North West roads plan
biggest for 50 years
DRIVERS in the North West are set to
benefit from the biggest increase in capaCity on the region's roads for 50
Highways England has announced that it plans to invest £1.5 billion in the North
West's roads over the next 5 years, including creating nearly 80 miles of
The government owned company, which took over responsibility for England's
motorways and major A roads earlier this year, set out its 5 year plan for
the North West at a regional launch event at the Macdonald hotel in Manchester
on Tuesday, 30 June 2015.
Work will start on 7 new 'Smart Motorway' projects by 2020, in addition to the
project currently taking place on the M62 and M60, cutting congestion and
improving journey times for drivers.
2 of the schemes on the M62 will link up with existing projects to create the
biggest single stretch of 'Smart Motorway' in the country, covering nearly 60
miles between the North West and Yorkshire.
Other major schemes planned for the region include bypasses on the A556, A585
and A57, new Motorway Junctions on the M55 and M56, and Junction upgrades on the
And during 2015/16 alone, 130 miles of lanes on motorways and major A roads will
be resurfaced, 40 miles of safety barriers will be installed, and 2,900 lighting
columns will be upgraded.
Alan Shepherd, North West Regional Director at Highways England, said:-
"We're investing £1.5 billion on improvements to the North West's motorways and
major A roads over the next 5 years, creating the biggest increase in capacity
on the road network for 50 years. That includes nearly 80 miles of 'Smart
Motorway' where the hard shoulder will be converted into extra lanes and
variable speed limits will be used to keep traffic moving. New bypasses and new
and improved Motorway Junctions will also all help to tackle congestion,
benefitting both businesses and local residents. It's vital that we continue to
improve the existing road network as well, which is why we're investing £90
million this year alone on resurfacing, safety barriers and other maintenance
projects. The North West's motorways and dual carriageways form the backbone for
the region's economy and this huge investment will ensure they remain healthy
for many years to come."
Work on the North West's 1st 'Smart
Motorway' began in July 2014 and
affects a 17 mile stretch of the M60 and M62 in Greater Manchester. The £202
million project is due to be completed in autumn 2017.
A new £233 million 'Smart Motorway' scheme along an 18 mile section of the M6
between Junction 16 at Crewe and Junction 19 at Knutsford is due to start this
Construction work on a £192 million project to build a new A556 link road
between the M56 near Bowdon and the M6 near Knutsford also began last year and
is due to be completed by winter 2016/17.
Other major projects planned to start construction work before 2020 include new
bypasses on the A585, to remove a major bottleneck on the main road to
Fleetwood, and on the A57, to tackle congestion near Mottram and Hollingworth in
Another scheme will improve access to the Port of Liverpool along the A5036, new
Motorway Junctions will be created on the M56 (Junction 11a) and M55 (Junction 2) near Preston, and major upgrades will be made to
Junction 19 of the M6 near Knutsford and Junction 22 near Newton Le Willows.
Jeremy Bloom, Highways England's Major Projects Director for the North, said:-
"These schemes will bring significant long term benefits to drivers on
motorways and major A roads in the North West, as well as to the economy as a
whole. The construction work will, of course, bring some disruption in the short
term but we will ensure that we keep this to a minimum to keep traffic flowing.
When the schemes are completed, road users will experience safer, more reliable
and less congested journeys."
2 new 'Smart Motorway' schemes on the M62 will run on a 9 mile section between
Junctions 10 at the M6 interchange near Warrington and Junction 12, at the M60
interchange, near Eccles, and on a 19 mile section between Junction 20 at the
A627(M) interchange near Rochdale and Junction 25 near Brighouse, West Yorkshire
(including 7 miles in the North West).
A 7 mile stretch of 'Smart Motorway' will be created on the opposite side of the
M60 to the current scheme, between Junction 24 at the M67 interchange near
Denton and Junction 4 at the M56 interchange near Cheadle.
A 10 mile section of the M6 between Junction 21a at the M62 interchange near
Warrington and Junction 26 at the M58 interchange near Skelmersdale will also
become a 'Smart Motorway', along with a 4 mile section of the M56, between
Junction 6 and Junction 8m located near Manchester Airport.
Finally, a 6 mile stretch of 'Smart
Motorway' will be created on the M53 between Junction 5 at Queensferry and
Junction 11 at the M56 interchange near Ellesmere
More details on Highways England's 5 year plan are available