Diseased trees near a Bolton motorway are set to be cut down, with lane closures to potentially be implemented. 

Ash trees along the side of the M61 will be felled after it was found they have the Ash dieback fungus. 

Ash dieback is a highly destructive fungal tree disease that causes leaf loss, dead branches, and canopy decline. 

A number of trees in Bolton have had to be chopped down as a result.

Surveys by National Highways specialists have found many Ash trees alongside the M61 are deteriorating.

A large proportion are said to be dead or dying, posing a potential risk to safety, leaving no alternative other than to make them safe or remove them. 

The works will require closures of the hard shoulder, lane one and potentially lane two. 

They will take place at these locations and at these times: 

M61 junctions 4 to 5, near St Helens Road – November to December 2023

M61 junctions 5 to 6, near Chew Moor Lane – December 2023 to February 2024

M61 between junctions 6 and Rivington Services – November 2023 to March 2024

M61 northbound from junctions 8 to 9, near Birchen Lane – December 2023

M61 southbound from its junction with the M6, near Bankhead Lane - February 2024

A National Highways spokesperson said: "Our work will focus on removing trees along the route that are suffering from Ash dieback disease that over time will make the trees weaker and unsafe.

"We will also be carrying out routine woodland management works to improve the condition of the woodland plots and encourage diversity and fresh growth in the coming years.

"Most of the woodland management work will be undertaken during the day, however some overnight work may be required. We’ll be following industry best practice to reduce noise as much as possible.

"To maintain safety for the travelling public and our staff, we'll need to work under temporary closures of the hard shoulder, lane one and occasionally lane two. Lane closures will be in effect for a section of motorway typically a mile or less in length." 

He added: "No work will take place over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, from 19 December 2023 to 3 January 2024, which means lane closures can be removed in full.

"The M61 will remain open to traffic throughout our work, although minor delays might be experienced at peak hours. We advise drivers to plan their journeys in advance."