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

As of Friday 18 January 2019, motorists are able to use all 4 new lanes between junction 18 (Holmes Chapel) and junction 19 (Knutsford) northbound. We are now in the process of ensuring all 4 new lanes on the southbound stretch between these two junctions are in use in time for Saturday morning (19 January).

New overhead electronic signs have been switched on to provide drivers with live information about their journeys, including changes in the speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.

The 60mph speed limit between junctions 18 and 19, increased from 50mph ahead of the Christmas 2018 break, will remain in place for the next few weeks while we complete testing of new technology, with this section due to be fully operational as a smart motorway by early February.

A temporary 50mph speed limit will remain in place between junctions 16 and 18 until the construction and technology work is completed and the whole project opens to traffic at the end of March.

What's next?

We are on schedule to complete the full scheme between junctions 16 and 19 by the end of March, improving journeys for the 120,000 drivers who use this stretch of the M6 every day.

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
December 2015 Construction begins
February 2019 Junctions 18 to 19 become fully operational
March 2019 Construction ends

Community news

The M6 junctions 16 to 19 project has customer information stands at 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 December newsletter is now available.

You can find closure information on the roadworks tab below, and on Traffic England. Alternatively, if you wish to be sent our weekly Traffic Management Bulletin, which details all planned closures for smart motorway work on the M6 between junctions 2 and 19, please email: M6J16-19SmartMotorway@highwaysengland.co.uk

Why we need this scheme

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

While we're building the new smart motorway our priority is the safety of the travelling public and our workforce, so we've 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're 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

Environment

Our environmental team has 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 exit slip at junction J18 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 20 January 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes are closed.
Posted: January 19, 2019, 10:24 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J16 and J19 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder, lanes 1 and 2 are closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 20 January 2019. Lanes Closed : There are two of three lanes closed.
Posted: January 19, 2019, 9:01 pm
Location : The M6 northbound entry slip at junction J16 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 20 January 2019 to 06:00 on 21 January 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: January 17, 2019, 9:46 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J17 . Reason : Roadworks scheme is planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 21 January 2019 to 06:00 on 4 February 2019.
Posted: January 17, 2019, 9:46 pm
Location : The M6 northbound exit slip at junction J17 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 21 January 2019 to 4 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: January 17, 2019, 9:46 pm
Location : The M6 northbound between junctions J16 and J17 . 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 21 January 2019 to 4 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: January 17, 2019, 9:46 pm
Location : The M6 northbound entry slip at junction J16 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 06:00 from 21 January 2019 to 4 February 2019. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: January 17, 2019, 9:46 pm

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