We have been working hard to deliver major improvements on the M1 between junctions 23a and 25 and we would like to thank drivers for their co-operation and understanding while this scheme enters its final stages.
We are opening the scheme in phases from December 2018.
The first phase successfully took place on 13 December 2018 with the removal of traffic management and speed restrictions between junctions 23a and the approach to junction 24.
This section of the M1 is now operating as a controlled motorway, which includes four lanes and a hard shoulder, with the introduction of variable mandatory speed limits to manage the flow of traffic, reducing frustrating ‚Äústop-start‚ÄĚ traffic conditions. The new technology installed will also give drivers better information to help with their journeys, while maintaining high levels of safety.
The scheme has also introduced new CCTV cameras and electronic information signs and signals on gantries, which will show the variable mandatory speed limits and manage traffic flow and incidents.
On 21 December we also opened the fourth lane between junctions 24 and 25, at a reduced speed limit of 50mph, to ensure we have provided the maximum capacity and delivering the best experience possible for our customers ahead of the Christmas period, this includes a fully resurfaced carriageway and the latest LED road lighting.
The remaining works will be undertaken during overnight lane and full carriageway closures. This work has been planned to take place when the motorway is at its quietest, to ensure we are minimising disruption as far as possible.
Between January and March 2019 we will be completing of the testing and commissioning of the newly installed signs and signals between junctions 24 and 25 to ensure the technology is operating reliably.
In order to complete this work safely, temporary speed restrictions will remain in place between junctions 24 and 25 until March 2019, with the newly constructed emergency areas available for use. We will also continue operating our free recovery service within this section until the scheme is fully complete in the new year, for the safety of our road users.
To keep disruption to a minimum, the remaining works will be carried out in the new year under overnight, lane and full carriageway, closures when the road is at its quietest.
Overnight closures will continue to be required while we complete the remaining works. Here is a full list of diversion routes:
- Diversion 1: M1 northbound carriageway road closure between J23a-24
- Diversion 2: M1 northbound carriageway road closure between J24-J24a
- Diversion 3: M1 northbound carriageway road closure between J24-J25
- Diversion 4: M1 southbound carriageway road closure between J25-J24
- Diversion 5: M1 southbound carriageway road closure between J24a-J24
- Diversion 6: M1 southbound carriageway road closure between J24a-J23a
- Diversion 7: M1 southbound carriageway road closure between J23a-J23
- Diversion 8: M1 northbound carriageway road closure between J23-J23a
|Autumn 2016||Public information exhibitions|
|Winter 2016||Project development phase ends|
|March 2017||Construction begins|
|December 2018||Construction ends|
Why we need this scheme
The M1 is a strategic route that carries high volumes of heavy goods and other vehicles. Drivers currently experience congestion and unreliable journey times at busy periods and traffic is predicted to grow, particularly with the growth expected at East Midlands Airport.
The scheme in detail
In the 2014 Roads Investment Strategy, the M1 junction 23a-24 was confirmed as committed to extending the previously-announced M1 smart motorway junctions 24-25 improvement to junction 23a (East Midlands Airport).
The scheme will convert the M1 into a controlled motorway between junctions 23a and 24 and an all lane running smart motorway between junctions 24 and 25. In total we will be upgrading 7.5miles (12km), which is expected to begin main construction in early 2017 and complete in late 2018.
The scheme will involve:
- permanent conversion of the hard shoulder to create a fourth lane between junctions 24 and 25 and changing the junctions to accommodate this
- the introduction of variable mandatory speed limits with an associated enforcement/compliance system
- 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 throughout the length of the scheme
- the hardening of the central reserve and installation of a reinforced barrier to improve safety
- emergency roadside telephones (ERT) provided in within emergency refuge areas and in locations where the hard shoulder is retained
- queue detection and automatic signalling system, which provides queue protection and congestion management
- comprehensive low light pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) CCTV coverage
- 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
An environmental screening exercise at an early stage of the project indicated that it was considered unlikely that there would be significant adverse effects resulting from the M1 junctions 23a to 25 smart motorway scheme.
Further investigation undertaken during scoping suggested that as the proposed works are wholly located within an existing motorway, no significant effects are predicted, therefore, a statutory environmental impact assessment (EIA) is not necessary. However, we recognise our duties of care to the environment and communities near our motorways and further assessment was undertaken and reported in an Environmental Study Report (ESR) in order to meet our responsibilities to identify, manage and monitor the effects of all our major developments.
The key issues considered include:
- air quality, in relation to housing and air quality management areas
- surveys for protected species and habitats including badgers and great crested newts
- to minimise the loss of woodland screening between the scheme and dwellings in Long Eaton and Sawley and to design mitigation to reinforce this screening for the future
Some sections of the existing noise barrier will be replaced and locations for additional barriers are currently being investigated.
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