Drivers using a section of smart motorway on the M62 are saving up to half an hour each week although the number of people using it has increased, Highways England has claimed.
The £136m scheme between junction 25, Brighouse, and junction 30, Rothwell, which was finished in 2013, is meant to reduce congestion in the busiest periods.
The company said people travelling westbound in the evening towards Brighouse are saving almost 5 minutes each day, although the number of drivers using the smart motorway has increased.
Junction 26 is part of the M62 smart motorway
A daily average of 155,000 vehicles now use the busiest stretch between junction 26 at Bradford and junction 27 for the M621 every day – an increase of 6%.
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.’
Highways England said delivering better journey times for drivers in West Yorkshire is a key part of the government’s plan for a Northern Powerhouse.
Chancellor George Osborne said in his Budget last month that work to upgrade the M62 to a four-lane smart motorway from junction 25 to junction 20, Rochdale, would be accelerated.
Meanwhile, Highways England has said 354 drivers have run out of fuel in the past year on the 17-mile section of its smart motorway roadworks between junction 20 of the M62 and junction 8 of the M60 near Sale.