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Largest ever emergency exercise ‘Dark Knight’ planned for M62

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One of the largest ever motorway emergency exercises will take place on the M62 this weekend to improve responses to major road incidents.

Nearly 100 workers from Greater Manchester and Cheshire’s emergency services will work with Highways England’s traffic officers through the night to respond to a staged multiple-casualty incident involving an overturned coach, two HGVs, eight cars and a motorbike.

The exercise, labelled ‘Dark Knight’, will be held through the night on Saturday 10 August. The motorway is already scheduled to be closed as part of an upgrade to add extra lanes and new technology a nine-mile section of the M62 near Warrington (junctions 10 to 12),

Chris Chadwick, North West resilience co-ordinator at Highways England, said: “Our motorways are among the safest in the world and we help to keep them safe by carefully planning what we’d do on the rare occasions when there’s a major incident.

“We normally have to do this away from the motorway to avoid disruption to drivers but will be able to make our latest scenario as realistic as possible by carrying out Exercise ‘Dark Knight’ on the M62 when it’s already closed overnight for major construction work.

“We’re working closely with the emergency services on the exercise and are grateful to the volunteers who are giving up their time to help make our motorways safer for everyone.”

Up to 50 volunteers will act as injured drivers and passengers to help bring the operation to life. A selection of the volunteers will paint themselves in fake blood and create life-like wounds to help make the ‘accident’ as realistic as possible.

The motorway will be closed between 9pm on Saturday 10 August and 9am on Sunday 11 August, with a diversion taking traffic along the M6, A556 and M56.

Drivers travelling from the north of the region have been told to think about taking the M61 to make their journey as safe and swift as possible.

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