Highways England to trial traffic lights on UK motorways in a bid to cut congestion

The scheme will start next month on the M6 and M62

 
In a bid to reduce the growing problem of congestion, Highways England are set to trial traffic lights for the first time ever on motorways in the UK.
The M6 and M62 motorways have been selected to be the first areas to trial traffic lights as part of a £7million scheme.
The trial is set to begin next month at the Croft interchange, where junction 21A on the M6 meets junction 10 of the M62 near Warrington in Cheshire.
The traffic lights will be located at this link road and will operate during peak hours.

The scheme will start next month on the M6 and M62

Highways England to trial traffic lights on UK motorways in a bid to cut congestion © Copyright Peter Whatley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


 
A number of motorway slip roads do have traffic lights installed on them and have done so for many years but this new scheme will be the first time ever that lights have been installed actually on the motorway network itself.
There’s around 2,300 miles of motorway in the UK, however this represents a mere 1% of the total road network in the country, which in turn accounts for 21% of the 323 billion miles that motorists manage to travel every year, with motorway traffic up 30% in 2016 when compared to the mid 90s.
In a recent survey, 61% of drivers said they believed that motorway traffic had got worse over the past year.
The new traffic light scheme will start in December, with lights to be installed on the eastbound M62 heading towards Manchester, where reduced speed limits will coincide with the lights during peak times.
In January 2018, traffic lights will be installed on the link road where the M6 meets the eastbound M62. The aim of the scheme is to reduce the amount of traffic on the M62 which already suffers from congestion.
The scheme might be introduced at more motorway link roads up and down the country if the trial proves a success.
“Once the system is fully up and running we’ll be monitoring its use over a period of up to a year. If it is successful – and we believe it will be – it could well be used on other motorway to motorway link roads across the country,” said Andy Withington from Highways England.
 
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