M1 J13-16 Upgrade Scheme
I am writing to inform you that we are close to completing the first section of the upgraded M1 motorway between junctions 13 to 16.
This will initially mean a fourth lane opens to traffic on the northbound and southbound carriageways.
When complete, the upgrade will bring vital extra capacity to the motorway, improve journeys by tackling stop-start congestion and maintain world-leading levels of road safety.
The upgrade to the stretch between Brogborough and Northampton also has a number of features to help drivers. These include extra technology such as the Motorway Incident Detection Automatic Signalling (MIDAS) system that sets automatic speed limits across all four lanes to smooth the flow of traffic and reduce 'stop-start' rapid changes of speed. Improved CCTV coverage helps our control centre operators to manage incidents, to reduce the speed limit, close lanes by using a Red X, display warning messages, and it helps them to advise the emergency or recovery services more effectively.
The section also has Stopped Vehicle Detection technology which identifies stationary vehicles, typically in 20 seconds, and alerts a control room operator who can see the incident on camera, close lanes and dispatch a traffic officer if necessary.
There is a safe place to stop every 1.1 miles on average including regular emergency areas, two service areas and four slip road exits.
We will be opening the project in phases, starting with the northbound and southbound carriageways between junctions 13 to 14, with the intention to open up junction 14 to Newport Pagnell Services shortly after. Work will begin on Monday night with four lanes open along the whole stretch from Friday (26 November) morning. A 60mph speed limit will remain in place over the coming weeks.
Safety is our top priority, and we open all of our motorway upgrades in a phased way to ensure that they are fully tested and operational before they go live and that there is a smooth handover from our roadworks teams to our control room operators.
While this is happening many of the safety measures from the roadworks, like reduced speed limits and a free recovery service, continue. The temporary CCTV used during the roadworks also remains in place, working alongside the new permanent CCTV installed as part of the upgrade.
We expect to complete the testing work during February 2022. After that, the roadworks will be fully removed and a variable speed limit of up to 70mph (the national speed limit) will be introduced.
I appreciate you will be aware of the Transport Select Committee recently published the findings of its inquiry into the rollout and safety of smart motorways. We are absolutely committed to making smart motorways as safe as possible and welcome the Committee's scrutiny. After three years, the construction of this section has been completed, allowing us to remove the traffic management and bring the extra capacity and benefits to the public.
In the meantime, we are considering its findings and recommendations in detail and are working with the Department for Transport to support them in the response that they will be making to the report.
If you have any questions, or if you would like any further information about the project, please contact the project team at the following email address: M1J13-16Smart@highwaysengland.co.uk
Posted: Fri, 19 Nov 2021 11:38 by Fiona Young