Lancashire

Motorway queue escape gates extended

A traffic queue 'escape gate' scheme is being extended across the North West England motorway network.

The Highways Agency is adding to its series of crossover gates, enabling drivers to avoid serious incidents by changing carriageways.

The £500,000 scheme will install six more gates along the M6, M56 and M62.

The gates will cover the M6 between junctions 16 and 27, the M56 between junctions 12 and 14, and the M61 between junctions 21 and 22.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "Providing these extra gates this year will give us even greater room for manoeuvre to help drivers caught behind serious incidents and help us in our battle against congestion and driver delays."

'Time-consuming'

He said that seven gates have already been installed on the M6 between Junctions 27 and 28 and between junctions 16 and 20, and the M56 between junctions 12 and 14.

The 16-metre gates allow quick and easy access between carriageways that are otherwise protected by the central reservation barrier.

The spokesman said: "The gates can be opened and traffic can be turned around and away from the incident using one or two lanes along the opposite carriageway.

"At previous major incidents the Highways Agency has sometimes cut the central barrier but that can be time-consuming and also relies on there being some kind of hard standing across the central reservation to prevent larger vehicles from sinking and getting stuck."

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