EVERY day seems to bring more misery and woe on the M62 for drivers.
The slightest incident – even a breakdown in the long-running roadworks between Brighouse and Leeds – can quickly cause huge delays for thousands of people. If the traffic slows at the front the knock-on ripple wave effect can go back miles.
And if there is a serious accident and the motorway is shut, tailbacks stretching 20 miles are no longer uncommon.
Then drivers divert to local routes which also quickly become hopelessly clogged up. The motorway is now being made into a four-lane highway through the most congested stretch from Brighouse to Birstall and is being done, in effect, ‘on the cheap’ with the hard shoulder running.
Of course, there will then be no hard shoulder, just refuge bays every few hundred feet and time will tell if all this upheaval will actually work in practice or if vehicles that fail to make it to the refuge will just end up causing more delays at peak periods.
Motorways were never built with the future in mind. If the bridges had been constructed wider then there would have been room for further lanes to be added in the future – and that future which must have seemed a lifetime away in the late 1960s and early 1970s is here now.
In all that time attempts to attract people onto the railways have not been that successful due to the high price of tickets, a lack of enough seats and difficulty connecting one service to another.
In terms of solving our transport problems now and in the long-term the UK still has a long way to travel.