Congestion could be eased on ‘smart motorway’

Simon Donohue

The region's first stretch of 'smart motorway' could be introduced on a section of highway through Greater Manchester where drivers regularly face congestion and delays.

Measures including permanent use of hard shoulders and electronic signs are proposed for the 17-mile section of motorway between Junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and Junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale.

Sections of smart motorway utilise technology to monitor traffic levels and provide traffic information to road users and ease congestion by using variable speed limits. Safe refuge areas provide space for vehicles in the absence of the hard shoulder.

The section of road being considered for conversion to a smart motorway is used by more than 180,000 vehicles a day, with road users experiencing heavy congestion and unpredictable journey times.

Further details of the initiatives will be outlined at a series of exhibitions, with work due to begin next summer subject to consultation. The exhibitions will take place at:

  • George H Carnell Sports Centre, Urmston on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 November
  • Lancashire Health and Racquet Club, Middleton on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November
  • Novotel Hotel, Worsley on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November.

On Fridays the exhibition will open at midday and close at 8pm, on Saturdays it will open from 10am to 5pm.

Jacqui Allen, senior project manager, said: "The exhibitions are a great opportunity for people to find out more about our plans to improve journey times on parts of the M60 and M62, so we encourage anyone with an interest to come along and put any questions they may have to the project team."

For further information, people can search for 'smart motorways Manchester' on Facebook, or visit where people can also register to be kept informed of the latest news on the scheme.

Your Comments

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There’s nothing ‘smart’ about turning a hard shoulder into a rolling ‘death-trap’. It’s cheap, it’s nasty, it’s unimaginative, it’s short-termist, it’s….coming….dear God…. Is this all we deserve from the cretins in charge of infrastructure.

By Grown Up

"Death trap"? Care to expand? Managed motorways include extensive telemetric systems to monitor vehicle flows and identify vehicle breakdowns and accidents. They’ve been used in a number of locations now and have generally been deemed a success in reducing congestion at peak times. Would you rather pay more road tax and have a hole new road built?

By infrastructure cretin