Warning as works spark m-way chaos

M-way chaos
M-way chaos

Highways bosses have warned motorists to allow extra time for their journeys after commuters were caught up in days of crippling tailbacks on the M55.

A lane closure between junction 31 and 30 of the southbound M6 motorway has caused severe queues for 
traffic leaving the Fylde coast in recent days.

On Monday evening, it took motorists more than half an hour to travel less than three miles.

At 6.40pm, the tailbacks were still three-and-half miles long on the eastbound carriageway of the M55. It was a similar story last night.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Basically the southbound lane closure between junction 31 and 30 is for planned investigative work on Higher Walton viaduct which is the bridge that carries the motorway over the valley.

“We are expecting that lane to remain closed for the rest of the week.

“This is unfortunately having a knock-on effect for the slip road where traffic joins from the M55.

“We would advise motorists to allow extra time for their journeys or find an alternative route if possible.”

Traffic approaching Broughton interchange on the M55 is already under a 50mph limit to accommodate carriage-widening roadworks on the northbound M6.

One commuter travelling from Blackpool to Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire said: “My journey from south shore to East Lancashire usualy takes 35 to 40 minutes, but coming back to work on Monday after a fortnight’s holiday, the drive took about 65 to 70 minutes.

“The roadworks at the M55/M6 junction haven’t been causing any problems - but now they’ve shut the lane south of the Samlesbury/A59 junction on the M6 the tailbacks are dreadful.

“Cars were jammed back for a fair few miles on the M55, and then were crawling between the M55 and the M61 junctions.

“I don’t know why they need so many sets of roadworks in one very small area, all at the one time - it’s very frustrating.”

The roadworks coincide with Blackpool Illuminations being switched on earlier in the evening following the weekend change from British Summertime.

It is not clear as yet whether the roadworks will be completed by 31 October as scheduled.