Preparation works have begun in advance of traffic management, which will include the introduction of narrow lanes and temporary speed restriction. Traffic management installation is currently programmed for August 2018.
We plan to use phased working to reduce the length of roadworks and the timescales for completing the scheme. All works will be within the existing motorway boundary.
We'll start by installing the rigid concrete barrier to replace the existing central reserve steel barrier between junctions 13 to 15. As this progresses, we'll convert the hard shoulder into a permanent running lane. This will involve:
- site clearance
- installing environmental fencing
- widening of bridges, drainage works
- construction of 38 new emergency areas, technology works and CCTV to provide 100% coverage
The Environmental Study Report is now available under â€˜Media and Documentsâ€™.
We've completed our consultation on the proposed implementation of variable mandatory speed limits. Further information about the analysis of responses will be available in due course.
We held a series of public information events in September and October 2017 to provide information about the scheme, including the detailed design and construction phase.
In December 2017, we completed a smart motorway design that meets the aims of the scheme. We also undertook a range of surveys and assessments to help inform us about the local environment.
Advance works for the scheme began on 22 January 2018. This included vegetation and tree clearance work in various locations between junction 13, near Brogborough, and Tathall End, to the north of junction 14.
Full overnight closures of the motorway will only be used when necessary and we'll share information as soon as the closures are confirmed. For more information, please visit the â€˜scheme in detailâ€™ section.
All closures are subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Please check our web page before you travel. For real time traffic information, please visit the Traffic England website.
|Government announces scheme||December 2014|
|Public information events||September 2017|
|Complete the design phase||December 2017|
|Works start||May 2018|
|Works complete||March 2022|
Why we need this scheme
The M1 is a key strategic route carrying high volumes of heavy goods and other vehicles between London and the North.
This scheme will help ease the congestion and make journey times more reliable during busy periods on this stretch of motorway which passes through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, connecting Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton.
The aim of this scheme is to:
- reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times to make journeys more reliable
- support the economy and facilitate economic growth within the region by providing much needed capacity on the motorway reducing the cost of economic delay to commuters and business traffic
- maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety on motorways
- minimise environmental impacts
The scheme in detail
The scheme involves:
- improving the safety of the central reserve by installing a Rigid Concrete Barrier (RCB) between junction 13 and junction 15
- upgrading junctions 13 to 16 to four lanes running with no hard shoulder
- 38 new Emergency Areas with emergency roadside telephones
- resurfacing all lanes
- new and replacement Vehicle Restraint System in the verges
- new cantilever and superspan gantries to support Variable Mandatory Speed Limits and driver information using a combination of Motorway Signals and Advanced Motorway Indicators
The following new and replacement structures will be delivered:
- Low light/infrared CCTV cameras to provide 100% coverage and installation of the Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System (HADECS)
- Under-bridge and culvert extension to accommodate the proposed alignment
- New noise barriers and partial replacement of the existing noise barrier
- Landscape planting to mitigate new earthworks and gantry installation
While we're carrying out this work, there will be narrow lanes on the motorway and a temporary 50mph speed limit. During the day-time, we'll keep three lanes open in each direction. To carry out essential works, off-peak lane closures and overnight full carriageway closures will be necessary, for example, when we put new gantries into position and resurface the carriageway. Wherever possible, we'll keep this to a minimum. Night-time working hours will vary depending on traffic conditions.
During construction, there will be:
- Three lanes open to traffic in each direction
- Free breakdown recovery service along the extent of the scheme
- 24-hour CCTV coverage to identify incidents and allow timely recovery
- Planned diversion routes
Length of roadworks
We're carrying out this work in a way that will create the minimum of disruption to drivers using this busy stretch of the M1.
We'll be working in phases to reduce the extent of roadworks and the timescales for completing the scheme. This means that drivers will not experience 38km of roadworks during construction.
Roadworks and traffic management
Safety is at the heart of what we do. Working close to machinery and live traffic brings hazards, so itâ€™s important that our staff have regular rest breaks. If it appears that work is only taking place on one small section of the road, staff may be on their rest breaks. Alternatively, they may be moving steadily along the coned-off lane.
Reduced speed limits help keep all road users safe, not just road workers. Roadwork sites can be dangerous places. The driving environment around roadworks can be very different from normal. There may be changes to the normal standard of carriageway, such as lane restrictions or contra-flow running, as well as works vehicles entering or leaving the site. Excavations, vehicles and equipment pose additional risks and the safety of road users is always our primary consideration.
Roadworks during public holidays
Where possible, we'll remove traffic management during public holidays.
An environmental screening exercise at an early stage of the project indicated that it was considered unlikely there would be significant adverse effects resulting from the M1 junctions 13 to 16 smart motorway scheme. The key issues considered include:
- air quality mitigation, in relation to housing and air quality management areas
- surveys for protected species and habitats including bats, badgers dormouse and great crested newts.
- to minimise the loss of vegetative screening along the scheme and to design mitigation to reinforce screening for the future.
Some sections of the existing noise barrier will be replaced with new sections of environmental barrier as they have reached the end of life. Additional noise barriers will also be delivered as part of the scheme design at a number of Noise Important Areas.
Project media files and documents
Appendix B - Air Quality
Appendix C - Noise and Vibration
Appendix D - Landscape and Visual
Appendix E - Cultural Heritage
Appendix - Affected Road Network 2021
Appendix - Air Quality Management Areas
Appendix - Committed Developments
Appendix - Compliance Risk Road Network
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J13-14 northbound
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J13-14 southbound
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J14-15 northbound
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J14-15 southbound
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J15a-16 northbound
Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J15a-16 southbound
Appendix - Construction noise. Areas of potential significant adverse effects
Appendix - Construction vibration. Areas of potential significant adverse effects
Appendix - Cultural Heritage Receptors
Appendix - Discussion Region Receptors
Appendix - Do Something Results 2021
Appendix - Ecological Receptors
Appendix - Enviromental Masterplan (mitigation strategy)
Appendix - Flood Risk from Rivers
Appendix - Landscape Character, Viewpoints and Visibility
Appendix - Location and results of noise survey
Appendix - Monitoring Locations
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Minimum comparison day time
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Minimum comparison night time
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Something comparison day time
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Something comparison night time
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Proposed Noise Barriers
Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Short-term comparison day time
Appendix - Scheme Location
Appendix - Surface Water Flood Risk
Appendix - Verification Zones
Appendix - Viewpoint Photographs
Roadworks and Events for England
The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England
Breaking News: Traffic Information
The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network