The first section of managed motorway in the North of England has gone live on part of the M62 in West Yorkshire.
The 2.7-mile (4.5km) section, between junction 27 at Gildersome and junction 28 at Tingley, is now fully operational as a managed motorway.
During busy periods, operators in the Highways Agency’s regional control centre in Wakefield will set overhead signs to indicate when drivers can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane, in order to relieve congestion by creating extra capacity. This follows an extended period of testing.
Variable mandatory speed limits, indicated by a red ring, will be displayed to smooth the flow of traffic and lane closure information may also be displayed as required.
Road users are advised to follow the signs and are reminded that when the hard shoulder is not open as a running lane (indicated by either a broken red X over the lane or a blank sign), it should be used for emergency purposes only, in accordance with motorway regulations.
Due to work continuing elsewhere on the scheme between junctions 25 (Brighouse) and 30 (Rothwell), the speed limit on the newly-opened section will remain at a maximum of 50mph for safety reasons. The motorway will open in a phased approach, with all work due to be completed by the autumn.
Project manager David Pilsworth said: “We are delighted that the first section of managed motorway is now live and road users can start to feel the benefits of reduced congestion and improved journey times. This is a significant milestone in the delivery of the scheme, which is on target for completion in the autumn.”