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Smart answer to congestion

By: Dave Robbins
14 April 2016

More cars equal more congestion; that’s the general rule of thumb. But not on a section of the M62 in West Yorkshire, between Brighouse and Rothwell.
This part of the trans-Pennine motorway now carries around 155,000 vehicles a day -- up by 6% on the busiest section between Junction 26 (Chain Bar, Bradford) and Junction 27 (M621).  Despite this increase, over a twelve month period, journey times have improved, average speeds have increased and collisions reduced by 34%.
It’s all thanks to the introduction of a smart motorway scheme in 2013. Traffic is now monitored and overhead gantries display variable traffic speeds, all of which helps keep traffic moving. 24-hour CCTV footage is fed back to Highways England regional control centre in Wakefield.
With commuter journey times reduced by 30 minutes a week, the £136m investment is looking like money well spent. Commenting on the results, Roger Wantling, service delivery manager at Highways England said: “These latest figures show that the smart motorway really is making a difference to people’s lives. It’s saving commuters an average of 30 minutes a week, that’s over a day a year.”
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