Drivers set to get an extra lane and cameras on section of M1
DRIVERS are being asked what they think of congestion-busting plans for the M1 in north Notts.
The Highways Agency wants to upgrade 19 miles – between junctions 28 near South Normanton, and 31 near Worksop – by making the hard shoulder an extra lane.
Cameras to enforce variable speed limits are also planned.
Dan Tank, Highways Agency project manager, 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 safety.
"By being a managed motorway, this section of the M1 will provide much needed additional capacity, easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for the 95,000 users who depend on the route each day – this in turn will support economic growth."
The plans follow the £345 million scheme to widen the M1 between junction 25 at Long Eaton and junction 28 at Alfreton, which was completed in 2010.
People can find out more about the plans at the Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton, on Friday, between 2pm and 8pm, and on Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.
A further session is also planned at St James the Greater Church Institute, Barlborough, on Saturday, February 9, between 11am and 3pm.
Keith Peat, East Midlands Co-ordinator for the Association of British Drivers, said: "We welcome anything that can improve traffic flow, but if it is at the expense of safety it tends to put a dampener on it.
"It would have been better to do it as a trial period. The hard shoulders were put on motorways for a very good reason."
Joe Walker, owner of Joe Walker Haulage, Kirkby Parks Farm, Selston, said: "I think that's very dangerous. What happens if people break down?
"If they are going to do it and not slow the traffic it could be very worrying. They're going to have to put some sort of speed restriction in place otherwise it will be very dangerous."
Similar schemes are planned for the M1 between junctions 32 and 35a, near Sheffield, and junction 39 to 42, near Wakefield.
Work on all three is due to start this year.
More information about the plan is available at www.highways.gov.uk/m1j28-31mm or by calling 0300 123 5000.