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New stretch of smart motorway for M6 open to traffic

News   •   Feb 09, 2016 12:00 GMT

A £100M upgrade on the M6 in the Midlands is now open to traffic and will help beat congestion.

The £100M new stretch of smart motorway on the M6 will improve more than 120,000 journeys a day for motorists and hauliers travelling between junctions 11a (Cannock) and 13 (Stafford), with four lanes running at up to 70mph.

The start of full smart motorway running is part of a £15Bn road investment strategy, one of the ways in which the government is working to improve the road network, reducing congestion and keeping Britain moving.

Smart motorways use the latest technology to monitor traffic levels and variable speed limits on overhead electronic signs to keep traffic flowing and improve the reliability of journeys.

The works will improve connections between Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Highways England project manager Dave Cooke said: “The extra lane between junctions 11a and 13 adds valuable extra capacity which will really help traffic at busy times. It follows the upgrade introduced last summer between junctions 10a and 11a; together this will help improve journeys for millions of people every month.

“The technology means we can vary the speed limit to smooth the flow of traffic at busy times, this also helps prevent congestion caused by stop-start braking which causes queues to build at higher speeds.”

The new stretch has taken more than a million hours of work, 54,000 tonnes of road surface and 55 miles of cabling to transform the busy 10 mile stretch between junctions 10a and 13.

The first part of the scheme covers 3.4 miles between junctions 10a and 11 and has been open since September 2015, with three traffic lanes and a hard shoulder.

The 6.8 miles from junction 11a to junction 13 has four lanes open permanently.

Around 300,000 man hours were worked at night, with more than 300 staff working on the project in total.

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