News - Construction News

Video: Not so smart motorway driver ignores road closure

Highways England has released CCTV footage of a driver at junction 11 of the M60 at Eccles ignoring an overnight slip road closure.

The release of the video is being used to warn drivers that such high-risk actions put road workers’ lives at risk.

New figures released show that four drivers a month drive into closed sections of road in the Manchester smart motorway scheme with the intention to either overtake traffic on the motorway or avoid using diversion routes.

Over 400 people are currently working on the £208M project to create a smart motorway between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62 at Rochdale.

The hard shoulder is being converted to an extra lane on a five mile stretch of the M62. Variable speed limits will be introduced on new overhead electronic signs along the entire 17-mile route to combat congestion and keep traffic flowing.

Drivers are being warned that they could face prosecution should they choose to ignore road closures and follow the diversions in place.

Electronic signs will also display the message ‘Don’t ignore road closures – CCTV in operation’ in an effort to deter anybody thinking of taking an ill-advised gamble.

Stephen Hill, Project Manager for the Manchester smart motorway scheme at Highways England, said: “It’s shocking that four drivers a month are putting the lives of our workers at risk by deliberately ignoring road closures, just to try and save a few minutes on their journeys.

“The work to upgrade the M60 and M62 to a smart motorway is one of the biggest construction projects currently underway in the North West, and sometimes we need to close parts of the motorway to ensure the safety of our workers.

“We only ever close slip roads and motorway carriageways overnight when traffic levels are lower, and make sure there are clearly-signed diversion routes in place.

“We are urging drivers to follow the diversions for their own and our workers’ safety, and warning that we will pass on the details to the police of any drivers who deliberately ignore road closures.”

The Manchester smart motorway scheme is due to be completed in autumn 2017.

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