Thursday, June 1, 2023

News: Work on M1 through Rotherham to last until winter 2024


Work to create new places to stop in an emergency on the M1 in South Yorkshire gets under way next week.

National Highways is more than doubling the number of emergency areas on the M1 between junction 32 at Thurcroft and junction 35A at Stocksbridge, with 12 new emergency areas being added to the existing eight.

Starting on June 5 and expected to be complete by winter 2024, the left-hand lane will be closed throughout construction to allow engineers to carry out the upgrade safely.

Lanes two, three and four will remain open with a 50mph speed limit in place. 

The upgrade is part of National Highways' commitment to build more than 150 new emergency areas between 2020 – 2025.

The M1 smart motorway became operational in the region and open to traffic in 2017 with the section designated as Britain's first ever Air Quality "Speed Limit" based motorway.

Highways England (now National Highways) completed a £106m scheme on a ten mile stretch of the M1 between junctions 32 (south of Sheffield and Rotherham) and 35a (north of Sheffield and Rotherham), and a 20 mile stretch of the M1 between junction 28 (South Normanton) and 31 (Aston) in a project costing £205m.

The projects include converting the hard shoulder to an extra traffic lane in both directions and mandatory speed limits set to 60mph.

In April, the Department for Transport announced that it had removed new smart motorways from government road-building plans "in recognition of lack of public confidence and cost pressures." The government and National Highways also said that it would continue to invest £900m in further safety improvements on existing smart motorways.

At the time, Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said: "While I am pleased that new smart motorways will not be built, this does nothing to address the serious concerns about existing roads, including the M1 in Rotherham.

"Removing the hard shoulder greatly increases risks to motorists. Technology that is supposed to keep us safe is ineffective and unreliable.

"The Government should commit immediately to restoring the hard shoulder across the motorway network and I will continue to fight until they do."

National Highways Project Sponsor Felicity Clayton said: “The safety of people travelling on England’s motorways and major A-roads is National Highways’ highest priority. We have listened to drivers' concerns about being able to find a safe place to stop in an emergency on motorways which don’t have a permanent hard shoulder and have been developing a programme to roll out even more emergency areas on all lane running smart motorways, in operation and construction.  

“This investment in extra emergency areas will help increase road users’ confidence. We have also put stopped vehicle detection technology in place on all operational all lane running motorways, added more signs so drivers will almost always be able to see a sign informing them of the distance to the next place to stop in an emergency, and included advice about smart motorways online and in an updated Highway Code, to help road users feel safe and be safer on our roads.”

Images: National Highways


Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 3:04 PM  

Why don't they join just join up the emergency areas and create a hard shoulder?

And why the hell is it going to take well over a year to put in 12 emergency areas?

Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 6:48 PM  

I'm sick of the likes of the BBC banging on about the horrors of Smart Motorways.

Every serious accident they have reported on in South Yorkshire or North Derbyshire has been the fault of the driver with the Motorway used as a convinient excuse

I travel between J1 M18 and J28 M1 3 times a week, 5 before the pandemic, and never had an issue or felt unsafe.

Plus, people have been driving on the A1 for years without a hard shoulder.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 8:13 PM  

They are a death trap and should be removed as soon as possible. Hopefully you never break down on one.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 9:21 PM  

I am sure that the families of those people killed on smart motorways will be thrilled to learn what a good driver you are.
Oh, and by the way, the A1 is officially the most lethal road in the country. In the last 10 years 172 people have been killed onthe A1, more than on either the M1 or M6 during the same period.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 10:01 PM  

What on earth are you on about,the deaths that occurred locally,were totally the fault of the smart motorway,they'd broken down and we're hit with vehicles.What an idiot you are!

Anonymous,  June 1, 2023 at 11:10 PM  

You mindless, uncaring piece of work

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 8:54 AM  

There is a hard shoulder on large sections of the A1

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 10:48 AM  

I suggest you all read the articles, rather than jump on your high horses.

A 'Death Trap' would suggest fatalities on a regular occasion, that's just not the case, so stop sensationalising.

I obviously feel for the families, why wouldn't I?

Yes the vehicles were broken down, but they were hit by drivers not paying due attention. You're clearly part of the blame culture this country is clearly falling into. Grow up.

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 2:05 PM  

Nasty piece of work

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 3:32 PM  

'What on earth are you on about,the deaths that occurred locally,were totally the fault of the smart motorway,they'd broken down and we're hit with vehicles.What an idiot you are!'

Whether I agree with the post or not, you can't call someone an idiot when you can't string a sentence together.......

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 6:22 PM  

Are you sure these aren't just more RMBC cycle lanes? ;-)

Anonymous,  June 2, 2023 at 9:04 PM  

Please feel free to point out which of any of my comments is deemed as nasty.

Anonymous,  June 3, 2023 at 10:52 AM  

You’ve contradicted yourself there. It doesn’t matter how good or safe a driver you are, if you break down on the smart motorway and another driver isn’t paying attention, you’re dead. Surely even you can work that out.

Anonymous,  June 5, 2023 at 7:33 AM  

Why do we need to limit the speed limit to 60 ffs?

No need and is another way of pushing car uses off the motorway onto other routes.

Anonymous,  June 5, 2023 at 5:21 PM  

Don't be daft!

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:52 PM  

Yes, I thought the same. What other routes does he mean? The ones with 30mph restrictions?

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 7:23 AM  

Or ones without potholes. That would be a novel idea.

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