Anger over M6 closure

The M6 will be closed overnight this weekend, leading to eighteen-mile diversions on one of the busiest getaways of the year.

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The M6 will be closed overnight this weekend, leading to eighteen-mile diversions on one of the busiest getaways of the year.

Drivers were today warned of traffic delays as a 12-mile stretch of the motorway is shut for roadworks.

The decision to close the motorway this weekend, when thousands of families are expected to set off on holiday as schools break up, was today branded a "disgrace".

Highways bosses today announced that the southbound section of the M6 between Junction 11 at Cannock and Junction 7 at Great Barr will be shut from 10pm on Friday until 8am on Saturday and again from 8pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday.

From 10pm on Friday to 8am on Saturday the northbound link at M6 Junction 10A to the M54 west will also be closed. The northbound side of the M6 will remain open.

The work is being carried out as part of a £150 million project to open up the hard shoulder and impose variable speed limits. It will mean miles of detours.

Drivers will be sent along the A449 through Wolverhampton, back onto the A454 Willenhall Road through Walsall and onto the A34 and along the Birmingham Road before rejoining the motorway at Junction 7.

Highways Agency Spokeswoman Hannah Brookes said today: "We will be carrying out works overnight as traffic flows are lower.

"We are aware people will be heading off on holidays, but closures will not be put in place until traffic drops. The carriageway and slip roads could be reopened earlier than we are expecting."

But Wolverhampton Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, a former transport chief, said it was "disgraceful" to close the motorway on such a busy weekend.

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Comments for: "Anger over M6 closure"

Richard

Well there is a suprise first weekend of the school summer holidays and they decide to shut the motorway. Instead of pen pushing in the office start using your heads.

Scooby Jones

why do planners always choose the busiest times of year to do work on our roads not only motorways. well all we can do is get on with it, but it would be nice that planners got a bit of common sense.

JJ

Why is this bad news.

It shows that they are getting on with things and complete the work on long overdue improvements to this stretch.

When else are they supposed to close it. During rush hour get real.

Plus there is another diversion £3-£4 as a one off to go on the toll road if you really are so desperate that you need to set off on your holidays in the middle of the night.

Stop making the highways agency the villains here. They are trying the best they can with the lack of funding and investment from the government over the last 20 Years.

El Numbre

I agree with you JJ - better to do it overnight at weekends than during the working week. The roadworks are already causing significant disruption during the week further increasing the journey times during the busy periods.

So it takes a little extra to get to your destination when your going on *holiday*? If you've got to be somewhere (airport/ferry port) at a specific time then leave a little earlier, and if you don't, why the stress that it takes a little extra time to get there? Relax, its a holiday!

Rambo

How is the Toll an option for people who just want to travel to Junction 7?

Liam

Right On - I think they are doing the best they can and as you say there is always the toll road.

Les

Just glad there is one sensible person here. The rest of you seem to be howling outrage just beause the report tells you to.

How much disruption will this really cause ? I'm sure the highways agency released this news to give advanced warning, not for sensationalist headline grabbing.

L

I'm just glad at least one person wasn't outraged just because that's what the report told them to be.

Chris

Maybe the contractors should strike a deal with Midland Expressway so that the Toll Road allows free traffic in that period?

Nope, that'd cost :)

Dave

stunning stupidity. Most families, particularly faced with a long journey will set off early and I have driven through Birmingham in the early hours on a July weekend and the M6 is BUSY. Why plan them for these weekends. A complete lack of brains and I'm fed up with the comments from spoke "people" from the Highways Agency who obviously don't give a damn!

JRJ

Dave - whenever is the M6 NOT busy? This is the reason why these works are required.

The comments on here would be the same regardless of the closure being during the week, the weekend, the summer christmas or Easter holiday.

Just be glad that improvements are being made.

Woody

Holiday to Devon £800

Wine and food £200

Closing the motorway on busiest weekend, priceless!!

Paul

If they are closing the M6 to traffic, why don't they just open the M6 Toll road, free to all traffic, during this time.

Martacus Red

Easily solved the goverement should pay or order the owners of the M6 toll road to open it up for nothing to the public. OK it wouldn't solve the complete problem, but it would certainly take a lot of pressure off the inadequate black country roads

razza

Do you have to go to University to get a job with the Highways Agency?

Geowulf

If I am reading it right, the traffic will be diverted through the stupid £2.6 million A449/M54 roundabout roadworks (which is down to one lane) oh joy!

razza

Afterthought.Is JJ a PR.man for the agency or a natural born do-gooder?I now live in Spain and the one thing that struck me is that I have never been held up in traffic jams at roadworks.Also the works that take place seem to be over in no-time.I don`t know whether that`s just in my area or all of Spain but I do a fair bit of travelling and have not yet faced anything like the disruptions in England.

Derek Bennett

If the Northern Relief Road (M6 Toll) had been built as a free, rather than tolled motorway, this major road widening works would not have been needed. This would not only save motorists, and local residents, a great deal of hassle, but would have also saved hard pressed taxpayers a considerable amount of money.

The M6 Toll is hardly used as many drivers, especially HGV drivers, object to paying again to use a road their motoring taxes have already paid for many times over. If the toll was removed the pressure on this section of the M6 would be eased and none of this disruption neccessary.

Martin Davies

Then just purchase the toll road from its owners and do what you want with it. or have the government charge an extra 10p per litre on fuel to pay for them buying the road from its owners.

The public currently benefit from not paying for a new motorway and that road drawing off some of the traffic that would otherwise be using public roads.

If people don't like the idea they can always purchase the road themselves.

Martin Davies

Just out of interest - when do people expect these roadworks to take place?

During the week? Commuters and holidaymakers would be hit as well as commercial vehicles.

During other weekends? Holidaymakers would be hit as well as commercial vehicles.

Ultimately some days are needed to do the work. Like it or not there is no decision that can be made that would please everyone.

M Six

I use this stretch a lot and on Tuesday of this week at 11.30 there was a total of 8 men working the whole 50mph section. How long is it going to take 8 blokes to complete the work? Farce!

Martin Davies

Probably about as long as it takes to drive the 50mph section.

Could be a number of reasons why its only 8 guys. Including health & safety checks, civil engineer work or whatever. Or could be other men & machines are in transit.

The work will get done.

PimpMyTown

The way people have been moaning about it, I thought it was being closed all over the weekend, but its not. Motorway is open 8am till 10pm (open for 14 hours) so where is the problem????

Martin

Maybe because some people see any closure as preventing them travelling when they want.

Junction 11 to 7 is through Walsall. Not exactly majorly busy during the night.

Dave

in response to JJ and JRJ I'm not contesting that the work isn't needed, although whether the solution will be an improvement is another matter, I'm concerned that they are picking on the busiest time of the year to undertake this work.As I said poor planning!

John

Are you planning to travel when its closed?

It doesnt take a lot of thought to plan for the closure. An extra 18 miles, not exactly the end of the world is it.

No time is "The right time" to close the M6, but just be happy they are doing it overnight.

By the way some people are complaining, they make it sound like they are closing the entire M6, all weekend just for a laugh.

JJ

No I don't work for the highways agency but I have to travel through this whole stretch every morning and afternoon and not just once a year to go on my holidays.

The completion of the works couldn't come sooner and get sick of everyone being against these works as they are crucial to the future of our region and shouldn't get delayed any longer than they already have.

They have given everyone months of notice if people look on the HA website and this isn't just a one off the motorway was shut 2 weekends ago and a number of times already this year. People just need to plan there journeys better. The diversion given isn't the only route and probably not the best either since that's the way the lorries will be going. The A5, A38 route which runs along side the toll road is probably the best choice personally. Just get the map out ;)

Eileen Ward-Birch

They are going to send extra traffic through Wolverhampton at weekend when we've got roadworks everywhere?????

Scrote

I suppose the Toll road operators will be rubbing their hands with glee, knowing that holiday makers from oop North will be advised on the Matrix signs that the M6 Toll is clear, but the M6 has congestion from junction 11. I used to regularly drive down the M6 from Lancashire to Wednesbury around 2 or 3am and at holiday periods the matrix signs invariably said that the M6 was congested,when,in fact,the M6 was clear.If the toll road was meant to ease congestion it should have been Toll free from day one.Generally speaking the vast majority of lorries that use the toll road are driven by foreign lorry drivers who are confused by the very subtle difference in the road signs

mick

I use this stretch every working day. It ain't just foreign truck drivers that get it wrong by far. I have seen countless actions of suicide last second movements by all types of vehicles. A really scary place to be.

Martin

Yes, could have been toll free from day one. All it would have taken was the government to cough up money to build it.

Investors stumped up the cash to build and maintain the new road, they want a return.

Nothing forcing people to use the road, its a choice.

mick

The majority of the holiday traffic will be heading to the south-west of England.Using the M6/Toll will not really be an option, as there is no direct connection to the M5. Unless you have enough time to take the "scenic route", down the M6, and then the M42 to join the M5.

alka

Im glad the m6 is shut for road works ive been fighting this scheme for over a year to try and stop all this work and im still fighting now so to have no cars going past my house is great peace and quiet.

Lord Crocker

This is madness, why on earth would they close the M6 when it is at its quietest! They should be doing this during the peak hours not at night! Besides it must be less expensive to do this during the day anyway, it’s about time the highway agency did all their road works during the day and leave motorways alone at night!

michael

Most people here agree that the works are needed. Most agree that overnight is the best time to carry out the work as the road is quietest. What is not clear why the Highways Agency have picked this particular night - the busiest of the year - as holiday traffic passes through the region. Could the spokeswoman explain please

Martin

You see a lot of holiday traffic at those times of night on the M6?

Whever I go anywhere I tend to make sure I arrive when I can book into my hotel or caravan, setting off after rush hour has finished.

In the last decade I think I've travelled to or from a distant destination only twice after 10pm.

sherrall

oh dear we are travelling down to cornwall setting off after midnight thought this would be a good idea not so sure now i understand this work needs to be done but the first weekend of the school holidays who came up with that bright idea it can only happen in england !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!