We are now consulting on the proposed implementation of variable mandatory speed limits within this scheme. Please visit the consultation page to find out more information and have your say.
We held a series of public information events in September and October 2017 to provide information about the scheme and detailed design and construction phase.
In December 2017, we completed a smart motorway design that meets the aims of the scheme. We also undertook a range of surveys and assessments to help inform us about the local environment.
Advance works for the scheme began on 22 January 2018. These advance works included some vegetation and tree clearance work between Junction 13, near Brogborough, and Tathall End, to the north of Junction 14, in various locations over a 3 month period until the end of March 2018.
The main construction will start in late May 2018 and is scheduled to begin at Junction 13 and head northwards. We plan to use phased working to reduce the length of roadworks along the scheme and the timescales for completing the scheme. This means that there will not be 37.9km of roadworks for the duration of construction. Full overnight closures of the motorway will only be used when necessary and we share information on full closures as soon as they are confirmed.
|Government announces scheme||December 2014|
|Public information events||September 2017|
|Complete the design phase||December 2017|
|Works start||May 2018|
|Works complete||March 2022|
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.
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
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.
Roadworks and Events for England
The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England
Breaking News: Traffic Information
The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network