M60 to become a “Smart Motorway”?

What is happening?

The Highways Agency are working to improve the M60 by making it a “managed motorway” between junction 8 of the M60 at Carrington and junction 20 of the M62 at Rochdale.

“Managed motorways” apparently deliver similar benefits to conventional road widening but at a significantly lower cost and with less impact on the environment during construction. A managed motorway scheme can also be delivered in less time that conventional widening.

This scheme combines 3 previous schemes originally announced as part of the 2010 spending review; M60 Junction 15 to 12 Lane Gain, M60 Junction 8 to 12 Managed Motorway and M62 Junction 18 to 20 Managed Motorway.

Work is expected to start in Summer 2014, subject to completion of statutory processes, and is expected to be completed by Spring 2016.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The work is needed as this route is used by over 150,000 vehicles per day and suffers from heavy congestion and unpredictable journey times, especially during peak periods.

The scheme will cover a corridor approximately 17 miles long. It has 11 junctions along the route with 2, 3 and 4 lane carriageways.

The estimated cost of £228 million was approved by the Secretary of State for Transport in October 2013.

How will the scheme be carried out?

A number of cameras, information signs and signals on gantries will be installed as part of the scheme. As the scheme design progresses the Highways Agency will provide more information on the location of these features. They will control the use of the hard shoulder to alleviate congestion.

What are the benefits?

Implementing managed motorways on the M60 in Greater Manchester should improve congestion and make journeys more reliable. The first managed motorway scheme opened to traffic on the M42 motorway in 2006. Recent analysis of the data gathered since opening has found that journey reliability improved by 22 per cent. In addition, accidents have reduced by more than half since hard shoulder running was introduced. There was also an overall reduction in the severity of accidents with 0 fatalities and fewer seriously injured.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000. Further information can be found at http://www.highways.gov.uk