More ‘smart motorway’ work to begin next week

A section of 'smart motorway'.
A section of 'smart motorway'.

The next phase of work on the so-called ‘smart motorway’ is to begin on the M1 next week.

From March 30, work will begin to upgrade 7.5 miles of the motorway between Diseworth (junction 23a) and Risley (junction 25).

The work is part of a major government investment worth £15bn to make journeys faster and more reliable.

It will also provide an extra lane in each direction, particularly around East Midlands Airport.

Highways England project manager David Cooke said: “Drivers currently experience congestion and unreliable journey times at busy periods and traffic is predicted to increase, particularly with the growth expected at East Midlands Airport.

“By upgrading this stretch of motorway, Highways England will reduce congestion and improve travel times and make journeys more reliable.

“This work will also support the economy and boost economic growth within the region by improving traffic flow on the motorway reducing the cost of economic delay to commuters and business traffic.”

The M1 is a strategic route that carries more than 130,000 vehicles per day between Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

The scheme will also introduce new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs and signals on gantries - these will show the variable mandatory speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents.

Emergency refuge areas will also be installed throughout the length of the scheme with the installation of a reinforced barrier and hardened central reserve to further improve safety.

Between Diseworth and Kegworth (junction 24) the hard shoulder will be used at peak times, and between Kegworth and Risley it will be permanently converted to a fourth traffic lane.

The work is due for completion in winter 2018.

Elsewhere, motorists are also being reminded that there will be a contraflow in place on the M1 between junction 24 for Kegworth to A453/ A42 Finger Farm Roundabout (near East Midlands Airport) while development work starts on the East Midlands Gateway scheme.

For more information about the smart motorway upgrade, head online to http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/m1-junctions-23a-to-25-smart-motorway.