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Improvements to M65 safety barriers will extend to spring

A successful funding bid will enable an ongoing project to upgrade the central crash barrier on the M65 between Burnley and Colne to also replace safety barriers next to the hard shoulder.

Work has been underway since July to replace the barrier on the central reservation to reduce the risk of accidents in which vehicles may crash through into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the motorway. The project to replace it with a new concrete barrier is due to finish at the end of December.

Following a successful bid for funding from the Department of Transport earlier this year, Lancashire County Council is now able to extend the original scheme to also cover the cost of replacing barriers on the verge at the side of the motorway which, inspections have shown, are nearing the end of their life.

Work on the verge barriers will begin at the end of October and is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2016.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The barriers at the side of the M65 need replacing to ensure safety, and it makes sense to do this while funding for maintenance is available, the majority of it as a result of a successful bid to the Department for Transport.

“Extending the period of time we will be working on the M65 will cause some added inconvenience, but as with the ongoing work on the central reservation, we’ll keep two lanes of traffic open to minimise disruption.

“The two pieces of work will overlap, so will cause less disruption overall than if we returned at a later date to replace the verge barriers.”

The project will see the verge barriers replaced with similar steel barriers to those already in place, with work due to start at junction 14 at Colne and work towards junction 10 at Burnley. As work on the central reserve barrier is completed, traffic will be returned to the main carriageway and the verge-side barrier works will be confined to the hard shoulder, meaning that there will still be two lanes of traffic operating in both directions.

Drivers are reminded that a 50mph average speed limit is currently in place from junction 10 to junction 14 to protect those working on the road, and everyone who uses the M65.

Junctions 10-14 of the M65, between Burnley and Colne, are managed by Lancashire County Council.

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