North West smart motorways

Project information

M56 junction 6 to 8 smart motorway

This four-mile stretch of road, which is linked to several arterial trunk roads, is a vital part of the network for commuters travelling into Manchester city centre. This section of the M56 carries in excess of 100,000 vehicles per day.

This scheme is part of our programme to add capacity to the existing strategic road network in order to support economic growth and maintain mobility.

View M56 junction 6 to 8 smart motorway project page

The M6 forms part of the London to north-west and Scotland strategic corridor, and the wider trans-European route, E05. The M6 between junctions 21a and 26 is a key strategic route carrying around 120,000 vehicles daily between Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. 

Congestion and unreliable journey times are currently experienced at busy periods and traffic is predicted to grow. 

The M6 junction 21a to 26 smart motorway scheme will relieve congestion and smooth the flow of traffic, improving safety and journey times. 

View M6 junction 21a to 26 smart motorway project page

The design features of the scheme include: 

  • variable mandatory speed limits 
  • driver information, including lane availability, provided through a mixture of gantries and cantilever signs 
  • queue detection and automatic signalling system, which provides queue protection and congestion management 
  • comprehensive low light pan-tilt-zoom CCTV coverage 
  • refuge areas where drivers can stop in an emergency 

The M62 is the only east-west motorway spanning the north of England. Running between Merseyside and Yorkshire through Cheshire and Lancashire, it serves as both a regional route for longer distance trips and as an important inter-urban route between the Manchester and Leeds city regions.

The government’s Northern Powerhouse strategy identified a need for improved east-west major road links to ensure better and more reliable journey times between the major cities within the north.

View M62 junction 20 to 25 smart motorway project page


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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