‘Concerns’ over four lane M1 plan

Traffic on M1 near Sheffield
Traffic on M1 near Sheffield
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Plans to add extra capacity on a section of the M1 have been criticised by a top police officer.

The £290 million scheme would see the hard shoulder converted into a permanent lane between junction 28 and junction 31 and junction 32 and 35a.

Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber, chair of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership said it was ‘working closely’ with the Highways Agency regarding proposals

“The partnership has made its concerns clear to the Highways Agency and discussions are continuing regarding changes that will mitigate the potential risks if a full-time hard shoulder is removed,”she added.

As part of the scheme, the hard shoulder of the M1 will be converted to a permanent traffic lane.

The hard shoulder between the junction slip roads will be converted to a full-time running lane in both directions to continue extra capacity through the junction.

Variable mandatory speed limits, displayed on overhead and verge-mounted signs.

A public information exhibition is being held tomorrow (Saturday) at St James the Greater Church Institute in Barlborough, from 11am to 3pm.

People can find out more about the scheme and how construction work may affect them. Highways Agency staff will be on hand to answer any questions.

Work on all the schemes is due to start this year.

Dan Tank, Highways Agency project manager for the M1 J28 to J31 scheme, said: “We’ve used our experience of successfully operating managed motorways in the West Midlands to produce an updated design which would see the hard shoulder permanently converted to a running lane, with fewer overhead structures such as gantries.”

“This will provide the additional capacity required without compromising overall safety.”

He said the scheme would provide ‘much needed’ extra capacity, easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users.

He added: “We know this will be a totally new concept for many people, so we want to listen to any comments and answer questions that members of the public and local residents may have about the scheme, such as how it will operate, what to do if they break down and how we plan to deliver the improvements. We will carefully respond to everything raised.”

To find out more visit www.highways.gov.uk or call 0300 123 5000