HIGHWAYS England is pledging to complete four upgrades on the M6 by spring 2022 to add extra lanes and better technology to 60 miles of the motorway between Coventry and Wigan.

The first upgrade between Crewe and Knutsford is due to be finished by spring next year, and contractors are currently completing the installation of 258 electronic signs, 104 traffic sensors and 70 CCTV cameras along the 20-mile route.

The four upgrades, worth about £900 million, also involve converting the hard shoulder to a permanent extra lane to increase capacity by a third.

Andrew Jinks, smart motorway director at Highways England, said: “The M6 provided a major economic boost to the country when it first opened 60 years ago and still provides a vital link between London and Scotland through the West Midlands and North West.

“Hundreds of thousands of drivers now use the motorway every day to get to work, meet friends and family, or for long distance deliveries, and the smart motorway upgrades will ensure the M6 is fit for the future.

“Our motorways have changed massively over the past six decades and smart motorways could be just a glimpse of the technology transformation still to come. In 60 years’ time driverless vehicles could be as commonplace as a car radio.”

The amount of traffic using England’s motorways has increased by almost two thirds in the past 25 years alone, including more than double the number of vans as next day deliveries become a part of everyday life.

More details on how to drive on a smart motorway are available at gov.uk/guidance/how-to-drive-on-a-smart-motorway.