We are currently working on the smart motorway scheme design options for this part of the M6 that would meet the aims of the scheme, while undertaking a range of surveys and assessments to help inform us about the local environment. We have also started discussions with local authorities and technical stakeholders so we can take into account their views for our scheme proposal.
We will progress with the detailed design phase of the scheme leading into construction which is scheduled to commence in September 2018.
We plan to hold public information events to provide information about the scheme and detailed design and construction phase. The timing of these events is to be confirmed.
|December 2014||Government announces scheme|
|TBC||Public information events|
|September 2018||Works start|
|March 2020||Works complete|
Why we need this scheme
The M6 motorway is a strategic route for local, regional and international traffic and is a major artery between the North West, the West Midlands and London (via the M1). This section of the M6 carries in excess of 110,000 vehicles per day.
The M6 carries high volumes of heavy goods and other vehicles. Congestion and unreliable journey times are currently experienced at busy periods and traffic is predicted to grow.
The M6 project will relieve congestion and smooth the flow of traffic, improving safety and journey times as well as improving the current unpredictability of journey times along this stretch of the motorway.
With this scheme, we aim to:
- reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times, making journeys more reliable
- support the economy and facilitate economic growth within the region. Providing much needed capacity on the motorway will reduce the cost of economic delay to both commuters and business traffic
- continue to deliver a high level of safety performance on the network using smart motorway techniques
- minimise environmental impacts
The scheme in detail
The M6 between junctions 21a and 26 is a key strategic route carrying high volumes of vehicles between the North West, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. The scheme falls within the Area 10 maintenance area and the North West Regional Control Centre (RCC).
Smart motorways are a technology driven approach to tackling the most congested parts of the motorway network, improving journey reliability by controlling the flow and speed of traffic. Smart motorways also support the economy by providing much needed capacity on the busiest motorways, while maintaining safety for road users and those who work on the roads.
The design features of the M6 J21a to J26 smart motorway scheme include:
- variable mandatory speed limits
- driver information, including lane availability, provided through a mixture of gantries and cantilever signs
- queue detection and automatic signalling system, which provides queue protection and congestion management
- comprehensive low light pan-tilt-zoom CCTV coverage
- refuge areas where drivers can stop in an emergency
We are undertaking an environmental assessment that covers topics including noise and vibration, water, air quality, ecology and visual impacts. The results will be presented in an Environmental Assessment Report and we will describe the measures we will take to minimise potentially significant adverse environmental effects.
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