Smart motorway saves drivers 30 minutes a week

  • Drivers save 30 minutes a week on commute
  • Variable speed limits prove to be a success
  • M62 to be upgraded to a four-lane smart motorway

Drivers using the M62 smart motorway are saving up to 30 minutes each week, according to statistics.

The £136 million Highways England scheme between Brighouse and Rothwell, which was finished in 2013, is designed to deliver better journeys for motorists in the busiest periods.

Smart motorways monitor traffic levels and will adapt variable speed limits on overhead electronic signs to keep vehicles moving, they also open up the hard shoulder during busy periods.

People travelling westbound are saving almost five minutes each day despite the number of drivers using the 15.5-mile stretch of road increasing.

An average of 155,000 vehicles now use the busiest part of the route between junction 26 (Chain Bar) at Bradford and junction 27 for the M621 every day – a six percent hike in traffic.

These figures come after Chancellor George Osborne announced that new work to upgrade the M62 to a four-lane smart motorway would be accelerated in his Budget

Roger Wantling, service delivery team leader for Highways England, said: “These latest figures show that the smart motorway really is making a difference to people’s lives saving commuters an average of 30 minutes a week, which works out at over a day a year. 

“The smart motorway helps tackle the stop-start conditions many of us have experienced in the past, using the variable speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder on parts of the M62 during busy times to target congestion.”