M1 roadworks area in Northamptonshire has seen 31 crashes in four months

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A total of 31 accidents have happened near the roadworks between junction 16 and junction 19 of the M1 since August, the Highways Agency has revealed.

They were among 277 crashes or breakdowns that have happened since the temporary narrowing of the M1 was first implemented to protect workers while they renew the central reserve barrier.

Bosses from the Highways Agency are now due to meet with police on January 15 about issues with the roadworks scheme, including: a high number of speeding offences in the 50mph-limited zone, accident trends (including number and severity), and what can be done to influence drivers’ behaviour.

In a letter to Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, Brian Gash, a project leader, said that, although bosses were reviewing procedures, there was a good reason behind the restrictions the £35 million works impose.

He said: “There are three narrow running-lanes on the M1 junction 19-16 scheme that are open to traffic – this provides the maximum number of vehicle lanes in each direction, in order to minimise disruption for road users.

“The narrow lanes have been introduced to provide enough space for the workforce to build the rigid concrete barriers.”