Two new major motorway schemes on the M1 will cut congestion and give Britain’s drivers smoother, quicker journeys, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP has announced.
Construction will now start on the M1 junctions 28-31 and 32-35a, through Derbyshirek, Notts and South Yorkshire, to make them smart motorways, which involves converting the hard shoulder to a running lane, operating either permanently or during busy periods.
These schemes will boost capacity by a third and are expected to improve journey times by up to 10 per cent.
The national speed limit on these sections will also remain at 70mph as Mr McLoughlin has rejected proposals for a 60mph limit to be imposed on these stretches from 7am to 7pm each day.
“Let me be absolutely clear, I want all motorways to run at 70mph,” he said.
“While it sometimes makes sense to use variable limits to keep people moving, blanket reductions are not acceptable.”
“Smart motorways are an effective and cost-efficient way of increasing space on our roads, cutting jams and speeding up journey times.”
Work to implement the schemes should be complete by autumn 2015.