M6 junctions 16-19: smart motorway

Improving the M6 motorway between junction 16 (Crewe) and junction 19 (Knutsford) by making it a smart motorway.

Region:  North West
Start date:  2015/16
Cost:  £192 to £274 million
Status:  CURRENT
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  2018/19
Programme:  North West smart motorways

Progress report

We’re getting closer to completing your new smart motorway after passing several key construction milestones. Please read our October 2018 project newsletter to find out more.

The super-span gantry between junction 18 at Holmes Chapel and junction 19 at Knutsford has been installed. This gantry spans both the north and southbound carriageway and is the largest new structure installed on the project. You can see a short video detailing its installation.

To see more images of the scheme's progress, view our gallery.

What next?

From autumn into early 2019 we expect to complete resurfacing, finish installing gantries and verge works (drainage, vehicle barrier installation, cabling) and install all new signage. Much of this will be done overnight during full carriageway closures when the roads are quieter.

Once construction is complete, we will be removing the current narrow lanes so we can test the newly-installed technology. During this process, all new cabling, signage and communications equipment will be checked so we’re ready to open by spring 2019.

The scheme will be completed in phases starting with the northern section between junctions 18 and 19, with all of the roadworks due to be removed by spring 2019.

For details of upcoming planned closures you can check our roadworks feed or view diversion routes.

Timeline

Date Event
July 2013 Scheme announced in the Spending Review
2015 Project development phase ends Summer
End December 2015 Construction begins
End March 2019 Construction ends

Community news

The M6 junctions 16 to 19 project has a customer information stand at both Holmes Chapel and Sandbach Libraries where you can:

Holmes Chapel library is located at 29 London Rd, Holmes Chapel, Crewe CW4 7AP.

Sandbach library is at The Commons, Sandbach CW11 1FJ.

The information stand is marked by a pop up Highways England banner and is located just inside the main library area.

The digital version of the October newsletter is now available.

Why we need this scheme

This section of the M6 currently suffers from excessive congestion and unreliable journey times.

Whilst we are building the new smart motorway our priority is the safety of the travelling public and our workforce, so we have installed narrow lanes, a 50mph speed restriction, CCTV coverage and average speed cameras. As there is no hard shoulder we operate a ‘free vehicle recovery service’ between junction 16 Crewe and junction 19 Knutsford. If your vehicle stops in the narrow lanes, our CCTV control room will identify you and send out the recovery team, so please await rescue. The recovery team will take you and your vehicle to the nearest service area where you will then need to organise how to continue your onward journey.

The scheme in detail

We are improving a 20 miles (32km) stretch of the M6 motorway between Junction 16 (Crewe) and Junction 19 (Knutsford) by converting the existing motorway into an “All Lane Running” Smart Motorway.

This is a motorway where all 4 lanes are open to traffic, with regular refuge areas available for emergency use in place of a hard shoulder. The latest technology is used to monitor the traffic flow and set speed limits to maintain a constant traffic flow.

During these works we will convert the hard shoulder permanently in to a traffic lane.

Aims

The objectives of the proposed scheme are to:

  • reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times and make journeys more reliable
  • support the economy and facilitate economic growth by providing much needed capacity on the motorway, reducing the cost of delays to commuters and business traffic
  • continue to deliver a high level of safety performance on the network using Smart Motorway techniques
  • minimise environmental impacts of the scheme

Our environmental team have been working hard to minimise any disturbance to badgers, including providing an artificial sett. As badgers are a protected species any monitoring has to be carried out under a licence issued by Natural England.

Great crested newts are also a protected species and our ecologists have carried out surveys of potential habitats. We have installed newt fencing in areas where we found evidence of great crested newts. The fencing allows us to safely trap and relocate the great crested newts under licence from Natural England.

This scheme is wholly located within an existing motorway and our research has indicated that no significant environmental effects are predicted. This means we are not required to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment.

However, we feel we have a duty of care and want to protect the environment and local communities. So we have produced an Environmental Assessment Report to identify, manage and monitor the effects of all our major developments.

Project media files and documents

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J16 and J19 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 19 November 2018 to 23 December 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: November 19, 2018, 7:52 am
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J18 and J19 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 25 November 2018 to 06:00 on 26 November 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: November 18, 2018, 10:10 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J18 and J19 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 25 November 2018 to 06:00 on 26 November 2018.
Posted: November 18, 2018, 10:10 pm
Location : The M6 northbound at junction J18 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 25 November 2018 to 06:00 on 26 November 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: November 18, 2018, 10:10 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J16 and J18 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 19 November 2018 to 24 November 2018. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 08:00 from 24 November 2018 to 26 November 2018. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 26 November 2018 to 1 December 2018. Schedule : From 22:00 on 1 December 2018 to 08:00 on 2 December 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: November 17, 2018, 11:15 pm

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