The first phase of preparation for the new £289m widening of the M1 starts today (14th November 2005). The work in its early stages involves; fencing, site clearance, setting up site offices and installing temporary CCTV cameras to help motorists in the event of breakdown. There will be some temporary hard shoulder closures while this work takes place but it will not affect the main carriageway.
The current Highways Agency scheme, plans to widen 10 miles of motorway between Jct 6a and10 in each direction. The project will expand the road to four lanes to relieve congestion and improve safety. The M1 in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire is one of the busiest motorways in Britain, carrying an estimated 160,000 vehicles per day.
Dr Stephen Ladyman, the Minister for Roads, comments: “Regular users of the M1, business and leisure travellers, hauliers, and airport traffic will be delighted to hear that widening of this busy section of the M1 is due to start soon. Once widening is completed, the M1 between Milton Keynes and St Albans is planned to host Britain’s first motorway car share lane, a dedicated lane for vehicles carrying two or more people during peak hours.”
The scheme will incorporate a trial of Britain’s first motorway car-share lane, as announced on 9th December 2004. This is an new idea to the UK and is intended to reduce congestion and improve journey times on the M1 by creating a dedicated lane during peak hours for vehicles carrying two or more people.
Details of the work involved have been posted on the Highways Agency website.