Hard shoulder scheme delay

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Work to widen a section of the M1 between Thurcroft and Chapletown by using the hard shoulder as a fourth lane has been delayed.

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond announced the delay to allow an environmental assessment to be completed.

The decision followed a debate in Parliament called by Sheffield Heeley MP Meg Munn.

She is concerned the changes will lead to an increase in accidents on the road.

Both the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership and South Yorkshire Police have expressed concerns about the plan to use the hard shoulder as a permanent fourth lane.

The proposals by the Highways Agency are part of a managed motorway scheme between junctions 32 of the M1 at Thurcroft and 35a at Chapeltown.

It would also see new roadside signs used rather than overhead signs put in place to alert drivers to dangers ahead.

Proposals to use the hard shoulder during rush hours have been shown to reduce journey times, ease congestion for drivers, and reduce accidents.

But they have never before been used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere else in the country.