Press release

Smart motorway scheme to begin on M1 in the East Midlands

Benefits of smart motorways for drivers travelling through the East Midlands.

The benefits of smart motorways come a step closer next week for drivers travelling through the East Midlands with the start of a major new scheme on the M1.

Highways England aims to complete the scheme between junction 19 in Leicestershire and junction 16 in Northamptonshire by spring 2017.

Between now and 2020 Highways England will deliver £11bn of Government investment – that includes £3billion investment delivering 286 miles of smart motorways which will tackle congestion and improve journey times for drivers while maintaining safety.

This new scheme will see vital extra capacity created by the permanent conversion of the hard shoulder to a traffic lane.

Highways England project manager, Lee Wise said:

This is an exciting scheme and once completed will bring big improvements with an additional lane for traffic. This will help hugely during times of congestion. We are committed to delivering this work differently with shorter lengths of traffic management wherever possible to help minimise disruption to drivers.

I would however urge road users to please have patience and bear with us while we carry this work out as quickly as we can and to be extra vigilant and to extra take care when driving through the road works. The scheme when completed will be worth it and bring daily benefits to journeys for years to come.

From next week, work will begin between junctions 16 to 17 with overnight closures northbound and southbound.

The overnight work will include installing temporary traffic management in the form of 3 narrow running lanes between junctions 16 and 17. This will involve the removal of the existing road markings and the installation of temporary road markings. Additionally, temporary signs will be erected and temporary steel traffic barriers will be installed along the hard shoulder. A reduced temporary speed limit of 50mph will also be implemented and enforced by average speed cameras for the safety of drivers and our roadworkers.

The working hours will be during the daytime and evening from Monday to Saturday.

Drivers are asked to follow the signed diversion routes during these closures. Please do not use satellite navigation (sat nav) when following the diversion.

We advise local residents and business owners to ensure they allow extra time to complete their journeys.

Schedule for M1 overnight closures

Works are weather-dependent and may have to be cancelled at short notice. Please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions and the scheme website for more information.

There will need to be a full closure of the M1 junction 16 to 18 northbound on the following dates: * Tuesday 2 February (10pm to 6am) * Wednesday 10 February (10pm to 6am) * Friday 12 February (10pm to 6am) * Tuesday 16 February (10pm to 6am)

This is due to the nature of the road layout.

On the following dates there will be a full closure of the M1 junction 18 to 16 southbound:

  • Tuesday 9 February (10pm to 6am)
  • Thursday 11 February (10pm to 6am)
  • Monday 15 February (10pm to 6am)

M1 junction 16 to 18 closure: diversion routes

Northbound traffic

M1 northbound traffic will be diverted onto the A45 towards Flore at junction 16. Traffic will follow the A45 to the cross roads with the A5. Traffic will turn right at the traffic lights, following the A5 to rejoin the M1 northbound at junction 18.

Southbound traffic

M1 southbound traffic will be diverted onto the A5 southbound at junction 18. Traffic will follow the A5 to the cross roads with the A45 at Flore. Traffic will turn left at the traffic lights, following the A45 to rejoin the M1 southbound at junction 16.

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.

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.