M1 barrier to be replaced - but Chesterfield motorists won’t face further delays

M1 barrier replacement between junction 30-31.
M1 barrier replacement between junction 30-31.

Sections of a central reservation barrier on the M1 are being replaced - less than 18 months after first being installed.

Highways England has confirmed that parts of the concrete central reservation barrier between junctions 30 and 31 are being replaced because of ‘aesthetic’ issues.

But the organisation has said that the work will not impact further on Chesterfield motorists who are already suffering delays because of current improvements.

Work to remove the old steel barrier and construct a new concrete barrier began in February 2014 as part of £54m work, along a 28-mile stretch between junction 28 at Alfreton and junction 31 near Rotherham.

The work is part of plans to introduce a smart motorway system which aims to reduce congestion by using technology to vary speed limits.

A Highways England spokesman said the problem with the barrier will not delay when the roadworks are due to finish in late autumn.

He said: “We experienced an isolated issue with the aesthetic finish of some concrete used on the M1 concrete central reservation barrier between junctions 30 and 31.

“This is not a structural issue; the barrier is fully functioning and we’ve moved quickly to investigate and contain the problem.

“The barrier supplier and concrete supplier are working with us and our contractor to replace and repair the affected section; this means we have had to re-sequence the roadworks taking place in this area.

“This will not increase the duration of time traffic management will be in place along this section of the M1.

“We are doing all we can to minimise disruption and are extremely disappointed because this doesn’t reflect our high standards.”

A speed restriction will remain in place until the scheme is complete in the late autumn.