An MP has told of her anger after highways bosses announced plans are to go-ahead to open the hard shoulder of the M1 as a fourth lane.
Meg Munn, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, is worried about the risk of collisions with broken down vehicles and fears motorists may not be able to reach ‘refuges’ to be built at the side of the motorway. She wants assurances that CCTV monitoring will take place at all times.
The Highways Agency says construction of the ‘managed motorway’ schemes on the M1 between junctions 28 and 31 is scheduled to start in early 2014 and the junction 32 to 35a section in late spring. The only condition is that environmental assessments must be completed first.
Ms Munn said: “It’s astonishing that the Highways Agency thinks it’s all right to publish the proposed changes when I am still waiting for confirmation that my safety concerns have been resolved. There is still a lot of concern about why this change needs to be 24 hours. Where it has been tried elsewhere, it is peak hours only.”
Highways Agency regional director Vanessa Gilbert said the improvements will benefit drivers in the long term by tackling congestion, making journey times more reliable and improving safety.”