100 speeding fines each day through Northamptonshire stretch of roadworks on the M1

M1 roadworks taken from the bridge at Watford Gap services. NNL-150127-152518009
M1 roadworks taken from the bridge at Watford Gap services. NNL-150127-152518009

More than 3,000 speeding fines are being issued every month through the roadworks on the M1 north of Northampton.

At least 100 people are caught exceeding the 50mph temporary speed limit in the section of motorway between Catthorpe and Northampton West every day, according to Northamptonshire Police.

In October, 3,407 were caught by the average speed cameras, followed by 3,612 in November and 2,261 in December.

Roads policing inspector Ian Wills said the high figures were a sign many motorists were driving dangerously through the roadworks.

He said: “More than 200,000 people use the M1 through Northamptonshire every day and the vast majority drive sensibly and within the speed limit.

“Unfortunately, there is a small minority who ignore the limits. This is particularly dangerous in the current roadworks, where cars pass just metres away from people working on the road and sections of the hard shoulder are closed. We have already seen one fatality in the roadworks and we do not want to see any more.”

Insp Wills said motorists should avoid tailgating others, particularly lorries, and avoid swapping lanes when the signs say it is forbidden.

If people do break down or are involved in a collision, he urged them to get out of their vehicles as soon as possible.

Since the roadworks started in August, there have been seven incidents which have resulted in injuries.

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‘No wonder there are so many collisions on the M1,’ say readers

Dozens of Chronicle & Echo readers have backed MP Michael Ellis’s call to review the road safety measures in place between junctions 16 and 19 of the M1.

But those using the stretch regularly say motorists need to take responsibility for the large number of collisions since the works started.

Peter Burton, of East Hunsbury, said: “How are so many people having accidents on a straight road? This is where I believe

the standard of driving in this town is poor.”

Colin Toal wrote on Facebook: “I’ve lost count of the number of times an HGV has sat 10 foot from my bumper. If I have to brake suddenly it’s me who’s gonna get crushed.”

But some, including reader David O’Leary, say the roadworks’ lack of lighting and narrow lanes must shoulder some of the blame.

He said: “Why are the teams not working 24/7? Why isn’t the Highways Agency doing ALL they can to complete these works?”