M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme

Clare Murray

M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme

Improvements to junction 19 of the M1 motorway and related sections of the M6 motorway and A14 trunk road

Scheme stats

Region:  East Midlands
Start date:  January 2014
Cost:  £191 million
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  By end Dec 2016
Project status
In August we opened the new free-flow carriageway linking the M1 southbound to the A14 eastbound. The single-lane link road means drivers travelling south on the M1 to head east on the A14 no longer have to negotiate the traffic signal-controlled “dumbbell” roundabouts. It is no longer possible to join the local road network at the Catthorpe Interchange from the M1 southbound. You will need to use alternative routes from junction 20 on the M1 southbound or junction 1 on the M6 or A14. Take extra care and keep a safe distance while you get used to the new road layout. Don’t forget that sat navs won’t yet have the new layout so look out for signs and get into the correct lane in good time.

What next?

We are now nearing the end of this scheme and will be working to get the new local link road open – scheduled for Autumn 2016. We remain on target to complete the scheme by the end of December 2016.


Feasibility study commences into improvements to the junction Dec 2000
Public Consultation on a number of junction options June 2002
Preferred Route announced by the Minister of State Feb 2003
Public Information Exhibition to present Local Road Network options July 2004
Contract awarded to Skanska/Jacobs for planning, design, management and construction 2005
Further options identified 2006-08
Public Consultation of three junction options and three local road network options June 2008
Preferred Route announced Feb 2009
Draft Orders and environmental statement published Feb 2010
Exhibitions held at Lilbourne and Swinford March 2010
Statutory process postponed June 2010
Government announce scheme to commence construction 2013-14 March 2012
Statutory process recommenced October 2012
Public inquiry held March 2013
Secretary of State decision announced July 2013
Orders made August 2013
Start of works Public Information Exhibtion January 2014
Start of works January 2014
Shawell Lane/A5 open November 2014
Original M6 southbound Bridge demolition March 2015
Close local Catthorpe-Swinford link road September 2015
M6 to M1 realigned over Catthorpe Viaduct September 2015
A14 westbound to M6 on temporary alignment open October 2015
A14 to M1 northbound open December 2015
M6-A14 free-flow links open in both directions February 2016
M1 to M6 free-flow link open over new bridge July 2016
Closure of Rugby Road July 2016
M1 to A14 free-flow link open over new bridge Summer 2016
A14 to M6 westbound carriageway opened August 2016
All free-flow routes complete Autumn 2016
Local link road open Autumn 2016
Project completion December 2016

Community news

For many years, the Air Ambulance has had to attend severe road traffic collisions at the junction. The charity does not receive any government funding so our project team has adopted this charity for our fundraising efforts. Each flight costs approx. £1300 and the project team has raised over £5000 for the Air Ambulance Service by:
  • donating £1 for every health, safety and environment observation card submitted on site
  • hosting charity challenges and events to celebrate key project milestones
  • arranging site visits (the project has welcomed over 500 visitors)
Meanwhile in Swinford we have donated cones to All Saints’ Church so they can control access when there are events taking place.

Why we need this scheme

Over 142,000 vehicles pass through this junction daily. The original junction 19 on the M1 gave rise to the following problems:
  • congestion, delays and long queues
  • accidents
  • conflicts between local and longer distance traffic
  • barriers to pedestrian, cyclist and horse rider movements
Without improvement, these problems would have become worse.

The scheme in detail

The improved junction will provide the following direct free-flow links:
  • A14 to M1 northbound
  • M1 southbound to A14
  • M6 to A14 in both directions
  • M6 to M1 southbound
  • M1 northbound to M6

Swinford Road closed 13 September 2015

On 13 September 2015 the Swinford Road in Catthorpe closed at its present junction with the Catthorpe Interchange. There is no longer access to the M6, M1 or A14 from Catthorpe at the junction 19 interchange so you’ll need to choose an alternative route. We’ll reconnect the east-west link between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford once we complete the new local road. Constructing new bridges to separate the local road from long distance traffic is complex, so the new local road will be open late Autumn 2016.

M6 southbound layout and local access changes

As of 13 February 2016 you can no longer access local roads from the M6 at Catthorpe Interchange. Local traffic should leave the M6 southbound at junction 1. We have changed lane priorities accordingly:
  • M6-M1 southbound traffic to use lanes 1 and 2 (of 3)
  • M6-A14 eastbound traffic to use lane 3 (of 3)

Rugby Road closed from 7 July 2016

We fully closed Rugby Road on 7 July 2016 in both directions. We have also cut off access to the A14 via Rugby Road. Until the new local link road opens in Autumn 2016, access to Catthorpe and the A5 will be via other local roads.  Local traffic heading to Swinford should use alternative routes via M1 junction 20, M6 junction 1 and A14 junction 1. We kept this access open for as long as possible, but now need to close the road to construct a new section of the local link road and start work on the adjacent pond.

Bridge demolition video



The objectives of the junction improvement are to:
  • relieve congestion at the junction and improve journey reliability
  • improve road safety
  • separate local traffic from long distance traffic
  • improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders
  • keep adverse environmental impacts to a minimum
  • provide good value for money
The river is the most environmentally sensitive area of the scheme because:
  • it is an abstraction source for drinking water
  • the adjacent land further downstream is a flood plain
  • it is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora, including a family of otters
We will include:
  • earthworks to several of the bends in the river to improve flow and provide ecological refuge
  • flood compensation works to counteract raised levels at the bridge locations
  • balancing ponds – each pond filters pollutants from the surface water that drains from the motorway and releases it slowly back into natural watercourses

Cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians

As part of the M1 junction 19 improvement scheme, we are required to construct a new bridleway connecting Swinford and Catthorpe via the River Avon. Works began in 2015. The vegetation has become well established during the summer months and the bridleway will be opening shortly. The works involve:
  • creating a new bridleway route
  • installing two bridleway bridges

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