M1 ‘smart motorway’ scheme near Wakefield nears completion

An artist's impression of what the motorway will look like.

An artist's impression of what the motorway will look like.

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Work on a £120m scheme to upgrade the M1 to a ‘smart motorway’ is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

Highways England has been carrying out works between junction 39 at Durkar and junction 42 at Lofthouse since November 2013.

The project aims to increase capacity and ease congestion by allowing the hard shoulder to be used as a permanent lane in both directions.

Speed limits will be varied depending on the amount of traffic, and will be displayed on overhead signs and on verges.

Several refuge bays will also be created along the stretch for motorists to pull into if they break down.

A spokeswoman for Highways England said the works are expected by finished “by the end of November, if not before.”

The scheme is similar to the M62’s managed motorway which opened in 2013.

Highways England said more than 113,000 vehicles a day used the stretch between junctions 39 and 42.

For more information and details of overnight closures over the next few weeks visit www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/