Wigan motorists gear up for M6 roadworks

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

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 7:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 9:25 am
Smart motorway works will begin next 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.

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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.

Meanwhile, commuters using another arterial route into Wigan are facing equally frustrating conditions as the East Lancs Road is closed for improvements.

Motorists who use the A580 East Lancs Road and A570 Rainford Bypass are advised that a number of overnight road closures will be in place later this month as part of the Windle Island Junction Improvement scheme.

On Tuesday, December 18 the A580 westbound and Rainford Road will be closed between 8pm and 6am.

While on Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20 - during the same hours - the A580 eastbound, the A570 northbound and southbound, and Crank Road will be closed.

The work is subject to weather conditions, particularly sensitive due to traffic management installation, and road users are advised to take alternative routes where possible and allow extra journey time.

Access to businesses will be maintained at all times, however the access and exit to Tesco and Starbucks from and to the A580 westbound carriageway will be closed on Tuesday, December 18.

Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times via the permanent crossing route; however a diversion of the existing pathway may be installed around the construction works.

The the £7m project is to improve Windle Island which sees around 27,000 vehicles pass through a day.