The final phase of a new £120 million smart motorway has gone live on the M1 near Wakefield, with permanent all-lane running and variable speed limits using 38 VMS.
The Highways England scheme along a seven-mile stretch of motorway between junction 39 (Denby Dale) and junction 42 (Lofthouse Interchange) is the first of its type in the north. The first phase of the scheme was opened in December between junctions 39 and 41 (Morley).
Highways England senior project manager Sandie Forte-Gill said: “We are delighted that the last stretch between Morley and Leeds has opened today, which will tackle congestion and improve journey times for drivers.
“The hard shoulder has been permanently converted to an extra lane to significantly increase capacity, and we’ll keep vehicles moving using variable speed limits. We’ll use CCTV cameras to monitor the motorway so we can react quickly to incidents.”
Infrared CCTV is used 24 hours a day to enable staff in the regional control centre near Wakefield to respond quickly to incidents, closing lanes using red ‘X’s on overhead signs if necessary. Drivers will also be able to use emergency refuge areas if they break down.