Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Widening plan to reduce M6 delays

Motorway jam (generic)
The work will involved some overnight closures

More than two miles of the M6 motorway in Lancashire is to be widened at one of its busiest sections.

The 4.8m scheme to relieve congestion for drivers around junction 32, near Preston, is starting later this week.

The Highways Agency said up 140,000 drivers a day travel around the junction at Broughton - where the motorway meets the M55 to Blackpool.

A total of 2.6 miles (4.1km) of the southbound carriageway is to be widened from two to three lanes..

Both the M6 exit slip for the M55 westbound and M6 on-slip for eastbound M55 traffic will also be modified to accommodate the extra lane during the five-month project.

'Pinch point'

As well as a new hard shoulder, new safety barriers, lighting gantry system and lighting will be installed.

The Highways Agency said its contractors will be working "around the clock" on the project and that some overnight closures will be necessary.

Two narrow lanes will run on the southbound carriageway during the day with a 50mph speed limit.

Restrictions will be lifted for the Easter and Spring bank holidays on the route which is used heavily by travellers to the Lake District.

Bob Baldwin, Highways Agency area performance manager for north Lancashire and Cumbria, said: "We have recognised for some time that this is a particular "pinch point" for drivers on the motorway network in Lancashire.

"This scheme will provide reduced journey times and more reliable journey times for our customers - particularly on Sundays and bank holidays.

"We would ask customers to be patient while we work to get this scheme completed in time for summer."

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SEE ALSO
Equipment to help reduce M6 jams
06 Jan 08 |  Lancashire
Intelligent lights for busy roads
05 Jan 07 |  Manchester

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