Press release

£4.3m pinch point improvement project to reduce congestion near Leeds and Wakefield

A Highways Agency project to reduce congestion and improve access to Leeds and Wakefield will get underway on the M1 at junction 41, in West Yorkshire next week (7 April).

The work will involve widening all of the approaches to the M1 junction 41 roundabout, from 2 lanes to 3 lanes, widening the roundabout to accommodate three lanes, improving lining and signing, refurbishing the traffic signals, improving lighting and providing improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The aims of the pinch point project are to help to reduce congestion, make journey times more reliable, reduce the impact of future planned development, enhance access to surrounding areas, and benefit the economy.

Highways Agency Service Delivery Team Leader Roger Wantling said:

Once the scheme is complete, it will improve congestion at this junction and in the surrounding area. The M1 junction 41 roundabout is heavily congested, causing severe delays for drivers. The A650 is also a very busy link in to Wakefield and Leeds, and the pinch point improvement will make journey times more reliable. The scheme will also reduce the impact of traffic from planned future developments in the area.

Additional good news for drivers in Wakefield is that the pinch point work at junction 40 is nearing completion. The junction is fully open and all traffic restrictions have been lifted. The final work to complete lighting work and clear the site is now taking place.

The work, scheduled to last until January 2015, will mainly be carried out during off-peak hours between 8pm and 6am, and at weekends. The work will affect all lanes on the slip roads and A650 approaches to the roundabout. However, the work will be carried out in phases to minimise any disruption. The work is taking place within the M1 junction 39 to 42 smart motorway scheme and will be co-ordinated to make the best use of any lane or slip road closures.

During the work it will be necessary to carry out overnight slip road and lane closures, and temporary traffic lights may be in operation. Advanced notice of any closures will be signed at the junction before the work takes place.

It is one of 15 Highways Agency pinch point schemes taking place in Yorkshire and Humber. The pinch point programme provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters, to help boost local economies and drive economic growth.

The work is part of a £317 million pinch point programme designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England. The programme is part of the Government’s growth initiative, outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn statement in November 2011.

More information about the scheme will be provided nearer the time and further information will also available on the Highways Agency website at Information on the pinch point programme can be found at

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