A £100 million upgrade to convert a stretch of the M6 in the Midlands into a smart motorway has been completed.
Motorists and hauliers will start to benefit from the new stretch of smart motorway between junctions 11a (Cannock) and 13 (Stafford), with four lanes running at up to 70mph.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “The start of full smart motorway running on this section of the M6 will improve journeys for all those who rely on this route. Smart motorways are part of our £15 billion road investment strategy. They are just one of the ways in which we are improving the road network, reducing congestion and keeping Britain moving. By improving connections between Birmingham, London and Manchester, we are helping ensure people up and down the UK benefit from our investment in more reliable, safer roads.”
Smart motorways use the latest technology to monitor traffic levels and variable speed limits on overhead electronic signs keep vehicles moving, improving the reliability of journeys.
Highways England project manager Dave Cooke added: “The extra lane between junctions 11a and 13 adds valuable extra capacity which will really help traffic at busy times. It follows the upgrade introduced last summer between junctions 10a and 11a; together this will help improve journeys for millions of people every month.”
The first part of the scheme, a 3.4mile section between junctions 10a and 11, has been open since September 2015. This section has three traffic lanes and a hard shoulder.
The 6.8miles from junction 11a to junction 13 has four lanes open permanently.