MOTORISTS are set to be hit by a further six months of delays on the M60 as smart motorway has been delayed.

Highways England’s work on the smart motorway improvements on the M60 between junction 10 at the Trafford Centre and 18 at Simister Island were set to finish in December but has now been delayed.

The 50mph speed limit will stay in place throughout the work meaning that people using the M61 to Bolton to connect to the ring road will be hit by the delays when travelling around the region.

Junctions eight to ten are set to open as planned this autumn.

In December electronic speed limit signs will come into operation on the M60 from junctions eight to ten and M62 junctions 18 to 20 and extra lanes will also open on the M62.

Temporary narrow lanes will be removed from on the M60 from junctions 15 to 18 next summer, temporary narrow lanes will then be removed from M60 junctions ten to 15 and M60 junctions 11 to 18.

The £208 million project will allow state-of-the-art technology to measure traffic levels and set varied speed limits to keep vehicles moving as efficiently as possible.

Highways England said that to keep disruption minimal it has worked to keep all lanes open in each direction during the day so major work has only been able to be carried out overnight, leading to the increased time for the project to be completed.

Other issues such as needing to relocate unrecorded utility pipes and carrying out additional maintenance work have led to the delays.

Cllr David Chadwick, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “It is disappointing. People will be concerned that this work is taking so long, but unfortunately it is something that we have to live with.

“The roadworks – which are the responsibility of Highways England and not Bolton Council – are there and we have to put up with them.

“50mph is a reasonable speed to be going along the motorway when there are roadworks and it does also safeguard the workmen on the road.

“I am disappointed personally that it won’t be done sooner, but it is just one of those things.”