Major work on the M56 near Manchester Airport will start a year later than planned as Highways England shakes up the way it carries out highways maintenance.
A project to upgrade a 6.4km stretch of the M56 near Manchester Airport has been pushed back a year and will now start in spring 2020.
The scheme has been delayed so that work on the M62 between Rochdale and Brighouse in West Yorkshire can be completed first.
The delay comes as Highways England seeks to reduce the impact motorway work has on road users.
Changes to regulations about roadworks on motorways will also result in the introduction of 100km/h speed limits and maintaining three open lanes near roadworks to prevent traffic build up. Motorists had previously faced average speeds as low as 57km/h due to roadworks.
Contraflow roadworks layouts – where one lane is moved onto the opposite carriageway with a temporary barrier between traffic – will also be introduced where possible to cut the duration of schemes by creating larger work areas.
Highways England smart motorways programme manager for the North West Mike Bull said: “We’ve listened to what people have been telling us about roadworks and have decided to reschedule two major schemes, benefiting drivers who use our roads to get to work and businesses who deliver goods across the region.
“We’re committed to the upgrades; we are simply changing the timetable for projects on the M56 and M6.”
Other major motorway projects, including a scheme on the M6 between Warrington and Wigan, will be staggered to start between 2020 and 2025.
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