Press release

£305 million road improvements for Greater Manchester

Drivers in Greater Manchester are to benefit from £305 million worth of road improvements over the next few years with some significant investment in the county’s motorways and major A roads over the next few months.

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The £305 million represents a figure for schemes the Highways Agency is already committed to delivering with even more investment before the end of the decade as part of the Government’s £24 billion Action for Roads programme by 2021.

Work to deliver a £208 million Smart Motorway along the M60 and M62 by autumn 2017 is already underway. Greater Manchester’s drivers will also benefit from work in Cheshire to build a new £191 million A556 dual carriageway between Bowdon and Knutsford with worked launched last Friday (14 November). Meanwhile a dozen major, economy-boosting Pinch Point projects will have been delivered by the end of the financial year, improving safety and tackling congestion around key junctions.

A total of 120 key projects will have been delivered by April. Large stretches of the motorway and major A road network across Greater Manchester will get improvements providing safer and smoother journeys - involving bridge and drainage repairs, replacement safety barriers, resurfacing and renewal of signs, road studs and road markings.

Cyclists are also set to benefit from a £550,000 investment in safer crossing points across the motorway junctions at Middleton, Milnrow and Stockport – enhancing the viability of national cycle routes.

The improvements are part of the Government’s £700 million investment in the North West by 2021 with 80 per cent of motorways and major A roads being resurfaced by then.

Jeremy Bloom, the Highways Agency’s major projects director for the north, said:

This is really good news for road users across Greater Manchester because it will ultimately mean less congestion, more reliable journey times and improved safety. Record amounts are being invested in roads – that inevitably means more roadworks, but for every scheme we work on there will be an improvement for drivers.

And North West Regional Director Alan Shepherd added:

We are well aware of how frustrating drivers find roadworks – but I would like to reassure everyone that all our work is planned very carefully to cause as little disruption as possible. Some is inevitable – and we ask for drivers’ cooperation while the improvements are carried out.

Nationally, every day some four million vehicles use roads managed by the Highways Agency, that’s one third of all traffic; and around 80 per cent of all goods travel by road, with two thirds of large goods vehicles. Significant repair and maintenance schemes scheduled to be completed in Greater Manchester by the end of March include:

  • £2 million for resurfacing and installing new safety barriers along the M61 south of Bolton around junctions 2 and 3 with Kearsley Spur and the A66.
  • £105,000 of bus stop improvements along the A5103 Princess Parkway in south Manchester.
  • £600,000 for new safety barriers along the A627M and A663 near Oldham.
  • £454,000 to renew lighting along the M602 route into Salford and Manchester.

Work on £5.5 million, £5.3 million and £1.7 million projects to provide a new bridge along the M56 at Thorley Lane near Manchester Airport and reduce congestion at Denton Island and Orrell interchanges at junction 24 of the M60 and junction 26 of the M6 respectively are continuing. Meanwhile, 9 other ‘pinch point’ projects will get underway and be completed before April – all specifically aimed at supporting local developments, relieving congestion and improving safety. They are:

  • £4.2 million of work to improve traffic flows along the eastbound M56 by adding a lane through junction 7 near Altrincham.
  • A £1 million project to complement the junction improvements at junction 26 at Orrell by installing four new electronic message signs to give drivers better information of incidents and congestion.
  • £370,000 to improve monitoring of and response to incidents by installing 3 new CCTV cameras along the M56 junction 5 Manchester Airport junction.
  • £836,000 to improve monitoring of and response to incidents by installing new cameras between junction 27 and 28 of the M6 north of Wigan.
  • Sections of the M60 - at Northenden, Whitefield and Middleton – and the M61, M62 and M66 at Westhoughton, Rochdale and Bury respectively also benefiting from extra CCTV cameras in £860,000 worth of projects.

During any roadworks drivers are advised to plan their journeys and allow more for travel. Drivers can get up-to-the-minute travel information by phoning the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 or by accessing the Agency’s website. Drivers can also download the Highways Agency’s iPhone app or follow updates via Twitter at @HAtraffic_nwest.

Further information regarding current and planned roadworks in Greater Manchester plus neighbouring North West counties and regions can be found on the Highways Agency website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 18 November 2014