New plans to ease Yorkshire motorway congestion

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The Government will today announce a five-year plan to improve traffic congestion in Yorkshire, including a new “smart motorway” along stretches of the M62.

The scheme, which transport bosses claim will see more than £1.3 billion of improvements to roads across Yorkshire and the Humber, will be administered by Highways England, which took over responsibility for England’s motorways and major A roads earlier this year,

Projects due to start in the region by 2020 include a new smart motorway between junctions 20 and 25 of the M62 which will link up with existing schemes to create the biggest single stretch of smart motorway in the country, covering nearly 60 miles between Yorkshire and the North West.

An extra lane and variable speed limits will be used to keep traffic moving.

Other projects planned for the region include work to tackle congestion at the M62/M606 interchange on the route between Leeds and Bradford.

Improvements will also be made between junctions one to seven of the M621 and upgrades to junction 45 of the M1 to enhance access to the Aire Valley development.

The work is part of the government’s ‘Road Investment Strategy’, a £15billion plan, which was announced last year, to triple levels of spending on England’s roads by the end of the decade, increasing their capacity and condition.

Highway’s England’s director of major projects in the North, Jeremy Bloom, and regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, Vanessa Gilbert, will launch the scheme in Leeds today.

Work is currently underway to improve the M1 motorway near to Wakefield.

The project will see the hard shoulders on both of the motorway’s carriageways turned into permanent traffic lanes in a bid to ease congestion

The Highways Agency says the work, which started earlier this year, will include widening the approaches to the M1 at junction 41 near Carr Gate.

The scheme is expected to be completed in January 2015.

The so-called “smart motorway” upgrade follows similar changes that were recently introduced on the M62 between the Brighouse and Rothwell junctions.