Hard shoulder is now open for M62 traffic

M62 at Brighouse.
M62 at Brighouse.

Work to upgrade the M62 to a managed motorway which starts at Brighouse has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

The temporary 50mph speed restrictions on the remaining two sections between junctions 28 and 29 has been lifted, marking an end to the work which started in October 2011.

Highways Agency Project manager David Pilsworth (left) and Jeremy Bloom Divisional Director for Major Project, pictured in front of the screens showing the upgraded M62, Highways Agency Regional Control Centre, Wakefield.26th September 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme

Highways Agency Project manager David Pilsworth (left) and Jeremy Bloom Divisional Director for Major Project, pictured in front of the screens showing the upgraded M62, Highways Agency Regional Control Centre, Wakefield.26th September 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme

Work to upgrade 15.5 miles of the M62 between junction 25 and junction 30 at Rothwell, was due to be completed by the end of October 2013. However the Highways Agency, working closely with its contractor bmJV, has been able to complete the work more than a month early.

Since work started, the Agency has been able to secure further cost savings of approximately £17million. Therefore, the final cost of the scheme is expected to be £133million, compared to the £150million target cost, which already included £48million of savings.

Highways Agency project manager David Pilsworth, said: “At the beginning we had a lot of scepticism, a lot of uncertainty and a bit of fear from drivers. But the feedback I’m getting is that the system is working very well. It is easing congestion and making peoples daily commutes and moving goods a lot smoother.

“We are seeing less collisions and incidents. We have the ability to control that environment so when incidents do take place we can clear them as soon as and manage it much better and quicker and get the resources to the incident should it take place.”

During busy periods, operators in the regional control centre in Wakefield set overhead message signs to tell drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane and at what speed to drive (via variable mandatory speed limits). Lane closure information (such as a red X) is also displayed as needed in the event of an incident or roadworks. When the hard shoulder is not open to traffic (shown by a blank signal over the hard shoulder or Red X), it is illegal to use, unless in an emergency.