Press release

M62 smart motorway saves drivers 30 minutes a week

Drivers using the M62 smart motorway are saving up to 30 minutes each week as the number of people using the road increases.

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Manchester smart motorways

The £136 million Highways England scheme between Brighouse and Rothwell, which was finished in 2013, is designed to deliver better journeys for motorists in the busiest periods.

People travelling westbound in the evening towards Brighouse are saving almost 5 minutes each day, according to the latest statistics.

The study also shows that the journey time savings have been achieved as the number of drivers using the 15.5 mile stretch of the M62 between junction 25, Brighouse, and junction 30, Rothwell, has increased.

An average of 155,000 vehicles now use the busiest stretch of the route between junction 26 (Chain Bar) at Bradford and junction 27 for the M621 every day – an increase of 6%.

Delivering better journey times for drivers in West Yorkshire is a key part of the government’s plan to create a Northern Powerhouse.

The figures were published today (Tuesday) after Chancellor George Osborne said that new work to upgrade the M62 to a four-lane smart motorway from junctions 25, Brighouse, to junction 20, Rochdale, would be accelerated in his Budget.

Roger Wantling, service delivery team leader for Highways England, said:

These latest figures show that the smart motorway really is making a difference to people’s lives saving commuters an average of 30 minutes a week, which works out at over a day a year.

The smart motorway helps tackle the stop-start conditions many of us have experienced in the past, using the variable speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder on parts of the M62 during busy times to target congestion.

This first year study into the impact of the scheme shows it’s had significant benefits for journey times as well as improving safety, and benefitting the wider economy.

The smart motorway uses the latest technology to monitor traffic levels and variable speed limits are displayed on overhead electronic signs to keep vehicles moving.

CCTV is used 24 hours a day to enable staff in Highways England’s regional control centre in Wakefield to respond quickly to incidents, closing lanes using red ‘X’s on overhead signs if necessary. Drivers using the M62 can also use emergency refuge areas if they break down.

More details on the one year evaluation of the scheme are available on the webpage.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

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

Published 13 April 2016