Businesses and commuters who rely on part of the M6 have been told to prepare for five months of closures.
Three days of urgent repair works saw the start of overnight closures on the northbound carriageway of the M6 between junctions 15 and 16 begin on Friday. Another closure is due tomorrow, Tuesday, between 9pm and 6am.
Defects in the carriageway leading to this work were found during inspections ahead of a lengthier project to install new safety barriers and carry out resurfacing due to start on 16 January and run until the middle of June.
National Highways has said that the M6 will be reduced to three narrow lanes in both directions and there will also be a 50mph speed limit in place.
Mike Herbert, chair of the Transport Forum at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said anyone who uses the stretch regularly should be prepared for potential disruption.
“We welcome the fact that improvement work is being carried out, but it could have quite a big impact on businesses,” he said.
“Narrow lanes and reduced speed limits often create delays and an incident on this stretch of the M6 could also lead to traffic delays on the A500 corridor.
“Businesses and commuters need to consider how their journeys – especially those taking place during the night – could be affected and plan accordingly.”
National Highways project manager, Patricia Dray, said: “We appreciate there will be some disruption for drivers and those living nearby but will make every effort to manage noise levels and minimise the impacts of this essential safety work where possible.”
Closures are also planned to take place between 8pm and 6am on the following dates:
16 January to 21 January – M6 northbound closed from junction 15 to 16
23 January to 28 January – southbound closed from junction 16 to 15
30 January to 4 February – southbound closed from junction 16 to 15
6 February to 11 February – southbound closed from junction 17 to 15
13 February to 18 February – northbound closed from junction 15 to 16
20 February to 25 February – northbound closed from junction 15 to 16
10 May to 16 May – northbound closed from junction 15 to 16
16 June to 22 June – southbound closed from junction 17 to 15
Diversions will be signposted.