M1 Junctions 39-42: Smart Motorway

Project status:   Current


Start date:   November 2013
End date:  Autumn 2015


Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

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

Cost:  £120 million*


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M1 Junction 39 to 42 Smart Motorway

We are improving the M1 by making it a "smart motorway" between junctions 39 and 42. Smart motorways help relieve congestion by using technology to vary speed limits. They also allow the hard shoulder to be fully converted to a running lane to create additional capacity. They deliver these benefits at a significantly lower cost than conventional motorway widening and with less impact on the environment during construction. For more information about the scheme please visit the about page.

M1 Junction 39 to 42 Central Reserve Works

We need to replace the existing central reserve barrier with a concrete step barrier between junctions 39 and 42. These works have already begun: find out more on the Journey Impact page

Public Information Construction Exhibition

We held a public information construction exhibition on the 8th and 9th November. The scheme boards displayed are availabe to view on the Publications page.

What is happening?

We are improving the M1 by making it a "smart motorway" between junctions 39 and 42. Smart motorways help relieve congestion by using technology to vary speed limits. They also allow the hard shoulder to be fully converted to a running lane to create additional capacity. 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?

The Smart motorway scheme is being carried out between junction 39 and 42 of the M1.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The M1 motorway is a strategic route for local, regional and international traffic, and plays a major role as a national artery providing a direct motorway route between the North and the South; and as a major inter-urban regional route connecting two major conurbations and providing access to two important international gateways.

It carries in excess of 113,000 vehicles a day, of which 25% are HGVs. Congestion is already a serious problem and, based on national road traffic forecasts, the extent and severity of congestion is expected to significantly increase over the next 15 to 20 years.

* The estimated final outturn of £120 million was approved by the Secretary of State in October 2013 prior to the start of construction in October 2013.

How will the scheme be carried out?

A number of cameras, information signs and signals on gantries will be installed as part of the improvement scheme. As the scheme design progresses we will provide more information on the location of these features.

Using our knowledge of operating the M42 and M6 smart motorway schemes we have developed the smart motorway concept. The design of the M1 Junctions 39 to 42 smart motorway will include the following features compared to previous smart motorway scheme.

  • Fully Converting the hard shoulder
  • Fewer overhead gantries which span the whole motorway motorway, although the dedicated cameras required for opening and closing the hard shoulder are no longer required.
  • Increased space between emergency refuge areas.

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 smart 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.

To contact the team directly you can email: m1​J3​9​-​4​2​SmartMotorway@​highway.​gsi.​gov.​uk

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 required to carry out the works safely.

Forthcoming closures are listed below. Works are weather-dependant and may have to be cancelled at short notice. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guideline only. This information is not updated in real time; please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions.

Road Works

DateDurationDetailsAllow an Extra
12 December 201410pm - 6amJunction 41 northbound entry slip road closure15-20 mins
12 December 20148pm - 6amFull closure northbound J39 to 4020-25 mins
15 December 20147pm - 6amJunction 41 southbound exit slip road closure20-25 mins
15 December 20148pm - 6amFull closure southbound J41 to 4030-35 mins
16 December 20148pm - 6amFull closure southbound J40 to 3920-25 mins
17 December 20148pm - 6amFull closure northbound J39 to 4020-25 mins
There are no more full closures planned until 7 January 2015

How will you manage traffic?

Hard shoulder closures, narrower lanes and safety barriers are in place so we can carry out our works safely while maintaining three lanes in both directions.

We have implemented a 50mph speed restriction for the safety of drivers and our road workers. This may seem frustrating, but driving through half a mile of roadworks at 50mph takes just ten seconds more than at 70mph, while greatly increasing safety.

Will there be diversions?

Clearly signed diversions will be in place.

  • Northbound traffic leaving 39 for junction 40 will be diverted via the A636, A6186, A61 & A638.
  • Northbound traffic leaving 39 for junction 41 will be diverted via the A636, A6186, A61 & A650.
  • Northbound traffic leaving 40 for junction 41 will be diverted via the A638, A61 & A650.
  • Soutbound traffic leaving at 41 for junction 40 will be diverted via the A650, A61 & A638.
  • Southbound traffic leaving at 41 for junction 39 will be diverted via the A650, A61 A61886 & A636.
  • Southbdound traffic leaving at 41 for junction 40 will be diverted via the A650, A61 & A638.
  • Southbound traffic leaving at 40 for junction 39 will  be diverted via the A638, A61, A16186 & A636.
  • Northbound traffic leaving at 41 for junction 42 should follow A650 to M62 and join at junction 28, leave at junction 29 to rejoin M1 at junction 42.
  • Southbound traffic leaving at 42 for junction 41 should join the M62 at junction 29, leave at 28 join the A650 to rejoin the M1 at junction 41.

Download diversion route map (453KB PDF)

Temporary diversion during the closure of M1 north and southbound (121KB PDF)

Temporary diversions during the closure of northbound carriageway (118KB PDF)

Business Case

M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Business Case
Business Case - Information correct as at December 2010

Leaflet

M1 J39 to J42 Smart Motorway - Public Exhibition Boards
Public exhibition material for the M1 J39 to J42 Smart Motorway scheme.
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Information Leaflet - October 2013
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Information Leaflet - October 2013
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Information Leaflet
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Information Leaflet - January 2013
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Public Exhibition Poster
M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Public Exhibition Poster - January 2013

Notice

M1 J39 to 42 - Notice of Determination
Environmental Impact Assessment Notice of Determination for the M1 J39 to 42 Managed Motorway Scheme.

Report

M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway - Environmental Assessment Report - July 2013
Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) for the M1 J39 to J42 Managed Motorway Scheme.