The contraflow introduced on the M6 upgrade scheme between junction 13 at Stafford and junction 15 at Stoke is to be extended.
Introducing a contraflow to the motorway has resulted in fewer overnight closures and has helped to speed up work on the project, says Highways England.
Drivers on the M6 still go through the roadworks at the same speed, but the contraflow creates a larger construction area at the side of the motorway, enabling more work to be safely carried out in one shift.
The contraflow is running on the northbound carriageway from Yarnfield to junction 15, but from next month it will be extended to run all the way between junctions 14 and 15 – a total of 11 miles.
‘Exploring new ways’
Highways England Smart Motorway project sponsor Peter Smith said: “The contraflow gives us more space when we’re working in the verge, making it safer for our workers and helping us complete the scheme quicker.
“Because there is more room in the verge, we can carry out most of the disruptive activities during the day, reducing the amount of full overnight motorway closures which benefits local communities.
“Highways England is always exploring new ways to maximise efficiency and this is another important achievement in our work which will ultimately improve journeys by adding extra capacity and technology to the motorway.”
‘Keeping traffic on the move’
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport added: “The introduction of the smart motorway on this section is key for keeping traffic on the move on the busy M6.
“We have worked closely with Highways England to ensure that the impact on local routes such as those through Stafford and along the A34 is minimised while this vital scheme is completed.
“The use of the contraflow has improved productivity, safety and disruption to residents living close by and also reduced the amount of full overnight motorway closures due to having the availability for one lane of traffic to travel in the contraflow lane.”
Work begins on 1 July to install the extended stretch of contraflow which will involve a series of night-time closures.
The southbound carriageway will be closed for five nights from Monday followed by the northbound carriageway for five nights, all between the hours of 9pm to 6am.