Bottleneck joy for M6 drivers

Bottleneck joy for M6 drivers

Motorists should be finding a notorious Merseyside traffic bottleneck easier to cross this week.

Haydock Island junction has been the scene of many a jam over the years. But from Monday, May 18 the journey times of those using the junction may be reduced - thanks to Highway England's new £4.1 million road layout.

This has facilitated them with a new shortcut across a roundabout's centre at the hectic St Helens M6 junction. It means the junction 23's capacity - the conjoining of the A580 (Liverpool-East Lancashire Road) and A49 - has been substantially expanded.

By cutting through the roundabout's centre, drivers can now go right towards the A49's Lodge Lane or the M6. This is instead of driving around its entire circumference.

In addition, drivers exiting the A49 or M6 can bypass the roundabout by heading right towards the A580.

Traffic flow will be further hastened by its latest traffic light network - employing sensors to record traffic rates and accordingly adapt the lights. The central roundabout lanes had hitherto been exclusively used by motorists keeping along the A580.

Two additional lanes have this week been installed in both directions to enable motorists to go right. Furthermore, a left-turn-only lane has created for the area's A49 via the roundabout.

The north-heading M6's departure slip road has been lengthened, while the whole junction has benefited from resurfacing treatment using anti-skid coatings.

The scheme is among Highways England 's accident blackspot initiatives. These are working towards fuelling fresh local economic expansion and new development by easing notorious traffic jam areas and making road safety improvements.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, traffic bottlenecks still exist. But there are techniques for drivers to better deal with jams .

Highways England's project manager Andrew Kimmance believes thousands of drivers will benefit from the new St Helens scheme each day. Dr. Kimmance thanked motorists for their patience while the work on the junction's upgrade was being carried out.

He said the new lanes mean a huge majority of motorists won't have to circumnavigate the roundabout any longer by choosing the central shortcut instead.

Road markings and signs have been fitted to explain the new layout.

Copyright Press Association 2015 (Highways England)