Motorists gear up for more M6 roadworks misery

A smart motorway
A smart motorway
Share this article

St Helens commuters are facing three more years of traffic misery as Highways England confirms that major motorway works will begin in spring.

Highways England has today announced it will complete four upgrades on the M6 by spring 2022 to add extra lanes and better technology to 60 miles of the motorway between Coventry and Wigan.

Roadworks will begin between junction 21A at the M62 and Warrington and junction 26 at Orrell in spring 2019.

The authority has said the works, due for completion in spring 2022, will “significantly improve” journeys on the M6.

Andrew Jinks, smart motorway director at Highways England, said: “The M6 provided a major economic boost to the country when it first opened 60 years ago and it still provides a vital link between London and Scotland through the West Midlands and North West.

“Hundreds of thousands of drivers now use the motorway every day to get to work, meet friends and family, or for long distance deliveries, and the smart motorway upgrades will ensure the M6 is fit for the future.

“Our motorways have changed massively over the past six decades and smart motorways could be just a glimpse of the technology transformation still to come.

“In 60 years’ time, driverless vehicles could be as commonplace as a car radio.”

The new smart motorway technology will allow variable speed limits to be automatically set on overhead signs with the aim of preventing stop-start conditions and tailbacks caused by sudden braking.

The technology will also be used to detect queuing traffic, breakdowns and collisions as they happen so that traffic officers and emergency services can respond quickly to incidents. Smart upgrades have been taking place further down the M6 in Cheshire, between Knutsford and Crewe.

Construction between junction 19 and junction 16, began in December 2015 and will be finished in March.