Traffic lights are to be installed on some of the UK’s busiest motorways in an attempt to slash congestion.
The first lights will be placed on the link roads that join the M62 and M6 motorways at Warrington, Cheshire, in a £7million trial set to start next month.
How this impacts traffic on this busy Croft Intersection – including travellers heading to Manchester Airport – will be closely monitored.
It will be the first time that traffic lights have been put on roads that are part of the motorway network. They are currently used on some slip roads at the point that drivers join the network.
The scheme will see electronic signs on the eastbound M62 heading towards Manchester warn motorists of upcoming congestion.
Under the next phase, traffic lights will placed at the end of the link roads from the M6 where they join the eastbound M62.
The lights will be used in conjunction with cameras to ensure congestion is managed effectively depending on prevailing levels of traffic.
The move has been sparked by a dramatic increase in traffic using the motorway network. Official figures recorded 68million vehicle miles in the year ending in June – up more than 30 per cent since the mid-nineties.
Highways England will monitor the scheme and, if successful, it could extend the use of lights to other sections of the UK motorway network.
At-a-glance guide to traffic lights on motorways
Here’s all you need to know about the scheme.
Where is the pilot?
The Croft Interchange, Junction 21a of the M6 meets junction 10 of the M62.
Where will the traffic lights be located?
Electronic signs will show on the eastbound M62, combined with traffic lights on link roads from the M6.
What is the aim of the scheme?
The introduction of lights is hoped to offer drivers a more reliable and consistent journey along the eastbound M62. This is one of the busiest traffic hot-spots in the region.
Will traffic lights be appearing on other motorways
Andy Withington, Highways England’s programme delivery manager for the North West, has indicated that if the scheme is deemed a success after 12 months of testing – and he believes it will be – the use of traffic lights is likely to be used on other motorways.
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