Variable speed limits improve journeys on M1

Highways Reporters

Variable speed limits are being introduced on the M1 to maximise benefits of the widened motorway in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

The Controlled Motorway system between junctions 25 (Sandiacre) and 28 (Pinxton) will enable the Highways Agency to manage traffic during periods of peak congestion, or following an incident, by varying speed limits to smooth out traffic and reduce the risk of further collisions.

Controlled motorways use sensors in the road surface to detect the speed, volume and flow of traffic. The system calculates the best speed to keep traffic moving, reducing the level of 'stop-start' traffic that leads to congestion.

Drivers will start to see the speed limit appear in a red circle - which means it is enforceable by law - on electronic signals on overhead gantries. Nottinghamshire police are responsible for enforcing speed limits on this section of the M1.

Highways Agency project manager, Andrew Robinson-Morris, said: “The construction work to widen the M1 between junctions 25 and 28 was delivered ahead of schedule, providing more capacity for road users earlier than planned.

"The Controlled Motorway system, installed as part of the widening scheme, will bring even greater benefits to drivers on this busy section of the M1 – helping to reduce congestion when needed and make drivers' journeys safer and more reliable by smoothing traffic flows.”

The Controlled Motorway system is already being used successfully on the M25 between junctions 10 and 16 and on the M42 between junctions 3a to 7.
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