England has opened its second hard shoulder running scheme on the M6 in the West Midlands, allowing motorists to use the hard shoulder on a motorway stretch as a traffic lane during busy periods.

The scheme on the 7km stretch between junction 4 and 5 follows a previous successful M42 pilot scheme, which showed 22% better journey times, safer travel and a drop in the number of accidents from an average 5.1 a month to 1.8 a month.

The project was delivered as part of a £150m contract and work included the installation of 23 gantries, 96 new overhead speed limit indicator signs and a CCTV camera system.

The UK Government says it plans to expand the scheme to 340 additional lane miles for road users with an investment of £3bn, nearly half of the planned spending on the national roads programme.