MOTORISTS have been warned of lane closures on the M61 later this week to install ‘Clean Air Zone’ signs.

Officials from National Highways say work will be undertaken between junction eight at Chorley and junction six at Horwich at from 9pm until 5am to prepare structures for the advisory warnings.

The controversial Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will not apply to motorways but does to all major roads in the Greater Manchester region.

Bosses at National Highways say work would affect the southbound carriageway.

In letters sent to nearby households, they said the work to install steel structures ‘can be noisy’.

The letter said: “The new sign advises motorists of the Greater Manchester Clean air Zone boundary that comes into place in the spring.

“The work involves installing a steel structure to secure foundations ahead of construction work taking place.

“This is a widely used practice which will not cause damage to nearby properties.

“We plan to start work on or shortly after Wednesday, February 2, for around three nights.

“During this time, overnight lane closures will be in place between junctions 8 and 6 on the M61 for safety.

“Access for motorists will be maintained at all times.

“Work to install the steel structure can be noisy, however our workers will be following industry best practice to reduce noise as much as possible.

“Nonetheless, we would like to apologise in advance for any disturbance.”

The CAZ will mean drivers of non-compliant lorries and buses would be charged to drive into or within Greater Manchester from May this year

under a government-mandated plan aimed at slashing illegally high levels of air pollution.

A year later non-compliant vans and taxis would also be charged a daily fee for driving on Great Manchester roads.

There has been much opposition to the plans with many of those affected saying it will have a catastrophic impact on their businesses.

Earlier in January, taxi drivers in Bolton staged a noisy town centre protest against the plans.

Earlier this month, Metro Mayor Andy Burnham and other Greater Manchester council leaders decided to go to ministers in order to request more funding.

They claim a government £120m support fund would not be sufficient to make the transition.

A government directive published in 2020 ordered Greater Manchester to bring in a charging zone for the most polluting vehicles, apart from private

cars, so that pollution could be cut to legal levels by 2024.