The north west is set to benefit from nearly 80 miles of extra smart motorway being built over the next five years as part of a £1.5bn Highways England investment plan.
In addition to the projects currently taking place on the M62 and M60, Highways England has formally unveiled plans for seven more smart motorway schemes.
Two of the new schemes on the M62 will link up with existing projects, creating the biggest single stretch of smart motorway in the country at nearly 60 miles between the North West and Yorkshire.
Other projects include bypasses on the A556, A585 and A57, new motorway junctions on the M55 and M56, and junction upgrades on the M6.
Alan Shepherd, North West Regional Director at Highways England, said: ‘We’re investing £1.5bn on improvements to the North West’s motorways and major A roads over the next five years, creating the biggest increase in capacity on the road network for 50 years.
‘It’s vital that we continue to improve the existing road network as well, which is why we’re investing £90m this year alone on resurfacing, safety barriers and other maintenance projects.
‘The North West’s motorways and dual carriageways form the backbone for the region’s economy and this huge investment will ensure they remain healthy for many years to come.’
Smart motorways convert the hard shoulder to a live running lane and use technology to monitor traffic flow and change variable message signs to adapt speed limits.
The new package includes a £233m scheme along an 18-mile section of the M6 between junction 16 at Crewe and junction 19 at Knutsford due to start in the autumn and another scheme to improve access to the Port of Liverpool along the A5036.