Second stage of managed motorway to be tested

editorial image

The second stage of the newly-installed managed motorway system will be tested this Sunday.

The system will be tested on both carriageways between junction 26 at Chain Bar and junction 27 at Gildersome between 8am and 10am, subject to the completion of minor works on today and tomorrow.

Should the trials go ahead, traffic officers in the Highways Agency regional control centre at Wakefield will open up the hard shoulder to traffic by setting the overhead signs to tell drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane. Variable mandatory speed limits, indicated by a red ring, will also be displayed to help improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

As part of the test, traffic officers may also set the signs to indicate lane closures across any of the four lanes – this will be by way of a red X.

Road users are advised to follow the overhead signs, and are reminded that when the hard shoulder is not indicated as a running lane it should be used for emergency purposes only, as per motorway regulations.

This will be the second section of the new managed motorway to be brought into operation, following successful testing and opening of the first section, between junctions 27, Gildersome and junction 28, Tingley, in May.

Once the testing this Sunday is complete, the hard shoulder will be closed to traffic and will only be available for use in the event of an emergency, as per motorway regulations. Further testing will be carried out over the coming weeks before this section becomes fully operational as a managed motorway later in July.

In addition, the temporary 50mph speed limit between junctions 26, Chain Bar and junction 28 Tingley (some seven miles) was lifted this morning (Friday). This means that variable speed limits of up to 60mph, indicated by the electronic signs on overhead gantries, will be used when the managed motorway is in operation. When the managed motorway is not in use, national speed limit will apply between these junctions and the electronic signs will not be illuminated.

Drivers are reminded that the 50mph speed limit between junctions 25 and 26, and between junctions 28 and 30, remains in place while work on these sections continues: this is for the safety of road users and road workers.

The M62 managed motorway between junctions 25 (Brighouse) and 30 (Rothwell) is due to be completed in full later this year.