Drivers set for four years of misery as M6 work gets underway next month
Motorists are facing four years of delays when a new stretch of roadworks on the M6 in Staffordshire get under way.
A revamp of the motorway between Junction 13 for Stafford and Junction 15 for Stoke is due to start next month.
And Highways England bosses have revealed drivers will have to travel at reduced speeds for the duration of the work.
It will see the 17-mile stretch of the M6 upgraded to a smart motorway.
And it is expected to affect traffic for miles either side of the work.
Speed limits imposed will either be 50mph or 60mph, Highways England said.
Forebridge councillor Chris Baron said the roadworks would cause ‘absolute chaos’.
Councillor Baron told the Express & Star: “I know there are a variety of things they have to do but I don’t really understand why it will take them so long.
“It’s going to be awful – it’s bad enough as it is in Stafford already but this is going to make things even worse.
“There is going to be absolute chaos right through the town centre.”
During the work, a lane will be closed as work progresses between 10pm and 6am Monday to Thursday, from 10pm on Fridays to 8am Saturdays, and from 10pm on Saturdays to 10am Sundays.
"There will also be closures from 10pm Sundays to 5.30am Mondays. A 24-hour closure will also be required at some stage.
Highways England said diversion routes include the A5, A449, A34, A5013 and A500, while ‘alternative junctions of the M6 will be signed’.
Work will start on March 17 and is due to be completed by March 2022.
Smart motorways regional sponsor, Peter Smith said: “Work on delivering a new smart motorway on the M6 between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent that will tackle congestion and improve journey times for tens of thousands of drivers daily is due to get under way.
“Capacity will be increased by a third – with four running lanes instead of three and up-to-date technology will help keep traffic flowing more smoothly and give drivers better information to help with their journeys, while maintaining high levels of safety. I’d like to thank drivers for their co-operation and understanding.”
Public consultation events are at: Stone Station Community Centre in Station Approach, Stone, on March 2, 3pm to 8pm; Stafford Gatehouse Theatre in Eastgate Street, Stafford, on March 9, 3pm to 8pm and Guildhall Shopping Centre, Market Square, Stafford, March 10, 10am to 5pm.