Roadworks will be removed from a 6 mile stretch of the M1 in Yorkshire and the East Midlands from Monday (28 September), to help drivers on their journeys.
The restrictions will be lifted from a section of the motorway just south of Sheffield and Worksop while work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the opening of the whole junction 28 to 31 smart motorway scheme in December.
Highways England senior project manager Andy Kirk said:
We understand that drivers get frustrated when they drive for miles and can’t see a lot of obvious construction work going on, and we recognise that there are a lot of roadworks on the M1 at the moment.
So rather than keep roadworks in place, we will work behind the scenes completing various technical tasks, until we’re ready to implement the smart motorway on this section.
This also means that we can start work on the next phase of the M1 smart motorway projects.
From Monday restrictions will be lifted between junction 30 and junction 31. In October a further set of roadworks between junction 29a (Duckmanton) and junction 30 are due to be removed. The hard shoulder will remain in place until the smart motorway goes live.
Work will continue on the smart motorway between junction 29a (Duckmanton) and 28 (Mansfield), with narrow lanes and a temporary 50mph speed limit in place, until the whole scheme is complete in December. The smart motorway will then operate between junctions 28 and 31.
Work will continue on a second smart motorway project, between junction 32 (Rotherham) and junction 35a (Stocksbridge). That is being done in sections and next month work will get underway between junctions 32 (Rotherham) and junction 34 (Sheffield).
The smart motorway schemes are part of £15 billion investment in motorways and major A roads by 2021.
On smart motorways, overhead electronic message signs will give drivers information about any congestion, lane closures and incidents ahead. Until the smart motorway is fully operational, any variable speed limits displayed will be advisory (will not appear in a red ring).
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.