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Highways England to introduce variable speed limits as part of smart motorway on M1

Date: 22 June 2015   |   Author:

Highways England is pressing ahead with turning the M1 into a smart motorway with variable speed limits and an all lane running scheme between junction 19 and 16.

The idea to turn the stretch of the M1 into an all lane motorway is due to high levels of congestion between the M2 and the M6 at Catthrope Interchange.

The agency ran a nine-week consultation period between 8 December, 2014 and 30 January, 2015 and has revealed responses.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) supported the introduction of a smart motorway.

It's responses to the consultation said: "The RHA is happy to support the current scheme to introduce a smart motorway on the M1 between junctions 19 and 16.

"Our members have already experienced the advantages of driving on the smart motorway already operating, with hauliers reporting improved driving conditions of these routes."

While, the RHA agrees there is a place for hard-shoulder running in peak flow periods, it believes widening the M1 would be a better permanent solution.

A statement from Highways England said: "The consultation has shown that while stakeholders have concerns about the smart motorway all lane running design concept, they are generally supportive of VMSL specifically.

"Concerns are associated with the conversion of the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane, the 24/7 nature of the operation and the risk of removing the lighting and vehicles stopping in live lanes, especially off peak. Highways England is continuing to work with stakeholders to address these concerns."