Widening scheme for M1 near Sheffield UK
£20 million widening scheme for M1 near Sheffield due to start autumn 2006
United Kingdom – Work on a £20 million scheme to widen the M1 between junctions 31 and 32 near Sheffield by adding a fourth lane to the existing three lane carriageway is expected to start in the Autumn, the Highways Agency has announced.
The work is part of a larger project to increase traffic capacity on the M1 and M62 in South and West Yorkshire, which includes further widening work, plus the introduction of an innovative new compact motorway design on some stretches. A series of public exhibitions about these plans was held in June 2006 to give the public more information about the Highways Agency’s proposals. These later stages of the project are still being developed and – if granted statutory approval – will be subject to separate tender processes and are due for phased construction from 2011.
Roads Minister Stephen Ladyman said:
"Widening this section of M1 near Sheffield is an important first step in delivering a major package of planned improvements designed to ease congestion on some of the busiest stretches of motorway in the country.
"The number of lanes on this section of the M1 will be increased from three to four, and this first phase of work will also include new overhead signs to give better information about road conditions to drivers using the motorway."
Construction of the new lanes is likely to take around 12 months to complete.
The Highways Agency is working closely with the contractor to ensure disruption to drivers during construction is minimised. Three lanes of traffic will be kept available for traffic during the day with any lane closures restricted to overnight when traffic flows are lower.
There will be a 50 mph speed limit through the work area for the safety of drivers and contractors working on the scheme.
- 1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. It manages, maintains and improves England’s motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.
- 2. The contract for the work between M1 Junctions 31 and 32 has been awarded to Jackson Civil Engineering Ltd. This scheme requires no extra land and a statutory Environmental Statement setting out details has been published.
- 3. The proposed compact motorway design is planned for the M1 between junctions 32-39 and on the M62 between junctions 25-28. The new design, used for the first time in the UK, will enable a fourth lane to be created by slightly narrowing the existing lanes and replacing the hard shoulder with emergency refuge areas for drivers. An access strip will be provided to enable emergency vehicles to reach incidents. New overhead electronic signs will provide improved driver information allowing improved management of traffic flows.
- 4. It is also planned to widen the M1 between junctions 39 to 42 and junctions 30 to 31 by adding a fourth lane. This work is not due to start until 2011.
- 5. As well as increasing the capacity of the M1 and M62, the improvement package also includes proposals for demand management measures such as traffic signals at junctions and on slip roads to regulate the flow of traffic onto the motorway.
- 6. The Highways Agency traffic information website is at http://www.highways.gov.uk/trafficinfo
- 7. For real-time traffic information, the Highways Agency 24-hour voice activated telephone service is on 08700 660 115. (Calls from BT landlines to 0870 numbers will cost no more than 8p per minute; mobile calls usually cost more)
- 8. For general information about the Highways Agency and its work, visit the Highways Agency website http://www.highways.gov.uk or telephone the Highways Agency information line on 08457 50 40 30 at any time. (Calls to 0845 numbers cost no more than 3p/min from BT residential landlines. Call charges from other and mobile networks may vary.)
Safe driving at roadworks
During 2005, five workers were killed and 12 seriously injured in the course of their work on Highways Agency roads. This was the worst year for 5 years. For the safety of all road users and roadworkers, drivers approaching roadworks are advised to:
- Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
- Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
- Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
- Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
- Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
- Observe all signs – they are there to help you.
- Remember that tiredness can kill. Take regular breaks from driving.