M1 shut on 50 nights out of next 95 as smart motorway work ramps up on Northampton-Milton Keynes stretch

Engineers fitting high-tech sensors to detect stranded traffic as part of £373million project

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 10:04 am

Overnight closures will affect parts of the M1 on 50 out of the next 95 nights as smart motorway work is ramped up between Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes

Highways England's £373million project to convert a 23-mile stretch from the A45 at Upper Heyford to junction 13 at MK is due for completion next year.

The latest batch of planned night-time carriageway closures up to early-October will allow engineers to install safety systems designed to detect stranded vehicles once hard shoulders are converted into live lanes.

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Stretches of the M1 will be shut on 50 nights between now and early-October
Stretches of the M1 will be shut on 50 nights between now and early-October

They include ten nights in July, 11 nights in August plus two blocks in September when the southbound and northbound carriageways will each be closed for 14 successive nights between Northampton and junction 14.

A Highways England spokesman said: "These closures are required for traffic sensors as part of our Motorway Incident Detection Automatic Signalling system.

"This detects the levels of traffic and provides real-time information to our regional control room staff who monitor the traffic conditions and safety.

"We have completed the surfacing of lanes one and four, and landscaping between junctions 13 to 14, with the majority of vehicle restraint safety barrier also finished.

"The installation of drainage and communication ducting between Newport Pagnell and junction 16 is progressing well."

Diversions for traffic between Northampton and Milton Keynes are signposted via the A508 and A5 while closures are in place.

The M1 upgrade aims to reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times and make journeys more reliable between Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

It will support the region's economy within the region by providing much needed capacity on the motorway, reducing the cost of economic delay to commuters and business traffic.

The M1 will be closed on the following dates:

■ 30 June for 1 night, 9pm – 6am, junction 14 to 13 Southbound

■ 1 July for 1 night, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 14 Northbound

■ 7 July for 3 nights, 9pm – 6am, junction 15 to 14 Southbound

■ 12 July for 2 nights, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 15 Northbound

■ 14 July for 1 night, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 15 Southbound

■ 24 July for 1 night, 9pm – 6am, 14 to 15 Northbound AND Southbound

■ 26 July for 1 night, 9pm – 6am, junction 14 to 13 Southbound

■ 27 July for 1 night, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 14 Northbound

■ 2 August for 2 nights, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 14 Northbound

■ 4 August for 2 nights, 9pm - 6am, junction 14 to 13 Southbound

■ 6 August for 1 night, 10pm – 6am, junction 13 to 14 Northbound

■ 11 August for 1 night, 9pm - 6am, junction 14 to 13 Southbound

■ 16 August for 5 nights, 9pm – 5am, junction 14 to 13 Southbound

■ 6 September for 14 nights, 9pm – 6am, junction 15 to 14 Southbound

■ 20 September for 14 nights, junction 14 to 15 Northbound