M1 Junctions 32-35a: Smart Motorway

Project status:   Current

Start date:   Winter 2014/15
End date:  Winter 2016/17

Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)

Cost:  £100.2 million – £142.1 million


We have held exhibitions in the local area, giving you the opportunity to find out more about the construction phase of the scheme and to ask any questions you may have.

The display boards from the events will be found in the publications section.

Notice to proceed has now been granted for the scheme which will enable the works to commence. Carriageway and sliproad closures will begin to be introduced and are detailed in our Journey Impact section.

Works are also ongoing throughout the whole length of the scheme in the verge of both the northbound and southbound carriageways. Works include site clearance, vegetation clearance, drainage and ducting works.

Speed limit Statutory Instrument Consultation

We have previously consulted on proposals to limit speeds to 60mph between 7am and 7pm seven days a week because of the potential effect of the new scheme on local air quality.

This option has not been accepted as the preferred option and instead we are rigorously investigating alternatives while work progresses on the scheme in the next 12 months. The full consultation outcome report has been published on GOV​.UK.

For more information please email  M1​J3​2​-​3​5​aSmartMotorway@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk

Consultation Responses

The summary of consultation responses for M1 Junctions 28 to 31 Smart Motorway, Junctions 31 to 32 Variable Mandatory Speed Limits, Junctions 32 to 35a Smart Motorway is now published to the GOV​.UK website.

What is happening?

We propose to improve the M1 by making it a "smart motorway" (previously known as managed motorways) between junctions 32 and 35a. Smart motorways help relieve congestion by using technology to vary speed limits. They deliver these benefits at a significantly lower cost than conventional motorway widening and with less impact on the environment during construction.

When and where is this happening?

In the October 2010 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that the M1 junctions 32-35a Smart Motorway scheme will be prepared for start of construction before 2015.

We intend to commence work in Winter 2014-15 and to finish work by Winter 2016-17.

The scheme will be carried out on the M1 between junctions 32-35a, located between Rotherham and Sheffield.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The M1 in South Yorkshire is an important route for regional and international traffic. The section between Junction 32 (M18) and Junction 35 (A616) carries more than 110,000 vehicles each day and suffers from congestion and delay at peak times.

The estimated cost of this scheme is in the range of £94m to £133m. (This includes the completed M1 Junctions 32-35a Concrete Barrier and Drainage Renewal Works)

How will the scheme be carried out?

Using our knowledge of operating the M42 and M6 smart motorway schemes we have developed the smart motorway concept. These developments include permanently converting the hard should to a running lane and developing the design so that schemes will have:

  • Fewer overhead gantries which span the whole motorway
  • Fewer signals over each lane and more verge mounting signing
  • Comprehensive CCTV cameras – although there will no longer be the need for the dedicated cameras and operating systems required for opening and closing the hard shoulder.

A number of cameras, information signs and signals on gantries will be installed as part of the improvement scheme. Signs and signals will still be used to inform drivers of conditions on the network and when variable speed limits are in place.

What are the benefits?

This project will relieve congestion and smooth the flow of the traffic, improving safety and journey times. These benefits will also support economic development in the region.

We already have evidence of the benefits that a smart motorway scheme can bring. The first managed motorway scheme opened to traffic on the M42 motorway in 2006. Recent analysis of the data gathered since opening has found that journey time reliability improved by 22 per cent and reduced emissions by up to 10 per cent due to traffic flowing more smoothly.

In addition, personal injury accidents have reduced by more than half (55.7%) since hard shoulder running was introduced. There was also an overall reduction in the severity of accidents with zero fatalities and fewer seriously injured.

How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

You can now also follow us on Facebook.

Details of scheduled roadworks are provided to help you plan your journey. Please note that works are weather- and resource- dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice. This information is not updated in real time so please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guide only.

Will there be roadworks?

Yes roadworks will be needed throughout to enable the workforce to complete the scheme. We will endeavour to maintain three lane running during the daytime, including peak times. There will be overnight lane closures on weeknights as well as the closures listed below.

Until Winter 2016 there will be various restrictions in place on the M1 between junctions 28 and 35a to allow for the construction of the Smart Motorway. These include lane closures, speed restrictions, hard shoulder running and overnight slip road or carriageway closures.

Road Works

DateDurationDetailsAllow an Extra
28/05/20158pm until 6amM1 junction 34 northbound - up and over20 mins
29/05/20158pm until 6amM1 junction 34 northbound - up and over20 mins

How will you manage traffic?

50mph speed limit in operation. Current thinking is to employ long stretches of traffic management to enable phases of work to be carried out more efficiently, and this will be apparent on this scheme. Much of the work takes place overnight and it is more practical to maintain traffic management during the daytime than to remove and reinstall at the same location while works are not taking place. There will in consequence be examples of traffic management in place when no work is actually occuring.

Will there be diversions?

Clearly signed diversions will be in place for slip road and carriageway closures. At this stage all diversions involve:

Exit slip roads closed - stay on the motorway and turn around at the next junction

Entry slip roads closed - enter the motorway on the opposite carriageway and turn around at the next available junction

M1 Northbound

Junction 32 Exit – to 33 and return - 15mins

Junction 32 Entry – to 31 and return - 10 mins

Junction 33 Exit – to 34 and return - 8 mins

Junction 33 Entry – to 31 and return - 20mins

Junction 34 Exit – to 35 and return - 20 mins

Junction 34 Entry – to 33 and return - 15mins

Junction 35 Exit – to 35a and return - 10 mins

Junction 35 Entry – to 34 and return - 20 mins

Junction 35a Exit – to 36 and return - 10 mins

M1 Southbound

Junction 35a Entry – A616 to A61 and re-join M1 at Junction 36 - 10 mins

Junction 35 Exit – to 34 and return - 20 mins

Junction 35 Entry – to 35a and return - 10 mins

Junction 34 Exit – to 33 and return - 20 mins

Junction 34 Entry – to 35 and return - 20 mins

Junction 33 Exit – to 31 and return - 20 mins

Junction 33 Entry – to 34 and return - 15 mins

Junction 32 Exit – to 31 and return - 10 mins

Junction 32 Entry – to 33 and return - 15 mins

M1 Northbound Carriageway Closure Diversion Routes

Junction 32 to 33. Diversion via M18 Northbound to Junction 1 then on the A631 then to Rotherway re-joining the M1 at Junction 33

Junction 33 to 34. Diversion via A630 (Sheffield Parkway) then on to Europa Link then on to A631 Shepcote Lane re-joining the M1 at Junction 34

Junction 34 to 35. Diversion via A6109 and A629 re-joining M1 at Junction 35

Junction 35 to 36. Diversion via A6135 re-joining M1 at Junction 36

M1 Southbound Carriageway Closures Diversion Routes

Junction 36 to 35. Diversion via A6135 (Junction 35a Southbound entry A616 to A61 then A6135) re-joining M1 at Junction 35.

Junction 35 to 34. Diversion via A6109 to A629 re-joining M1 at Junction 34

Junction 34 to 33. Diversion via A6178 on to the A630 Rotherway,re-joining the M1 at Junction 33.

Junction 33 to 32. Diversion via Rotherway on to A631 to M18 Junction 1, then M18 re-joining M1 at Junction 32

Spending review: scheme to be prepared for construction by 2016October 2010
Start of construction confirmed for 2013/14, subject to statutory processesMarch 2012
Start of preparatory scheme to replace central reserve barrierJune 2013
Preparatory scheme endsDecember 2013
Construction beginsFebruary 2015
Construction endsWinter 2016/17

Business Case

M1 Junctions 32-35a Managed Motorway - Business Case
Business Case - Information correct as at December 2010


Improving the M1 Junctions 32 to 35a - Public Information Exhibition Leaflet
Improving the M1 Junctions 32 to 35a - Public Information Exhibition Leaflet - October 2014
M1 junctions 28 to 35a: maximum mandatory speed limit consultation document
M1 junctions 28 to 35a: maximum mandatory speed limit consultation document
M1 Junctions 32-35a Managed Motorway - Public Information Exhibition Board
M1 Junctions 28-31 Managed Motorways - Public Exhibition Boards
M1 Junctions 32-35a Managed Motorway - Public Exhibition Poster
M1 Junctions 32-35a Managed Motorway - Public Exhibition Poster - January 2013



M1 Junctions 32-35a Managed Motorway - Public Exhibition Boards
This is a copy of the information that was on display at the public exhibition in January 2013.


M1 Junctions 28 to 35a Air Quality Mitigation Summary of Consultation Responses
Responses to the consultation on proposal to introduce a maximum mandatory 60mph speed limit on the M1 between junction 28 and 35a.
M1 J32 to 35a Smart Motorway - Environmental Assessment Report
This Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) presents the findings of an environmental review and assessment of the potential environmental impacts and effects of the implementation of the proposed scheme on the M1 between J32 and 35a.