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4 December 2012, 14:12
There are no daytime roadworks on the M1 in Bedfordshire between Junctions 10 and 13 for the first time in around three years.
The temporary 50mph speed limit on the M1 between Junctions 11 for Luton north and 12 for Toddington in Bedfordshire has been fully removed.
This means there will be no planned daytime roadworks or a temporary speed limit on the M1 carriageway between junctions 10 and 13 (Bedford/A421) for the first time in around three years.
Some overnight and possible weekend work will still be needed to complete the managed motorway scheme, including commissioning the overhead signs and signals, testing and completion of the work at Junctions 11 and 12.
The first section of managed motorway outside of the Midlands went live on the M1 between Junctions 10 for Luton and 11 for Luton north in July this year – with variable speed limits helping to manage the flow of traffic, and the hard shoulder opening up to give extra lane capacity when traffic levels increased. Between Junctions 12 and 13, roadworks were removed southbound in the summer, and northbound in October.
Now the Highways Agency is able to start testing the managed motorway systems between Junctions 11 and 13. Subject to weather conditions, the first stage was on Sunday 2nd December between 10am and 2pm.
Road users are advised to follow the overhead signs and signals, and are reminded that when the hard shoulder is not indicated for use as a running lane it should be only used for emergency purposes, as per motorway regulations.
Highways Agency project manager Lynne Stinson said:
“It’s good news for road users that the daytime work has been completed. The managed motorway between junction 10 and 11, which has been live since July, is performing well, but we want to remind road users that they can't use the hard shoulder unless signs and signals indicate that it is available. To use it as a traffic lane when it is closed to traffic is illegal. Drivers will know it's not open as there will either be a red X displayed on gantries over the hard shoulder, or no signs and signals live over that lane.
“We thank road users for their continued patience during our work to deliver these important improvements. Once fully completed the managed motorway will make journeys better for the thousands of people who use the M1 every day and for businesses who depend on moving goods from A to B.”
Work at Junction 12 is due to be completed shortly, while work at Junction 11 is due to be completed in December. Improvements to both Junctions 11 and 12 will reduce queues and delays, improve road safety by reducing congestion, make journey times more reliable and will maintain or improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.
Work to upgrade the M1 to a managed motorway between Junctions 10 and 13 continues and is due to be fully completed by Spring 2013.