M1 congestion tackled with controlled speeds

Job HA0490 - IDM Surrey. Location around M25, Junction 11 suffering congestion. November 2009

Job HA0490 - IDM Surrey. Location around M25, Junction 11 suffering congestion. November 2009

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NEW variable speed limits are to be introduced on a stretch of the M1 from today.

The controlled motorway system between junction 25 at Sandiacre, Nottinghamshire, and junction 28 at Pinxton, Derbyshire, will allow traffic to be managed during periods of peak congestion or following an accident, said the Highways Agency.

It works by using sensors in the road surface to detect the speed, volume and flow of traffic. The system calculates the best speed to keep roads moving, reducing the level of ‘stop-start’ traffic that leads to congestion.

Drivers will start to see the speed limit appear in a red circle – which means it is enforceable by law – on electronic signals on overhead gantries.

Nottinghamshire Police are responsible for enforcing speed limits on this section of the M1.

Highways Agency project manager, Andrew Robinson-Morris, said: “Construction work to widen the M1 between junctions 25 and 28 was delivered ahead of schedule, providing more capacity for road users earlier than planned.

“The controlled motorway system, installed as part of the widening scheme, will bring even greater benefits to drivers on this busy section of the M1 - helping to reduce congestion when needed and make drivers’ journeys safer and more reliable by smoothing traffic flows.”

The system, introduced after a public consultation in 2010, is already used on the M25 and M42. The Highways Agency said it had reduced collisions on the M25 by ten per cent and cut emissions.

What do you think? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.

ellen.beardmore@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.