Any users of the M1 in recent months will be aware of the roadworks between Junctions 16 and 19. These roadworks mean this stretch of road has been narrowed with no hard shoulder.
There has been a worrying increase in accidents and incidents on this stretch and I have responded to calls from users and businesses to investigate.
I wrote before Christmas to the Highways Agency and the Minister for Roads. Then last Saturday night I went for a four hour patrol with a Northamptonshire Police Traffic Unit to hear first-hand about the issues with these works.
After hearing from those who know the issues best I called for the Highways Agency to review safety. For example, their patrols should not sit nearby waiting to be called to an incident but should be patrolling the road like the police. There is also a problem with potholes on the lane that used to be the hard shoulder, which was not built to withstand the volume of traffic now using it, and these need to be fixed quickly as they present a danger at high speed.
The good news is that, as the Chronicle and Echo have reported, the Highways Agency has heeded advice and agreed to introduce new safety measures.