailbacks caused by sudden braking.”

 

He continued: “Nearly 600 people are currently working to complete the project and we will open each section along the route as soon as possible.”

 

The scheme is Highways England’s most complex smart motorway project, affecting the second busiest motorway in the country and covering 13 junctions – an average of one junction every 1.4 miles.

 

Temporary narrow lanes are scheduled to be removed between junctions 15 and 18 on the M60 in early 2018, and from the final section of roadworks – on a five mile stretch of the M60 between junctions 10 and 15 – in spring 2018. The new variable speed limit signs are due to be switched on between junctions 10 and 18 by summer 2018.

 

When the smart motorway is complete, traffic sensors will automatically monitor vehicle numbers and adjust the speed limit accordingly. A total of 50 CCTV cameras will also provide 100 per cent coverage of the route, and allow Highways England’s traffic officers and the emergency services to respond quickly to incidents.

 

 

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