The work will affect 10.5 miles (17km) of the motorway from the M18/M1 interchange to junction 3 and involves installing new motorway incident detection and automated signalling (MIDAS) loops in the carriageway. These loops allow the traffic flow on the motorway to be monitored and the technology will automatically set signs to warn drivers of slow moving traffic. This information, which is also fed back to the Agency’s regional control centre in Wakefield, will help protect the back of slow-moving traffic from rear-end collisions, reducing the number of accidents and associated delays, and improve safety and the flow of traffic.
The aims of the pinch point project are to help to reduce congestion; make journey times more reliable; improve safety, enhance access to surrounding areas and benefit the economy.
The work, scheduled to last until spring 2015, will mainly be carried out during off-peak hours between 8pm and 6am, although there will be night time lane closures and 50mph speed restriction in place for safety reasons.
This is one of 15 Highways Agency pinch point schemes taking in 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.
Highways Agency Service Delivery Team Leader Roger Wantling said:
Once the scheme is complete, the extra technology in place will improve road safety and reduce congestion and delays. During the work we advise drivers to check local traffic conditions and leave extra time for their journeys if necessary.
In order to carry out this work there will be 24-hour hard shoulder closures. Overnight lane restrictions will be in place between 8pm and 6am and slip roads may be closed with a diversion in place via M18 junction 3. Every effort will be made to ensure disruption to traffic and residents is kept to a minimum.
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 is available on the Highways Agency website. Information on the pinch point programme can be found on the Agency’s project pages.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.