Smart M-way completed in West Yorks

Smart M-way completed in West Yorks

Motorists are set to benefit from less congestion and quicker journey times following the completion of a new seven-mile stretch of smart motorway on the M1 in West Yorkshire.

The final phase of the £120 million scheme has gone live with variable speed limits now in force and the hard shoulder permanently converted into an extra lane between Junction 39 and Junction 42 (the Lofthouse Interchange).

The first part of the scheme, covering the M1 between Junctions 39 and 41, opened in December. The final phase covers the road between there and its junction with the M62.

The Highways England scheme uses technology to keep track of traffic volumes, displaying variable speed limits on overhead electronic boards.

Sandie Forte-Gill, Highways England's senior project manager, says the changeable speed limits will help keep traffic moving while converting the hard shoulder into an extra lane will enable the motorway to cope with an average of 37,000 extra vehicles per day.

A network of CCTV cameras, meanwhile, will enable the agency to react swiftly to any incidents, he adds.

A similar scheme operates on the M62 near Huddersfield but only uses the hard shoulder when traffic is heavy.

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