Posted: Mon 27th Mar 2023

New fourth lane opens on smart motorway section of M56

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 27th, 2023

National Highways announced the opening of an extra lane on both the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the M56 motorway near Manchester Airport.

Temporary cones and barriers were lifted overnight revealing

The project, which began in March 2020, also involved providing extra technology and safety enhancements, such as radar-based stopped vehicle detection.

This system alerts National Highways’ control centre operators, who can then close lanes with a Red X signal, display speed limits, and deploy traffic officers.

During the technology commissioning period, temporary additional CCTV from the roadworks and a free recovery service will remain in place alongside the new permanent systems.

Drivers will also have access to four new emergency areas if they need to stop in an emergency.

The new fourth lane is part of the £85 million smart motorway upgrade between junctions 6 and 8 a familiar stretch of road for those travelling from Flintshire to Manchester Airport.

The section of the M56 motorway will run at a maximum speed of 60mph during the “fine-tuning” of newly installed technology, which includes stopped vehicle detection.

The upgrade is expected to fully open, with the 70mph maximum national speed limit restored, early this spring.

Some overnight work to resurface lanes along both carriageways will start shortly after.

National Highways said: “Across the full M56 scheme between junctions 6 and 8 there are now four locations for drivers to stop in an emergency.”

“Someone travelling at 60mph will reach a place to stop in an emergency every 74 seconds.”

“When the fine-tuning of the technology has been completed and the speed limit raised to 70mph, we will be carrying out resurfacing of lanes 2 and 3 on both carriageways. ”

“We’re planning to carry this out in summer 2023.”

“To reduce customer disruption, we’ll be undertaking our work overnight.”

“Most of this will be completed under lane closures, but some full overnight carriageway closures are also likely to be required.”

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