Extra police patrols set for Northamptonshire M1 roadworks as driver caught doing 104mph average through 50mph zone

M1 roadworks near Watford Gap services
M1 roadworks near Watford Gap services

Increased police patrols, more chevrons and extra reflective studs could all be put in place on the M1 to help prevent crashes between junctions 16 and 19.

Work to replace the central barrier has been taking place since August, with almost 100 accidents taking place in the meantime.

The Chron last week called for action to make the stretch, which has been deliberately narrowed with no hard shoulder, significantly safer.

The Highways Agency has now said, after talks with Northamptonshire Police, that both parties agreed patrols by officers should be increased to help deter people from speeding through the area, which has a 50mph average speed check. It is understood the patrols would be funded by the Highways Agency.

It comes after police revealed that one car had travelled the 20 mile stretch at an average of 104mph.

Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team tweeted: “Just processing the offences on #M1roadworks average speed system to find one vehicle has averaged 104mph through the 50mph limit #scary.”

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We take road user safety very seriously, and it is our utmost priority.

“We held a Road Behaviour Workshop on January 16, along with key representatives from the Northampton and Leicestershire road safety team, our contractors, recovery firms and staff from across the agency.

“The workshop resulted in a number of actions for the agency and local partners such as the police.

“For instance, we need to establish the cause of incidents here, check that drivers are observing the temporary reduced speed limits, and study traffic behaviour around this scheme.

“We will also seek to educate drivers about smart motorways, consider the use of spacing chevrons and reflective studs on the carriageway, encourage increased police patrols around the site, and create a communication campaign to promote safe driving.

“A follow-up meeting will be held in February, where partners will report back on progress.”