Motorists are being urged to find out more about plans to transform the M1 in South Yorkshire at a series of public exhibitions.
The Highways Agency is planning to make a number of changes to the motorway, adding extra capacity between Junctions 28 and 31 , between Mansfield and Aston and Junctions 32 to 35a, between Thurcroft and Chapeltown.
The upgrade is part of a £24 billion investment in motorways and A-roads by 2021, which is worth about £94 million to £133m for the M1.
When the works are finished, the M1 will be four lanes from Junction 25, near Nottingham, to 35a, except across Tinsley Viaduct, which will increase from two to three. It will also become a ‘smart motorway’, between Junctions 32 and 35a, which means speed limits can be varied along the road.
The barrier dividing carriageways will also be swapped for a ‘safer’ concrete one.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “This will relieve congestion and smooth the flow of the traffic, improving safety and journey times. These benefits will also support economic development in the region.
“We already have evidence of the benefits a smart motorway scheme can bring.”
The first managed motorway scheme opened on the M42 in the West Midlands in 2006.
The spokesman said: “Recent analysis has found journey time reliability improved by 22 per cent and reduced emissions by up to 10 per cent due to traffic flowing more smoothly.
“Also, personal injury accidents have reduced by more than half since hard shoulder running was introduced.
“There was also an overall reduction in the severity of accidents, with zero fatalities and fewer seriously injured.”
Exhibitions are being held on Friday, October 10, from 2pm to 7pm, and the following day,from 11am to 4pm, at The Source, at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre, and on Saturday, October 18, from 11am to 4pm, at Brinsworth Community Hall, Rotherham.