Highways England has invested £78m towards road upgrades to improve safety at Junction 10 of the M6 in the Midlands.

The project is a joint venture (JV) between Walsall Council and Highways England. It is supported by Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

Highways England will replace the road bridges and increase the lanes to four. The upgrades are expected to alleviate congestion around Walsall.

Under the upgrades, the existing footpath and cycle route will be improved. The improvements include footpath widening to create better access for wheelchairs and cyclists.

An alternate road for cyclists and pedestrians will be provided while work is underway.

Under the improvements, LED Belisha beacons will be installed at pedestrian crossings. The beacons will have increased brightness during sunny conditions and reduced glare during dark conditions.

A high friction surfacing will be installed to reduce the chances of skidding at the crossings.

The ‘School Zone’ sign will be upgraded with an interactive sign that illuminates during school hours, designed to inform drivers about the presence of pupils.

New LED lights that use less energy and last longer will be installed to improve visibility. This is expected to reduce crime rates in the area.

Highways England project manager David Reed said: “We understand that major schemes such as the much-needed upgrade of Junction 10 can cause disruption for local communities and we appreciate people’s patience.

“Our designated funds enable us to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and businesses who live and work alongside our strategic road network.

“This particular project will improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and schoolchildren in the area not only during the Junction 10 works but beyond.”