M1 junction 13 to junction 16: smart motorway

We’re improving the 23-mile section of the M1 between junctions 13 and 16 by upgrading it to an All-Lane Running (ALR) motorway to support economic growth and ease congestion in the area.

Start date Started
End date 2022-23
Cost £373 million

Latest updates

  • 01 July 2022

    Upcoming work and road closures

    Roadworks affect all journeys which is why it is important they are completed as quickly and safely as possible. Our overnight closures are under constant review and we aim to open the road earlier than the times displayed wherever possible. 

    Please be considerate of residents living along the diversion routes when travelling during these closures. Closures can only be installed once traffic flows are at their lowest. 

    The M1 will be closed on the following dates. Please note that these dates include a full weekend shutdown on Friday 8 July on behalf of the Northampton Gateway construction project

    M1 Northbound

    Date Duration Details

    Friday 1 July

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Junction 15a - 16 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Monday 4 July 

    10pm - 6am

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 1, 2 and 3 closed

    Monday 4 July for 2 nights

    10pm - 6am

    Junction 12 - 14 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Junction 14 - 15a Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Monday 4 July for 4 nights

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 15a entry slip closed

    Monday 4 July 

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 15a exit slip closed

    Tuesday 5 July

    10pm - 6am

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Wednesday 6 July

     

    10pm - 6am

    Junction 13- 14, Lanes 4, 3 and 2 closed

     

    Junction 14 - Junction 15 full carriageway closed

     

    Newport Pagnell Services closed

     

    Junction 14 entry slip closed
    Wednesday 6 July

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 15 - 15a Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Junction 15a exit slip closed

    Thursday 7 July

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 3 and 2 closed

    Junction 15 - Junction 16 full carriageway closed

    Junction 15 entry slip closed.

    Junction 15a entry slip closed

    Friday 8 July

    9pm - 6am

    Junction 14 - 15 Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Junction 14 - 15a Lanes 1 and 2 closed

    Friday 8 July

    9pm - 6am

    A45 Northbound full weekend closure from junction 15 roundabout to Wootton for Northampton Gateway construction project

    No planned closures northbound on Saturday 9 July and Sunday 10 July.

     

    M1 Southbound

    Date Duration Details
    Friday 1 July 9pm - 6am

    Junction 15a - 14 Lane 1 and 2 closed

    Monday 4 July for 2 nights 9pm - 5am

    Junction 15a - 15 Lane 3 and 2 closed

    Junction 15 - Junction 14 full carriageway closed

    Junction 15 entry slip closed
    Friday 8 July 9pm - 5am

    Junction 17 - 16 Lane 3 and 2 closed

    Junction 16 - Junction 15 full carriageway closed

    Junction 16 entry slip closed

    Junction 15a entry slip closed

    No planned closures southbound on Saturday 9 July and Sunday 10 July.

    Precise dates and times of the works may change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.  

    This page will be regularly updated as work progresses.

  • 23 June 2022

    Other M1 roadworks between junctions 8-9

    We are renewing road markings and studs (cat's eyes), repairing joints, resurfacing the carriageway, upgrading traffic signs, clearing vegetation and completing general maintenance. Once complete, drivers will have a safer and smoother road surface.

    We will complete this M1 work between junctions 8 and 9 over 14 weeks between Monday 27 June and Friday 30 September 2022. We will be working between 10pm and 5am on weeknights only, weather conditions permitting.

    Closures and Diversions

    Monday 27 June to Saturday 30 July:

    M1 northbound between junctions 8 and 9

    • Traffic will be diverted onto the A414 westbound, A4147 Maylands Avenue to Swallowdale Lane, Redbourn Road, B487 Redbourn Road and A5183 Dunstable Road to re-join the M1 northbound at junction 9. 

    Monday 1 to Saturday 30 August:

    M1 southbound between junctions 9 and 8

    • Traffic will be diverted onto the A5183 Dunstable Road, then the B487 Redbourn Road, Redbourn Road, Swallowdale Lane, A4147 Maylands Avenue and then take the A414 eastbound to re-join the M1 southbound at junction 8.

    Tuesday 30 August to Saturday 17 September:

    Junction 9 southbound exit slip road

    • Continue south on the M1, exit at J8 and head east on the A414, going round Breakspear way roundabout, return west on the A414, re-joining the M1 at J8 and then head north on the M1 to exit at J9.

    Monday 19 to Friday 30 September:

    A414 Park Street roundabout westbound to M1 junction 8 exit slip road

    • Motorway: Westbound traffic travelling from Park Street roundabout to M1 junction 8 exit slip onto A414 will be diverted southbound on North Orbital Road to M1 counter-clockwise at M1 junction 21A to join the A41 northbound to Two Waters Road northbound then to A414 St Albans Road eastbound to A414 Breakspear Way.
    • Non-motorway: Westbound traffic travelling from Park Street roundabout to M1 junction 8 exit slip onto A414 will be diverted onto Watling Street, St Stephens Hills A5183 northbound and westbound onto the A4147 to join A414 Breakspear Way

    Further details of the diversion routes and maps are available here

  • 07 March 2022

    Progress report

    Section between junction 13 and Newport Pagnell Services now fully open

    All temporary restrictions have now been removed and our upgrade of this scheme between junction 13 (Milton Keynes South) and Newport Pagnell Services has now opened to national speed limit. 

    The key changes you will see are as follows:

    • You will be able to drive between junction 13 and Newport Pagnell Services at the national speed limit.
    • There will be variable speed limits at certain times to smooth out traffic and tackle frustrating stop-start congestion.
    • The hard shoulder has been converted to a new fourth traffic lane in each direction, boosting capacity by a third on this vital route between London and the North.
    • If you get into difficulty, you can use one of 11 emergency areas.  

    The new radar Stopped Vehicle Detection (SVD) system identifies a stopped vehicle, typically within 20 seconds, and provides an alert to our control room. At the same time, it can also automatically display a ‘report of obstruction’ message to warn oncoming drivers of a stopped vehicle ahead. Our operators then set a Red X sign to close one or more lanes, adjust speed limits and deploy traffic officers.

    When the entire upgrade project between junction 13 and junction 16 (Upper Heyford Interchange) is fully completed, there will be places to stop in an emergency approximately every 0.9 miles.

    There will be some weeknight closures between junction 13 and 14 to allow us to install low-noise surfacing in two lanes - we’ll continue to share closure information via the usual channels. You can also subscribe to scheme updates here.

    Construction is continuing between Newport Pagnell Services and junction 16. We expect the scheme to complete by Autumn 2022.

    Our video explains more about the features that work to help keep you safe while driving on this upgraded section of the M1. You can also find more information and advice on our ‘Driving on motorways’ hub.

     

Project information

Give us your feedback

Visit our M1 J13-16 Smart Motorway feedback tool to have your say. The tool includes an interactive map. You can click on a location to make a specific comment, or give us your general feedback.

ECHO is a one-way feedback tool, so if you’d like a response to your feedback you can email the project team at: M1J13-16Smart@nationalhighways.co.uk

Map showing route

We’re converting the existing section of the M1 from Junction 13 at Milton Keynes South to Junction 16 at the Upper Heyford Interchange (A45 to Daventry, A4500 to Northampton) into a smart motorway. 

The project involves: 

  • converting the motorway between junctions 13 to 16 into four lanes of traffic with no hard shoulder 
  • installing 38 new (and two upgraded) emergency areas with emergency roadside telephones 
  • new overhead gantries and electronic signs to show the variable speed limits and provide driver information  
  • new and replacement safety barriers in the central reservation and verge areas 
  • CCTV cameras 
  • new noise barriers and partial replacement of the existing noise barrier 
  • planting trees and bushes to replace any removed during construction

 

Covid-19

During the pandemic, we are following Government policy which is that construction activity should continue where it can be done safely. All our sites have strict safeguarding measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and none of our sites are open to the public. With traffic volumes on our roads still lower than usual, we are taking the opportunity to push ahead with our work before traffic levels return to normal. We plan our work carefully in order to minimise disruption to motorists.

Safety

During the current roadworks, there is no place for motorists to stop or leave the motorway other than the exit slip roads or motorway service areas. A free vehicle recovery service is offered for motorists who breakdown in our roadworks.

Always try to exit the motorway immediately if your vehicle is damaged or experiencing difficulties. If this is not possible and your vehicle stops in the nearside lane (lane 1) and you feel able to exit safely with any occupants, try to exit your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door, and wait behind the safety barriers on the verge if it's safe to do so. In all cases, switch on your hazard warning lights.

 

The M1 is a key strategic road, carrying high volumes of heavy goods and other vehicles between London and the North. 

This project will help ease congestion and make journey times more reliable during busy periods on this stretch of motorway. 

Our project aims to: 

  • reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic to improve travel times and make journeys more reliable between BedfordshireMilton Keynes and Northamptonshire.  
  • support the economy within the region by providing much needed capacity on the motorway, reducing the cost of economic delay to commuters and business traffic 
  • maximise motorway capacity while maintaining safety on motorways 
  • minimise environmental impacts 

Traffic management

While we're carrying out this work, there will be narrow lanes on the motorway and a reduced speed. During the day-time, we'll keep three lanes open in each direction. To carry out essential works, off-peak lane closures and overnight full carriageway closures will be necessary, for example, when we put new gantries into position and resurface the carriageway. Wherever possible, we'll keep this to a minimum. Night-time working hours will vary depending on traffic conditions.

During construction, there will be:

  • Three lanes open to traffic in each direction
  • Free breakdown recovery service along the extent of the scheme
  • 24-hour CCTV coverage to identify incidents and allow timely recovery
  • Planned diversion routes

Length of roadworks

We're carrying out this work in a way that will create the minimum of disruption to drivers using this busy stretch of the M1.

We'll be working in phases to reduce the extent of roadworks and the timescales for completing the scheme. 

Roadworks and traffic management

Safety is at the heart of what we do. Working close to machinery and live traffic brings hazards, so it’s important that our staff have regular rest breaks. If it appears that work is only taking place on one small section of the road, staff may be on their rest breaks. Alternatively, they may be moving steadily along the coned-off lane.

Reduced speed limits help keep all road users safe, not just road workers. Roadwork sites can be dangerous places. The driving environment around roadworks can be very different from normal. There may be changes to the normal standard of carriageway, such as lane restrictions or contra-flow running, as well as works vehicles entering or leaving the site. Excavations, vehicles and equipment pose additional risks and the safety of road users is always our primary consideration.

Roadworks during public holidays

Where possible, we'll remove traffic management during public holidays.

M1 junction 11a to 14 North and South diversion

M1 junction 13 to 14 North and South diversion

M1 junction 14 to 15 North and South diversion

M1 junction 14 to 15a North and South diversion

M1 junction 15 to 15a North and South diversion

M1 junction 15 to 15a alternative diversion

M1 junction 15a to 16 North and South diversion

M1 junction 15 to 16 North and South diversion

M1 junction 16 to 18 North and South diversion

An environmental screening exercise at an early stage of the project indicated that it was considered unlikely there would be significant adverse effects resulting from the M1 junctions 13 to 16 smart motorway scheme. The key issues considered include:

  • air quality mitigation, in relation to housing and air quality management areas
  • surveys for protected species and habitats including bats, badgers dormouse and great crested newts
  • to minimise the loss of vegetative screening along the scheme and to design mitigation to reinforce screening for the future

Some sections of the existing noise barrier will be replaced with new sections of environmental barrier as they have reached the end of life. Additional noise barriers will also be delivered as part of the scheme design at a number of Noise Important Areas.

Documents

M1 junction 13 to junction 16 environmental study report (ESR)
ESR Appendix B - Air Quality
ESR Appendix C - Noise and Vibration
ESR Appendix D - Landscape and Visual
ESR Appendix E - Cultural Heritage
ESR Appendix - Affected Road Network 2021
ESR Appendix - Air Quality Management Areas
ESR Appendix - Committed Developments
ESR Appendix - Compliance Risk Road Network
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J13-14 northbound
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J13-14 southbound
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J14-15 northbound
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J14-15 southbound
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J15a-16 northbound
ESR Appendix - Construction Noise and Vibration diversion routes J15a-16 southbound
ESR Appendix - Construction noise. Areas of potential significant adverse effects
ESR Appendix - Construction vibration. Areas of potential significant adverse effects
ESR Appendix - Cultural Heritage Receptors
ESR Appendix - Discussion Region Receptors
ESR Appendix - Do Something Results 2021
ESR Appendix - Ecological Receptors
ESR Appendix - Enviromental Masterplan (mitigation strategy)
ESR Appendix - Flood Risk from Rivers
ESR Appendix - Landscape Character, Viewpoints and Visibility
ESR Appendix - Location and results of noise survey
ESR Appendix - Monitoring Locations
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Minimum comparison day time
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Minimum comparison night time
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Something comparison day time
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Long term Do-Something comparison night time
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Proposed Noise Barriers
ESR Appendix - Operational road traffic noise. Short-term comparison day time
ESR Appendix - Scheme Location
ESR Appendix - Surface Water Flood Risk
ESR Appendix - Verification Zones
ESR Appendix - Viewpoint Photographs

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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