Work on a £7M pilot scheme to cut congestion along the M62 near Warrington in Cheshire is to start next month.
Highways England is delivering the project at Croft Interchange – where Junction 21a of the M6 meets Junction 10 of the M62 – to ease congestion along the eastbound M62.
From summer 2017, smart motorway technology, such as electronic information signs and variable mandatory speed limits on the M62, will be used alongside traffic lights on the motorway link roads from the northbound and southbound M6.
“This is an opportunity to combine existing technology and traffic management systems in a novel way to see whether we can give drivers using the frequently congested eastbound M62 lower journey times during peak hours and smoother, more reliable journeys,” said Highways England’s programme delivery manager for the North West Andy Withington.
“The system should be up and running by next summer and we will be monitoring its use over a period of up to a year. If it is successful – and we believe it will be – it could well be used on other motorway-to-motorway slip roads across the country.”
The eight-month construction period will mainly involve overnight working in the hard shoulder, with occasional overnight carriageway closures for major work such as gantry installations.
Large elements of the pilot project will also form part of the permanent M62 Junction 10 to Junction 12 smart motorway system between Warrington and Manchester, which is due to start construction during 2018/2019.
Funding for the project is coming from a £150M innovation fund, part of the £15bn allocated to Highways England in the government’s 2015 to 2020 Road Investment Strategy. The innovation fund is designed to encourage Highways England to look at new technology or techniques to improve the road network.