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New drone pictures of M6 Junction 10 show scale of long-running transformation

Drone photos have been released showing the dramatic scale of the transformation of the M6's Junction 10 roundabout over the last three and a half years.

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The M6 Junction 10 roundabout. Photo: National Highways

The £78 million project has missed several deadlines for completion with the latest being this summer, but now National Highways bosses are aiming for full completion in Spring 2024.

Work on the huge scheme began in early 2020 with the aim to tackle congestion problems at one of the busiest junctions in the country, with traffic often backed up onto the motorway alongside the adjoining Black Country Route and A454 Wolverhampton Road.

Two new bridges were installed to increase the number of lanes around the roundabout from two to four, whilst five new gantries have been installed in total on the roundabout, the motorway slip road and on the A454 approaching the junction.

The M6 Junction 10 roundabout. Photo: National Highways

Landscaping has also begun with the middle of the roundabout, which up until recently resembled a large building site, now offering a bank of greenery. Two new drainage ponds can also be seen in the centre.

The images also illustrate how the approaching roads have been widened to better manage the volume of traffic. The A454 Wolverhampton Road was previously three lanes and is now five, the westbound Black Country Route was two lanes but is now three and both off-slip roads from the motorway are now five lanes rather than four.

The temporary signals have been removed and permanent traffic lights are now in place.

National Highways programme manager, Ashfaq Hussain, said: “We appreciate that it’s disappointing for all involved that we have not yet been able to open all four lanes of the roundabout and the disruption that has caused.

"We are determined to ensure a minimum 120-year lifespan for these bridges so it is important that all of the work is carried out to the highest specification. To meet this end, we are carrying out some further work which will delay the opening of all four lanes.

“We take our responsibilities to road users very seriously and every scheme is subject to comprehensive reviews, checks and monitoring. When complete, we will be reviewing this scheme, as with all major projects, to see where lessons could have been learnt.

The M6 Junction 10 roundabout last year when the old and new bridges were in situ. Photo: National Highways

“In the meantime, we are making progress in other areas such as commissioning the new traffic signals and removing the temporary lights, which will mean less clutter and distraction for drivers using the junction.”

The project's repeated missed deadlines have been blamed on staff and material shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, while the manufacturing of two new bridges was delayed due to Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge going into administration.

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