Live updates

M6 shut in both directions following fuel spill

The M6 is currently closed in both directions following a collision with a HGV which has hit the central reservation.

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The crash happened at 11.58am on the southbound carriageway between junctions 20, Lymm interchange, and 19, Knutsford.

A quantity of fuel has split onto the road and as a result the carriageway is closed in both directions. There are no reports of any injuries.

Local diversions are in place and motorists are advised to avoid the area. At this stage we do not know how long it will be closed for, but will update when possible.

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Drivers criticise 'silly' road sign

Motorway sign Credit: Craig Weatherby/MEN Syndication

A bizarre motorway sign which tells drivers to beware the next ‘16,500 yards’ has been blasted by drivers.

The metal stand sign on a grass verge of the M61 motorway near Farnworth in Bolton advises motorists that there isn’t a hard shoulder - for 16,500 yards.

Driver Craig Weatherby told the Manchester Evening News he was left scratching his head over the Highways Agency sign and why they didn’t recalculate the sum into mileage. The distance equates to 9.3 miles.

Craig blasted: “It is just silly and ridiculous. If it was in miles then at least drivers would be able to measure it via their milometers. It looks like someone has just measured it out and ordered a sign without thinking. Who has a yardometer in their car!”

No one was available for comment from the Highways Agency.

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Works starts to cut congestions on Manchester motorways

Motorway project begins in Manchester Credit: PA

A major project to cut congestion across Manchester's motorways begins today. The £208m scheme will see a stretch between the M60 and M62 become a so called smart motorway. A 5 mile stretch of the hard shoulder will be turned into a 5th lane and new technology will monitor traffic levels.

The Highways Agency plans will affect a 17-mile stretch of the network between junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and junction 20 of the M62. Stephen Greenhalgh, at the Highways Agency, said:

“It is great news that we are starting work on these vital improvements, which are part of the record £24 billion investment the government is making in the road network over this Parliament and the next to support economic growth.

“Once completed, the smart motorway will tackle the congestion and unpredictable journey times that users of the M60 and M62 experience every day. It is also good news for the construction industry as more than a thousand jobs will be created to help deliver these vital improvements.”

Starting today the first stage of the project will see engineers carry out site surveys and ground investigation work. Some sections of the hard shoulder will be closed although vehicles will be able to get through the cones in an emergency.

Once completed, in autumn 2017, more than 200 new electronic signs on the M60 and M62 will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures, and incidents ahead.

New CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor traffic levels from the Highways Agency’s Regional Control Centre at Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside.

Woman dies on M55

A woman's died tonight after a collision involving a number of vehicles on the M55 heading from Blackpool to Preston. Police were called to the scene just after 7pm. They could give no more details at this stage but say they're investigating exactly what happened.