Northampton stretch of the M1 branded 'dangerous' by readers after multiple crashes last week

The M1 Smart motorway works between junctions 16 and 13 have been criticised for being too dangerous. Editorial image only.
The M1 Smart motorway works between junctions 16 and 13 have been criticised for being too dangerous. Editorial image only.

A stretch of the M1 through Northampton has been labelled as 'dangerous' by Chronicle and Echo readers after the motorway was closed twice last week due to accidents.

Last Wednesday a 60-year-old van driver was killed in a fatal collision with a lorry just south of junction 15 for Northampton.

The southbound carriageway of the motorway was shut for several hours as emergency services attended the scene.

Two days later, crashes on both the north and southbound carriageways of the same stretch saw the motorway shut in both directions.

In reaction to the collisions, Chron readers have expressed their concerns over the ongoing Smart motorway works being carried out by Highways England between junctions 13 and 16.

Reader Tom Burrows said they were the most 'dangerous roadworks I've ever seen'.

"Where they have moved the white lines and left the old ones down is confusing people," he said.

"I use this stretch of road every day and I've never seen so many accidents. Completely the fault of the companies doing the work, something should be done."

Reader Matt Bellhouse told a similar story.

He said: "The main issue causing this is the poor job they've done painting over the old lane lines.

"In the morning you're driving towards the sun, which, when shining on the road, it shows the painted over lines as if they're still there, so it's easy for people to get confused over which are the new smaller lanes from the roadworks."

Dozens more chipped in with similar comments, stating how the old white lines were clearly causing confusion in the 50 mph zone.

Highways England project sponsor, Tabatha Bailey, told the Chron: “We take safety incredibly seriously and that is why we have temporary speed limits in place along this stretch of the M1. We will always review existing measures that are in place and act where necessary to make any changes.”

It is not the first time Highways England has faced criticism over its safety measures carrying out motorway improvements here in Northamptonshire.

The works to extend the Smart motorway scheme between junctions 16 and 19 were criticised because may felt the lanes were too narrow. During a six-month period, more than 150 accidents were reported on that stretch.

When completed, the Smart motorway works between junctions 16 and 13 will enable the carriageways to run with four lanes and will be regulated by variable speed limits depending on the amount of traffic.