Skip to main content Skip to accessibility

Council Leader seeks answers as M62 road scheme under threat

27 February 2017

Council Leader Richard Farnell.

Rochdale Borough Council Leader, Councillor Richard Farnell is seeking clarification after it emerged that a major local road scheme could be scrapped.

The estimated £283 million M62 investment between Junction 20 at Rochdale and Junction 25 at Brighouse was due to be completed by 2020. It would ensure a fully connected smart motorway between Manchester and Leeds.

Highways England said the managed motorway project would reduce congestion, improve journey times, support economic growth and create new jobs. But the Office of Road and Rail, the official regulator, has now indicated it is one of 112 road improvement schemes across the country being assessed for future viability by Highways England.

Back in April 2016 the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the project would be brought forward to 2018 as a 'priority scheme'.

'Work on the North West's first smart motorway began in July last year and currently affects a 17-mile stretch of the M60 and M62 in Greater Manchester. This initial £202 million project is due to be completed in autumn 2017.​'

Councillor Farnell, housing and planning lead on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "Rochdale's future economic prosperity is reliant on excellent transport links. The motorway is getting more and more congested from Rochdale to Leeds, so it would be nonsense for the new smart motorway to stop at Junction 20 in Rochdale without going further east.

"This important project would provide us with improved connectivity east and west, making the borough an even more attractive place for businesses to invest in.

"I have written to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to get some clear answers. A half-finished managed motorway, failing to fully connect Leeds and Manchester, would not be very smart. The sooner the mixed messages stop and this important work gets the green light the ​better."