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Major junction improvements in £7 million Carlisle upgrade

Work to improve one of the busiest motorway junctions in Cumbria as part of the £7 million package of improvements to the north of Carlisle starts today (Monday 24 June).

Highways England has recently completed resurfacing the motorway between junction 44 and junction 45 and is now turning its attention to improving traffic flows and safety at the roundabout at junction 44 where the M6 meets the A7 and A689 local roads.

The junction serves one of the main routes into Carlisle as well as adjacent retail parks and an industrial estate. To make sure drivers and local residents are kept informed of the work taking place a free text message alert system has been set up for the duration of the roundabout work.

Drivers are already benefiting from a brand new road surface on both sides of the M6 (above) with work
now focusing on the busy roundabout with the A7 at junction 44 (below)

Highways England project manager Jobert Fermilan said: “The junction is important to businesses next to the roundabout and we have been speaking to distribution companies, retailers and the city and county councils to make everyone aware of the work and what steps we are taking to minimise the impact on everyone’s journeys.

“We will only be working at night and are restricting any full roundabout closures to weekends. The roundabout and approaches are being resurfaced and road markings refreshed and re-designed to guide people around the junction more clearly. When the work is finished everyone will benefit from smoother, safer journeys through the junction.”

The roundabout will be totally closed to traffic overnight for five weekends – starting on Friday (28 June) – between 8pm and 7am on Friday nights, 7pm and 7am on Saturday nights and 6pm and 3am on Sunday nights.

Work will also be taking place on overnight on weekdays – between 8pm and 6am each night. Only one ‘arm’ of the roundabout will be affected at a time, on the following dates:

  • Monday 1 July – A7 Longtown (north)
  • Tuesday 2 July to Friday 5 July – M6 junction 44 northbound exit slip road
  • Monday 8 July – A689 Houghton (east)
  • Tuesday 9 July – A7 Kingstown Road (south)
  • Wednesday 10 July – A7 Kingstown Road (north)
Although resurfacing has been completed, work to provide a brand new noise barrier will continue until the
end of August. Sections of barrier – in low-maintenance weathering steel and providing much greater noise
protection than the wooden fence it is replacing – have already been installed

The package of work, which has been welcomed by Cumbria County Council, started in April and should be finished by the end of August with completion of a brand new replacement acoustic barrier near Todhills giving people living along both sides of the motorway extra protection from noise.

The idea of delivering several different projects in one package at the same time was successfully trialled by Highways England last year when £5 million of resurfacing was completed along several different sections of the A66 between Penrith and Brough.  A text alert system also was piloted during this work.

Jobert said: “The text alert system we used for the A66 was especially popular with truck drivers who appreciated knowing as soon as the road reopened.  We will be operating the system again as part of our commitment to keeping people informed during the M6 junction work. We encourage road users to sign up for free alerts about the progress of the work and when closures are in place.”

Anyone wanting to sign up to the free text alert system should text ‘M6 Carlisle North’ to 07860048846. More information about the project, including diversion information for the overnight closures, is available at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/M6CarlisleNorth

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