Wednesday 17 April 2024
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Smart motorways: Work to retrofit extra emergency areas on M1 starts – disruption expected

Emergency areas provide a place to stop in an emergency if you can’t exit the motorway or stop at a motorway service area.

National Highways announces that it has developed a programme to create additional emergency areas on sections of all-lane running (ALR) smart motorways across the country.

They’re clearly signed at regular intervals along the motorway and have bright orange road surfaces to help you identify them.

At 100 metres long they have plenty of space for even the largest lorry plus a recovery vehicle, and they’re equipped with emergency telephones linking directly to our control rooms to get help on the way quickly, says the authority.

Work to create extra emergency areas on motorways across the Midlands starts in spring 2024, with a coordinated series of upgrades getting underway along the M1 and nearby on the M5.

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The retrofit of 54 new emergency areas on four motorway stretches across the Midlands:

  • M1 between junctions 23a and 25 in Leicestershire and Derbyshire – 6 new emergency areas
  • M1 between junctions 28 and 30 in Derbyshire – 18 new emergency areas
  • M1 between junctions 16 and 19 in Northamptonshire – 20 new emergency areas
  • M5 between junctions 4a and 6 in Worcestershire – 10 new emergency areas

The exact number of emergency areas on each section of the motorway may change. This is because they can’t rule out finding unexpected conditions which prevent work at any individual location after constructions begins.

The work is planned in phases, starting in spring 2024, and expect to complete our work by spring 2025.

To carry out our work safely, lane one of the motorways listed above will be closed throughout our work. Lanes two, three and four will remain open with a 50mph speed limit in place.

CCTV cameras will continue to monitor the carriageway and 24-hour free recovery will be in operation.

The lane one closure will be installed overnight using a temporary barrier to protect our workforce and the travelling public. We always do our best to minimise disruption and we apologise in advance should this work cause an inconvenience to you.

Existing emergency areas on the motorways will remain open wherever possible. At limited locations where it’s necessary to temporarily close an emergency area, a temporary emergency area will be provided nearby and clearly signed.

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