MOTORISTS hoping for respite from the M60/M62 Smart motorway works should brace themselves for another three years of upheaval.
A new scheme to upgrade 20 miles of the M62 from junctions 20-25 to a smart motorway is scheduled to start in Autumn 2019.
The preferred solution is for a smart motorway with ‘all Lane Running’.
This means the existing hard shoulder would be converted into a traffic lane, providing four lanes for traffic.
Regular refuge areas are available in place of the hard shoulder for emergency use.
Highways England say the Government’s Northern Powerhouse strategy identified a need for improved east-west major road links to ensure better and more reliable journey times between the major cities within the North.
They say: “M62 junctions 20-25 is approximately 31km through a rural Pennine landscape and contains the highest point on a motorway in England.
“This high altitude increases the risk of disruption caused by severe weather.
“The gradients on approach to the summits are around 4 per-cent (1:25), which creates the risk of congestion caused by slow moving or disabled vehicles.
“Congestion also occurs regularly at junctions particularly at the east and west end of the route.
“Our scheme aims to:
• reduce congestion and delays
• improve journey time reliability
• maintain a high standard of safety
• support economic growth and job creation
The Manchester smart motorway between junctions 8 and 10 on the M60 and between junctions 18 and 20 on the M62 became operational earlier this year.
Work on the remaining section between junctions 10 and 18 on the M60 is due to be completed this summer.
• The M62, between junctions 21 and 22 westbound, was closed for five hours on Saturday, May 5 after a tanker fire.
The lorry caught fire near the Milnrow junction but both carriageways had to be closed.
Are Smart motorways, really smart? Or a waste of money which could be better spent filling in pot holes? Let us know by emailing editor Trevor Baxter at firstname.lastname@example.org