Press release

Overnight closures for M1 j39-42 smart motorway improvements

Road users are advised that parts of the M1 in West Yorkshire will be closed for five nights between this Sunday (23 March) and the following Saturday (5 April) as part of the next phase of work to upgrade the road to a smart motorway.

The carriageway closures will take place between junction 39 (Durkar) and junction 40 (Ossett) and will allow the Highways Agency to install temporary cabling and traffic management, as well as carry out resurfacing work required for the smart motorway scheme.

The northbound carriageway will be closed overnight on Sunday 23 March, and the southbound carriageway will be closed overnight on Monday 24, Tuesday 25 March and then again on both Friday 4 and Saturday 5 April.

All the closures will be from 8pm to 6am the following morning. During the closures, clearly-signed diversions will be in place via the local road network.

Highways Agency project manager David Pilsworth said: “We have now completed work on the concrete central reservation barriers on the first section of the motorway between Durkar and Ossett, and we are ready to progress to the next phase of construction here, which will focus on the hard shoulder and verge.

We are carrying out these closures overnight, when traffic flows are lower, but drivers are asked to plan ahead and allow additional time for their journeys.

From Monday 24 March on the northbound carriageway, and Saturday 5 April on the southbound carriageway, the hard shoulder between junctions 39 and 40 will be closed, with three narrowed lanes and a 50mph speed limit remaining in place.

Concrete barrier work on the remaining sections of the M1, between junctions 40 and 42, is ongoing. On these sections, lane three remains closed in both directions with hard shoulder running, three narrow lanes and a 50mph speed limit in operation.

Work to upgrade the M1 between junctions 39 and 42 (Lofthouse) to a smart motorway started in November 2013. The £120m scheme will add much-needed capacity to six miles of the M1 by converting the hard shoulder to a permanent traffic lane. Variable mandatory speed limits, displayed on overhead and verge-mounted signs, will help smooth the flow of traffic and reduce congestion on this section of motorway, which is used by more than 113,000 vehicles a day.

The upgrade scheme is due to be completed in September 2015. For more information, visit the Highways Agency website

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

Media enquiries

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