MP calls for action over ‘dangerous and harmful’ delays on M1

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Roadworks on the M1 near Northampton are potentially dangerous and harmful to business in the town, according to an MP.

Northampton North MP Michael Ellis has written to the minister responsible for roads about the stretch of motorway between junctions 16 and 19.

A man died there last Tuesday after his car broke down and was hit by a lorry, He had been stationary in the inside lane because there was no hard shoulder due to the roadworks narrowing the carriageway. Mr Ellis said a number of companies had approached him complaining about the effect of excessive queues after accidents near the county’s M1 roadworks. They cited three separate tailbacks which delayed them for at least four hours on each occasion.

Mr Ellis said: “I’m concerned about the frequency of accidents and so I’m calling on the Department of Transport to review those roadworks to see where they can be improved.

“I want them to look at the width of lanes, the nature of the motorway signs and the speed limits through the roadworks.

“I would like assurance that they are not in some way dangerous,” he said.

The MP said he wanted the Highways Agency, which is run by the Department for Transport, to report back on any patterns in the frequency and seriousness of the delays.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “The hard shoulder is being used as a temporary traffic lane, so that we can continue to provide three lanes for traffic in both directions.

“The lane nearest the central reservation is closed to provide a safe working area for our workforce while they construct the new, safer, concrete barrier.”