The M1 will be widened to four lanes between the M25 (J6A) and Milton Keynes South (J13) in two stages, starting with the M25 to Luton (J10).
Luton to M25
This 10-mile section carries around 160,000 vehicles per day; when first constructed with two lanes in 1959 in was designed to carry 13,000.
Some sections are currently four lanes (J6A-7 & J9-10 northbound) but the others are three lanes.
All three-lane sections will be widened to four lanes at a cost of £241m.
This figure includes remodelling of the section between the M10 and the A414 at Hemel Hempstead (J7-8) which carries a significant volume of local traffic between Hemel and St Albans; traffic joining the motorway has to weave with traffic leaving the motorway 1 mile on at the next junction, often causing delays in the peaks.
New parallel roads will be constructed between junctions 7 and 8 to carry local traffic.
Work is scheduled to start in January 2006 and be complete by 2008.
Milton Keynes to Luton
This section is also extremely busy at 100-130,000 vehicles per day. It will cost £382m to widen this 15-mile 3-lane section to 4 lanes in each direction.
Improvements will be made at junctions 11, 12 and 13 as part of the project.
Widening this section is more difficult than the southern section, as it passes through an urban area between Luton and Dunstable.
The new southbound lanes on the section from J13 at Milton Keynes South to J7 at St Albans may be restricted during the morning peak to cars with more than one occupant, as part of a High Occupancy Vehicle Lane pilot project.
No current news for this project.
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