Upgrades to motorway aim to boost economic aspirations

Imminent upgrades to the M621 between junctions 1 and 7 near Leeds should ease congestion, increase capacity and enhance safety.

National Highways says the works will boost economic growth by shortening journeys and improving traffic flow at peak times.

National Highways project manager, James Finnigan, said:  “Road users and residents will have seen us carrying out preparatory work since the middle of June and we’re due to start work in earnest in August.

“The M621 is a vital link between Leeds city centre and the surrounding road network.

“During peak times, as many motorists will know too well, traffic often becomes very congested between junctions 1 and 6.  We need to create more reliable journeys for everyone using this route, making sure more people get to where they need to go safely.

“It’s great news for the local and regional economy as our scheme will support economic growth aspirations – helping people and businesses access Leeds city centre and the surrounding area.”

The scheme will:

  • Create additional lanes at the junction 2 roundabout and junction 3 westbound, as well as between junctions 1 and 3 where two short lengths of the existing hard shoulder will be converted to additional lanes for traffic.
  • Enable vehicles to move more freely at existing junctions – reducing stopping traffic and the risk of slow speed collisions. Eastbound vehicles will no longer have to stop at junction 2 and will instead be able to move freely between the M621 and A643.
  • Make improvements to junction 3 westbound, giving priority to the main M621 traffic, allowing it to flow more freely. Improvements at this junction will also remove conflicts where the traffic merges in this area.
  •  Permanently close the junction 2a exit slip road, reducing the risk of collisions resulting from the short distance between junctions 3 and 2a.
  • Install additional information technology along the length of the motorway to safely manage traffic in the event of an incident and to keep drivers better informed.

Initial work will include installation of new average speed cameras, overhead electronic information signs and changes to the road layout to help traffic movements around junctions 2 and 3.

Narrow lanes and traffic management will be introduced to keep road users and roadworkers safe during construction, while maintaining the maximum capacity for traffic.