Motorway delays woe for drivers

Huge delays on the M62 after crash has led to lane closure between Junctions 26 and 27.
Huge delays on the M62 after crash has led to lane closure between Junctions 26 and 27.

MOTORWAY drivers have endured weeks of delays thanks to accidents, bad weather and breakdowns on the M62.

The Highways Agency is currently remodelling the motorway between J25 and J30 to create a managed motorway scheme, with variable speed limits and the hard shoulder opened up to become a permanent traffic lane.

Work on the managed motorway scheme, which is due to open late next year, began last October.

But throughout November the road has been closed eight times after breakdowns and accidents.

Chief Insp Neil Hunter, head of roads policing, said: “When a serious incident does occur, preservation of life is key and management of the road is led by the police.

“A full closure of the road or motorway will normally be implemented when lives are at risk either due to injuries people have received, or the number of vehicles involved posing potential risks.

“If the air ambulance needs to land at the scene both carriageways of a motorway have to be closed.

“Once injured people and vehicles are safely removed and evidence gathered, the police and highways will work together to return the carriageway to normal as quickly and safely as possible.”

Our readers took to Facebook this week to discuss the problems.

Phil Heppenstall said: “It’s ridiculous how long the ‘improvements’ are taking. They could try employing more staff and working more hours rather than dragging it out.”

Ian Catherall said: “The work itself is fairly straightforward, it’s keeping the road flowing and people safe that’s difficult.”

Clare Pritchard said: “The work hasn’t caused accidents, poor motorway driving has. If anything the road should be safer with a slower speed limit, which is necessary for road workers to do their job safely.”

And Nick Quince said: “The motorway was designed 50 years ago. There are now millions more road users. Three lanes of traffic is inadequate.”

Haulage companies said they had been feeling the strain.

Matthew Hartley, director at Batley firm DES Hartley and Sons, said his drivers were slowed down every day by problems on the motorway.

And Dean Harrison, transport co-ordinator at Humac Associates Limited in Dewsbury, said it took two drivers almost four hours to complete a half an hour journey on the motorway last Friday.

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “We understand the frustration caused by delays as a result of incidents on the network.

“Work on the scheme is progressing really well, and we would like to thank road users for their patience while we carry out these much-needed improvements to the M62.”