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Extra Lanes Open On Manchester Smart Motorway
M62 at night - photo by Andrew Jones
Drivers can now use more than 10 miles of extra lanes on the M62 near Rochdale after roadworks were removed in time for the Christmas getaway.

Highways England has opened a permanent fourth lane in each direction between junctions 18 and 20 as part of a phased opening of the Manchester smart motorway scheme – increasing capacity on one of England’s busiest stretches of motorway by a third.

Roadworks were removed from the westbound carriageway on Tuesday night and the eastbound carriageway last night. Thick fog prevented workers from being able to remove the roadworks from the eastbound carriageway earlier in the week.

New electronic signs have also now been switched on along this section of the M62 as well as on the M60 between junctions 8 and 10 near the Trafford Centre, providing drivers with journey time updates and details on incidents.

The opening of 10 miles of extra lanes on the M62 are among almost 400 miles of roadworks across England being lifted or completed by Highways England in time for the Christmas getaway.

Almost 99% of motorways and major A roads will be roadworks-free, meaning people travelling to meet up with families and friends can more easily reach their destinations.

Jon Stokes, Senior Project Manager at Highways England, said:

“The extra lanes on the M62 will provide a significant increase in capacity on the busy stretch of motorway between Greater Manchester and Yorkshire, benefitting the 180,000 drivers who use the route every day.

“Nearly 600 people are currently working to complete the smart motorway and we will open each section along the route as soon as possible, improving drivers’ journeys and supporting the economy.”

Variable speed limits will be introduced on the M62 (junctions 18 to 20) and the M60 (junctions 8 to 10) in early 2018 which will automatically change in response to the flow of traffic. The speed limit will remain at 50mph while the new technology is being fine-tuned.

Construction work will continue between junctions 10 and 18 on the M60 in 2018 to complete the installation of over 350 electronic signs, over 100 traffic sensors and 50 CCTV cameras.

Resurfacing work will also take place along the entire smart motorway route using overnight carriageway closures. The project is due to be completed by summer 2018.

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.

The full scheme stretches 17 miles between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

More details on the Manchester smart motorway scheme are available at: http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/m60-junction-8-to-m62-junction-20-2

Extra Lanes Open On Manchester Smart Motorway, 22nd December 2017, 11:17 AM