Six-month delay for revamp of M1 in Northamptonshire...50mph limit is here to stay

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The 50mph speed limit will remain on the M1 in Northamptonshire for at least another SIX months after a delay in on-going roadworks.

Highways England is converting the stretch of the M1 from Junctions 19 to 16 into a so-called 'smart motorway' and had expected the £94.1 million scheme to finish by Spring this year.

However, it has been announced that the work will not finish until the end of December.

A statement on the Highway England website said: "We had aspired to complete phase one of the project (between junctions 16 and 19) by this Spring, however challenges to the project, including a delayed start to the work and additional essential maintenance works, have meant the programme has been extended to a revised completion date of by the end of December 2017.

"We feel that this approach is the best way to ensure that work is completed as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We are also actively seeking ways to accelerate delivery in order to complete the scheme sooner.

"This scheme is the first phase of a wider smart motorways project where we are adding an extra lane in both directions by converting the hard shoulder to an extra traffic lane - increasing capacity and improving journey time reliability on this vital route.

"The overall project will be completed well within our delivery plan target of 2021-2022, as set out in the Road Investment Strategy," the statement said.