M1 UPDATE: Drivers warned to take extra care on new ‘smart motorway’

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Drivers are being warned to take extra care on the M1 in the coming weeks as the new ‘smart motorway’ opens.

Between now and March 17 a 20-mile section of the M1 in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire will see the hard shoulder permanently converted to an extra ‘live’ lane – resulting in four lanes of traffic.

Highways England is testing technology between junction 28-31 and will open the route in phases by March 17.

During this phase there will be a 50mph speed limit. But once completed, all four lanes will operate at 70mph.

Drivers are advised to take note of the overhead electronic signs, which operate variable speed limits.

Joanne Wehrle, education manager for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Drivers should bear in mind that in the event of a breakdown they should try to make it to one of the emergency refuge areas that are being provided at 1.5 mile intervals.”

More information: www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/M1-Junctions-28-31