Public exhibitions in June will give people a chance to find out more about the multi-million pound investment that will cut congestion and improve journey times on parts of the M60 and M62 around Greater Manchester.
The smart motorway schemes – the first of their kind in the North West – will be introduced on a 17-mile stretch of the network between Junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and Junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.
Smart motorways use technology to manage traffic and support economic growth by tackling congestion and improving journey times. This includes using variable speed limits, traffic flow sensors in the road, overhead signs and CCTV.
In addition, on the M62 between junctions 18 and 20, the hard shoulder will be permanently converted into a traffic lane, effectively widening the motorway to four lanes in both directions.
The M60 section - junctions 8 to 18 - will be upgraded to a smart motorway, but the hard shoulder will remain for emergency use only.
Work on the project is due to start this summer, with completion in 2016/17. Anyone interested can find out more at a series of exhibitions where they will be able to speak to members of the Highways Agency’s project team, read more about the plans, and watch a computer-generated virtual tour of the improved motorways.
Highways Agency project manager, Paul Hampson, said:
The motorway upgrade is designed to support economic growth by alleviating congestion, which is estimated to cost the economy £2 billion every year. These exhibitions will give people the opportunity to find out more about the scheme and its benefits, and I encourage people to get involved.
From this summer people will see roadworks on these sections of the motorway while we upgrade them, but we will do everything we can to minimise disruption for road users and those living close to where we will be doing work.
For the safety of motorists and our workforce there will be temporary speed limits enforced by average speed cameras and narrow lanes in place. At times, normally overnight, we will use lane closures or full motorway closures with diversion routes. Drivers should plan ahead for their journeys and keep up to date with the latest progress on the scheme.
The exhibitions will be held at:
- George H Carnell Sports Centre, Kingsway Park, Urmston, Manchester, M41 7FJ on Friday 6 June 11.00am-7.00pm and Saturday 7 June 11.00am-3.00pm
- Rainbow Rooms Community Centre, Liverpool Road, Eccles, M30 0QN on Friday 13 June 11.00am-7.00pm and Saturday 14 June 11.00am-3.00pm
- Sedgley Park Rugby Club, Park Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 7DZ on Friday 20 June 11.00am-4.00pm and Saturday 21 June 11.00am-3.00pm
- Mercure Norton Grange Hotel, Manchester Road, Rochdale, OL11 2XS on Friday 27 June 11.00am-7.00pm
Once completed, 200 new electronic signs on the M60 and M62 will alert drivers to changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures, and incidents ahead.
Twenty four new CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor traffic levels from the Highways Agency’s Regional Control Centre at Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside.
A similar project completed on the M62 near Leeds has been welcomed by road users and local businesses as it is making journeys better and reducing congestion.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer