Extra traffic light control measures on the horizon for Walton Summit motorway roundabout

Extra traffic light control measures could be on the horizon as part of changes to the way in which a busy motorway interchange is managed.

By Tom Earnshaw, Reporter
Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 5:36 pm
The scene on the M6 on Monday this week
The scene on the M6 on Monday this week

Improvements to the Walton Summit roundabout – where the M65 joins the M61 at junction nine – are in the pipeline, with extended use of traffic signalling one of the options being considered by Highways England.

It comes after central Lancashire came to a halt on Monday this week, with the M6, M61 and surrounding A-roads in Preston and Chorley at a standstill after a police incident between junctions 31 and 32 on the M6.

It took three hours to reopen the highway – and another three hours for traffic conditions to return to normal – with traffic woes at the likes of the Walton Summit roundabout exacerbated by the delays.

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The scene on the M6 on Monday this week

One Post reader said Highways England could help by making the traffic lights on the roundabout full time, “or at least all day rather than just peak times for a start”.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “This was a sensitive police-led incident and for both the police and ourselves the safety of road users is a priority. We would like to thanks all drivers affected for their support and patience yesterday morning.

“Our role in these cases is to help manage traffic – for example by working to free drivers stuck between the incident and the nearest junction.

"We had eight crews on the scene at one point while staff in our control room set signs advising of the carriageway closures and tweeted information throughout.

The scene on the M6 on Monday this week

“In terms of the traffic lights at Walton Summit roundabout we are always reviewing the performance and operation of the motorway network and we are already looking at options for improving this junction which may involve extending the use of the traffic signals.”