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Smart motorway to open in Manchester
© Bob Abell

Smart motorway for Manchester

07/09/17Science & Technology

A phased opening of the smart motorway in Manchester, UK, which will see current restrictions on the M62 and between junctions 8 and 10 on the M60 lifted, will commence next month.

The first sections to complete will be along a five mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale and on a two mile stretch of the M60 near the Trafford Centre.

The removal of the temporary narrow lanes on the M62 will start in October and on the M60 later in the autumn. The full smart motorway scheme runs between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

The new technology will then be tested to ensure the 100 traffic sensors which have been installed along the 17-mile route are working effectively, before the new electronic variable speed limit signs are switched on from junctions 8 to 10 on the M60 and junctions 18 to 20 on the M62 by the end of the year.

Extra lanes on the M62 are also due to open in time for the Christmas period – increasing capacity on the stretch of motorway between Greater Manchester and Yorkshire by one-third, according to Highways England.

Jon Stokes, senior project manager at Highways England, said: “We will be able to begin a phased opening of the new smart motorway scheme this autumn – benefiting the 180,000 drivers who use the route every day.

“When the smart motorway is complete, drivers will be able to travel in an extra lane on the M62 and variable speed limits will keep traffic moving at a steady speed – tackling the stop/start conditions and tailbacks caused by sudden braking.”

The scheme is Highways England’s most complex smart motorway project, affecting the second busiest motorway in the country and covering 13 junctions.

When the smart motorway is complete, traffic sensors will automatically monitor vehicle numbers and adjust the speed limit accordingly. A total of 50 CCTV cameras will also provide coverage of the route, and allow Highways England’s traffic officers and the emergency services to respond quickly to incidents.

Pan European Networks Ltd