The scheme forms one element of an extensive 3-year programme of work being carried out as part of what is currently known as the Burnley Pendle Growth Corridor Investment Programme, which itself is part of the £250m Growth Deal secured from government by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
The investment programme comprises improvements to junctions and nearby local roads between junction 6 of the M65 at Whitebirk and junction 14 at Colne. The estimated cost of the whole programme is £13.8m, with £8m due to be provided through the Growth Deal and the remaining £5.8m being met by local contributions from Lancashire County Council, district councils, and European and Regional Growth Funding (ERDF).
The work at J12, estimated to cost £1.4m, is due to start on Monday 17 August as a result of a decision recently agreed by Lancashire County Council to provide £250,000 upfront to allow work to start on site to take advantage of lower traffic levels during the summer.
What will the work involve?
In order to create extra traffic capacity the roundabout approaches will be widened and signalised. The number of traffic lanes will be increased to three at some sections of the roundabout and a new shared footway/cycleway will be created towards the south of the roundabout with safer crossing points.
At the Kenyon Road/Churchill Way junction the existing mini-roundabout will be removed and replaced by a signalised junction. This will allow traffic from Kenyon Road to emerge more easily.
Modifications will be made at the ‘B&Q’ roundabout (Churchill Way and A682) to increase traffic flow by creating a dedicated lane for traffic exiting from the motorway roundabout onto Churchill Way. A new pedestrian crossing refuge will be installed on Colne Road near the bus stop opposite Linedred Lane. A new shared footway/cycleway will be constructed on Linedred Lane and link to the roundabout.
Some improvement works such as tactile crossing points and footway widening will be introduced at the Churchill Way/Colne Road/Manchester Road roundabout. At the junction of Colne Road/Railway Street/Halifax Road the traffic signals will be upgraded and safer crossing points will be introduced.
Traffic will be managed to minimise disruption by doing work which affects traffic lanes outside peak times wherever possible. Work which can only be completed by closing traffic lanes, such as resurfacing, will be done during the evening and overnight. The work is due to take approximately 22 weeks, due for completion around the end of January 2016.
We’re aware that this is a busy junction, and traffic will be managed to minimise disruption by doing work which affects traffic lanes outside peak times wherever possible. Work which can only be completed by closing traffic lanes, such as resurfacing, will be done during the evening and overnight.
We’re conscious that work will be ongoing at the same time to replace the central barrier on the section of the M65 maintained by Lancashire County Council from junction 10 (Burnley) and junction 14 (Colne), and for the need to ensure traffic management for the two schemes is coordinated to avoid causing unacceptable delays to people’s journeys.
An important element of traffic management for the M65 barrier work is that existing capacity, with two lanes of running traffic, will be maintained by using the hard shoulder, with a 50mph speed limit to be enforced by average speed cameras. As a result we anticipate that following an initial period while drivers adjust to the work taking place, traffic should flow quite evenly on the motorway, with delays to journeys being relatively minimal.