Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Char­lotte Cox

THE smart mo­tor­way project on the M60 and M62 has been de­layed – which means the 50mph limit will be in place on some stretches of road un­til next sum­mer.

High­ways bosses have ad­mit­ted that the road­works, orig­i­nally due for com­ple­tion in De­cem­ber, will take longer than promised.

For mo­torists who’ve al­ready put up with the works for more than three years, it means more of the same.

While the M62 works be­tween junc­tions 18 and 20 – Simis­ter Is­land to Rochdale – were sup­posed to be com­pleted by this au­tumn, that dead­line’s shifted to De­cem­ber – with three ex­tra months of the 50mph limit.

But the big­gest hit will be to driv­ers on the M60, with the fin­ish date be­tween junc­tions 10 at the Traf­ford Cen­tre and 18 at Simis­ter Is­land de­layed un­til the sum­mer.

That means up to six months more than promised of the 50mph limit.

High­ways bosses have said junc­tions 8 to 10 of the M60, be­tween Sale and Traf­ford Park, are still on track for De­cem­ber as planned.

They con­ceded the £208m project, con­tracted to Bal­four Beatty, had taken ‘longer than they’d like’ due to its com­plex­ity, keep­ing lanes open for driv­ers in the day and ‘other is­sues’.

These in­clude re­lo­cat­ing un­ex­pected util­ity pipes and ex­tra main­te­nance work. The de­lay will not im­pact any other fu­ture works, a spokesman promised.

But an insider on the project told our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N.: “It’s been de­layed for ages, we all knew it was never go­ing to be fin­ished on time.”

A High­ways Eng­land spokesman said the Smart Mo­tor­way will tackle con­ges­tion and im­prove jour­ney times.

This will be achieved through the con­ver­sion of the M62 hard shoul­der into an ex­tra lane and around 200 new elec­tronic signs along the en­tire 17-mile route be­tween Sale and Rochdale to al­low vari­able speed lim­its based on traf­fic flow, which will be gauged by sen­sors.

Jon Stokes, se­nior project man­ager at High­ways Eng­land, said: “We will be able to be­gin a phased open­ing of the new smart mo­tor­way scheme this au­tumn – ben­e­fit­ing the 180,000 driv­ers who use the route every day. When the smart mo­tor­way is com­plete, driv­ers will be able to travel in an ex­tra lane on the M62 and vari­able speed lim­its will keep traf­fic mov­ing at a steady speed – tack­ling the stop/ start con­di­tions and tail­backs caused by sud­den brak­ing.

“Nearly 600 peo­ple are cur­rently work­ing to com­plete the project and we will open each sec­tion along the route as soon as pos­si­ble.”

The M60 50mph limit con­tin­ues

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