Govt halts M62 smart motorway scheme

Plans to transform the M62 between Junctions 20 and 30 are among those paused while the Department for Transport awaits five years’ worth of safety data.

The department has frozen all of its new all-lane running smart motorway projects, as well as committed to £900m to improve safety on existing smart motorways. That includes £390m to install 150 emergency areas for drivers to be able to stop in if they experience trouble.

Current smart motorways will also be upgraded, the government said.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said that he had “worked consistently to raise the bar” on the safety of smart motorways.

“While our initial data shows that smart motorways are among the safest roads in the UK, it’s crucial that we go further to ensure people feel safer using them,” Shapps said.

“Pausing schemes yet to start construction and making multi-million-pound improvements to existing schemes will give drivers confidence and provide the data we need to inform our next steps,” he continued.

“I want to thank safety campaigners, including those who have lost loved ones, for rightly striving for higher standards on our roads. I share their concerns.”

In the North West, the only paused project is the M62. The stretch impacted goes between Junction 20, the exit for Oldham and Rochdale, and Junction 30, the exit for Rothwell and Wakefield.

The full list of schemes being paused is as follows:

  • M1 Junction 10-13
  • M3 Junction 9-14
  • M4 Junction 19-20/M5 Junction 15-17
  • M6 Junction 4-10a
  • M25 Junction 10-16
  • M40/M42 Interchange
  • M42 Junction 4-7
  • M62 Junction 20-30

Your Comments

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Excellent, now spend the money on something useful like trains and public transport instead of silly road vanity projects which will never actually ease congestion because cars are too inefficient.

By Anonymous

£390 million for more safety areas….. isn’t that what we had before but it was called a hard shoulder !!

By Alan

£390m for 150 ‘lay-bys’ (emergency areas) – so an average in excess of £2.5m for each lay-by. Maybe I’m ignorant / naive, but that seems a lot. I often wonder when I see costs like this if it would be possible to set up a construction company and do the work for half the price and still make a significant profit…

By Steve

We need the hard shoulder back as people do not obey the red X closing the inside lane

By Roy Kitcher

Smart motorways are dangerous there’s no where to park when you break down

By Clifford scholefield

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