Press release

Major Midlands junction improvement open

Highways England’s £191 million scheme to improve journeys for drivers using a major interchange on the M1 in the Midlands was officially opened today (16 March).

An ariel view of the completed work at junction 19
An aerial view of the completed work at junction 19

The major upgrade to improve the flow of traffic at junction 19 (Catthorpe), where the M1, M6 and A14 meet, has revolutionised the journeys made by more than 150,000 vehicles through the area every day and is the latest example of Highways England delivering more than £15 billion of investment across England.

For motorists the scheme’s completion means:

  • they no longer have to navigate a junction travelling between the M6 and A14
  • there are free flow links between the A14 and M1
  • the M1 northbound to M6 westbound link and the M6 eastbound to M1 southbound link are open
  • a new local link road, reconnecting the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford, and with the A5 is also open to traffic

Highways England Chairman Colin Matthews said:

The £191 million new interchange has made a huge difference to people’s journeys by improving access to the A14 corridor and removing queueing traffic on the M1, M6 and A14 approaches.

I know it has been talked about for many years and it’s easy to see benefits of smoother and more reliable journeys on these key routes.

The improvement means journeys will be shorter and safer, with more vehicles able to pass through, and less congestion.

This project has been delivered on time and on budget and is a great achievement for our own team and our contractors.

The new east-west link between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford now runs beneath the M1-M6 link, and the M6, and connects the villages with the A5.

And for the first time in over 20 years local traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are separated from long-distance traffic, particularly HGVs.

Highways England has also created a new public right of way/bridleway between Swinford and Catthorpe, a footway alongside the new local road between Swinford and Catthorpe and a new footpath to the north of the A14, as well as areas for wildlife and trees.

Speed restrictions have been lifted from all carriageways except the M1 southbound where the current 50mph restriction remains in place from just north of the A14 eastbound as part of the ongoing M1 junction 16-19 smart motorway scheme.

Elsewhere in the Midlands, Highways England’s England’s £106 million improvement scheme at Tollbar End in Coventry was officially opened today.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 16 March 2017