ROADWORKS to improve safety barriers on the M65 are set to cause ‘long delays’ until December.
A 3.5 mile section of the motorway will be affected between junction 10 at Gannow, Burnley, and junction 12 at Brierfield, with a rolling 1km stretch to be reduced to one lane at all times.
Signs warning drivers to expect ‘long delays’ from July 21 until December were being tested along the route yesterday.
Lancashire County Council, which maintains this section of the motorway, said the £350,000 project would allow traffic to use the hard shoulder during future road works, thus reducing delays.
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Barriers next to the hard shoulder and bridge parapet walls will be strengthened. The aim is to stop vehicles going through them during an accident.
Oliver Starkey, the council’s highways manager for East Lancashire, said: “This scheme is vital to improve the standard of the safety barriers on the M65.
“It will also help to reduce delays by allowing two lanes of traffic to be maintained during future works.
“We’ll do our best to minimise disruption and, where possible, look to avoid working when we can expect the motorway to be at its busiest, for example on days that Burnley FC are playing at home.
“We're sorry for the inconvenience and would ask people who use the M65 to leave extra time for their journeys while the work takes place.” The project will begin at junction 12 of the westbound carriageway, working towards junction 10 before returning along the eastbound side.
The council said it hoped the work would ease delays during a major project to replace the central reservation barrier, which is proposed to take place in 2015.
A separate £1.43million scheme to install traffic lights at junction five of the M65, at Guide, is due to begin in September.