Plans have been sent to residents as part of a consultation phase due to close at the end of September. Highways England want to build the new section of smart motorway between junctions 20 and 25. The group says traffic exceeds capacity during peak periods which causes disruption. The agency claims the smart motorway could provide 33 per cent extra capacity which will help to ease tensions.
The motorway will have variable mandatory speed limits to manage traffic speeds which they claim can reduce congestion and enable safe operation.
Residents have been left angered by the plans which could cost up to £392 million to complete if extra funds are needed.
Locals have branded the idea a waste of money, with some suggesting the cash could be better spent on improving roads around the area instead.
Alex Sykes said: “Waste of money. I thought Smart motorways were intended to improve traffic flow – not accident prevention. Never noticed that traffic flow was a particular problem on that section of M62.”
One social media user attacked the plans, claiming smart motorways were adding to the congestion problem and not improving it.
Emma Dunn said: “The only congestion I experience on the M62 in West Yorkshire is on the smart bit when the speed limit is down to sixty.”
Rebecca Page Palmer added: “I’ve used smart lanes in urban areas in the Midlands and they are so confusing and distracting, this is just not appropriate for an area which suffers from poor weather/visibility.”
An increase in traffic officer numbers was also on the wishlist instead of the new road, with some even suggesting the improvements would not improve bad driving.
Locals complained of regular accidents in the area but said when roads were clear the traffic flow was not an issue.
Smart motorways have sparked controversy after a series of fatal accidents and serious injuries on their roads.
Drivers who need to stop must continue to an emergency parking bay as the hard shoulder is opened up to drivers to prevent congestion.
But this has led to accidents, with cars who cannot make it to the refuge area sometimes hit by motorists, leading to serious consequences.
Four people have been killed in just ten months on a smart motorway section of the M1, with all shunts caused by drivers unable to reach the safe refuge zones.
Road user Paul Drake said: “Control speed but leave the hard shoulder for emergency use only. More investment required for wider motorways and better public transport.
“Stop spending millions on worthless projects and the MOD and spend on health, education and transport.
Andrea Parker urged the hard shoulder to be left for emergencies, adding they should not turn the area into another lane.
Gareth Emmett added: “Variable speed limits won’t affect the morons that drive whole using their mobile, while reading, while gossiping, while having impaired vision due to illegal tints, while lane hogging, while being considerably below the speed limit.”