M1 junction 13 to junction 16: smart motorwayRecently updated

We are improving the 37.9km (23.6 miles) section of the M1 between junctions 13 and 16 by upgrading it to an All-Lane Running (ALR) smart motorway.

Region:  East Midlands
Start date:  March 2018
Cost:  £349 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  June 2021
Programme:  

Progress report

We are currently working on the smart motorway scheme design options for this part of the M1 that would meet the aims of the scheme, while undertaking a range of surveys and assessments to help inform us about the local environment.

We are assessing a wide range of information about the motorway to establish the nature of the current constraints. We have also started discussions with local authorities and technical stakeholders so we can take into account their views for our scheme proposal.

What next?

We plan to hold a series of public information events in September to provide information about the scheme and detailed design and construction phase.

We will progress with the detailed design phase of the scheme leading into construction which is scheduled to commence in March 2018.

Timeline

Government announces scheme December 2014
Public information events September 2017
Complete the design phase December 2017
Works start March 2018
Works complete June 2021

Why we need this scheme

The M1 is a key strategic route carrying high volumes of heavy goods and other vehicles between London and the North.

Drivers currently experience congestion and unreliable journey times at busy periods, while traffic is predicted to grow. The section between junctions 13 and 16 is 37.9km (23.6 miles) in length, passing through Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and providing connections to the towns of Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Aims

The aim of this scheme is to:

  • reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times to make journeys more reliable
  • support the economy and facilitate economic growth within the region by providing much needed capacity on the motorway reducing the cost of economic delay to commuters and business traffic
  • maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety on motorways
  • minimise environmental impacts

The scheme in detail

The scheme will involve:

  • hardening of the central reserve and installation of a Rigid Concrete Barrier (RCB) between J13-15
  • a RCB between J15 and J16 has already been delivered as part of the J16-19 Smart Motorway scheme
  • upgrade of Junctions 13 to 16 to four lanes running with no hard shoulder
  • 38 new Emergency Refuge Areas (ERAs). Emergency Roadside Telephones will be installed at ERAs
  • all lanes to be resurfaced
  • new and replacement Vehicle Restraint System in the verges
  • provision of new cantilever and superspan gantries to support Variable Mandatory Speed Limits and driver information using a combination of Motorway Signals and Advanced Motorway Indicators
  • new and replacement structures
  • installation of low light/infrared CCTV cameras
  • underbridge and culvert extension to accommodate the proposed alignment
  • installation of new noise barriers and replacement of specific lengths of existing noise barrier where required
  • landscape planting to mitigate new earthworks and gantry installation

Environmental impact

An environmental screening exercise at an early stage of the project indicated that it was considered unlikely there would be significant adverse effects resulting from the M1 junctions 13 to 16 smart motorway scheme. The key issues considered include:

  • air quality mitigation, in relation to housing and air quality management areas
  • surveys for protected species and habitats including bats, badgers dormouse and great crested newts.
  • to minimise the loss of vegetative screening along the scheme and to design mitigation to reinforce screening for the future.

Some sections of the existing noise barrier will be replaced with new sections of environmental barrier as they have reached the end of life. Additional noise barriers will also be delivered as part of the scheme design at a number of Noise Important Areas.

Project media files and documents

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder and lane 1 are closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 04:00 on 22 August 2017. Lanes Closed : There is one of three lanes closed.
Posted: August 21, 2017, 10:29 pm
Location : The A5 northbound entry slip from the A421 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 August 2017 to 06:00 on 25 August 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: August 20, 2017, 4:05 am
Location : The A5 northbound between the A4146 Bletchley North and the junction with the A509 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 24 August 2017 to 06:00 on 25 August 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: August 20, 2017, 4:05 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 23 August 2017 to 06:00 on 24 August 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: August 20, 2017, 4:05 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J12 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 24 August 2017 to 06:00 on 25 August 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: August 20, 2017, 4:05 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J14 and J20 . Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 01:35 on 18 May 2017 to 06:00 on 29 May 2020.
Posted: August 20, 2017, 4:05 am

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