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    DRIVING FOR WORK UPDATE ON MOTORWAY IMPROVEMENTS

    Three miles of M1 roadworks removed and hard shoulder running on horizon

    The Highways Agency has removed three miles of roadworks on the M1 between 10 (Luton-south) and junction 11 (Luton/Dunstable) in Bedfordshire and is starting use of variable speed limits on this section of the motorway.

    The hard shoulder is not yet available for use as a traffic lane, so it remains only available for drivers to use if they need to stop in an emergency. Drivers will also be able to use the newly built emergency refuge areas (large lay-bys) which have orange roadside telephones installed in them.

    The HA is aiming to introduce a “fully operational section of managed motorway” on the M1 between junctions 10 and 11 by this summer, before the London 2012 Games, subject to successful testing and commissioning of the technology and operational systems.

    It will mean that during busy times, the variable mandatory speed limits will be automatically set, and road users will be advised via overhead signing that they can use the hard shoulder as a traffic lane.

    Hard shoulder not yet available as a traffic lane.

    Andy Hitch, Highways Agency senior project manager said:

    “We know road users will welcome this, as the M1 is a very busy stretch of motorway, but it’s important that people note that this section is not yet a fully operational section of managed motorway, so the hard shoulder is not available as a traffic lane.

    Drivers on the M1 in Bedfordshire will see that work is continuing between junctions 11 (Dunstable) and 13 (A421/Bedford), but we’ve almost completed the southern section between junctions 10 to 11, meaning we are able to remove all traffic management including the temporary 50mph speed limit.

    We would like to thank road users for their patience during our work to deliver these important improvements. Once fully completed they will make journeys better for the thousands of people who use the M1 every day and businesses who depend on moving goods from A to B.”

    For further information about the scheme.

    Road worker safety remains a top priority

    The Highways Agency is working with the industry and road users to reduce the risks of working on the roads. For the safety of road workers and all road users, when you are approaching roadworks:

    • Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
    • Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
    • Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
    • Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
    • Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
    • Observe all signs – they are there to help you.

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