Hard shoulder scheme opens on M6

A hard shoulder running scheme designed to aid safer and more reliable journeys has been opened on a motorway in the West Midlands.

The hard shoulder lane will be available to use during busy periods on the 11.2km stretch of the M6 between junctions four and five, after it was opened by transport minister Chris Mole. It follows a successful pilot on the M42, also in the West Midlands, and has been delivered as part of a £150 million contract.

Mr Mole said: "The M6 is the first motorway after the successful M42 pilot to see the hard shoulder opened up as a running lane to ease congestion and make journey times more reliable. This crucial scheme will make an invaluable contribution to business and economy.

"By 2015, an investment of around £3 billion − half of our planned spending on the national roads programme – is expected to deliver 340 additional lane miles for road users through schemes like this, making extra capacity available when needed on some of the busiest stretches of England's motorways."

A 'through-junction running' scheme has also been launched by the Highways Agency on the M42.

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