Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
5:08 PM 26th February 2024

Motorists Urged To Allow More Time To Travel As Central Barrier Upgrade Gets Under Way On M1 Near Leeds

Drivers in West Yorkshire are advised to allow more time for their journeys as an upgrade of a 10-mile stretch of the central safety barrier on the M1 begins this Friday (1 March).

National Highways is replacing the existing wire rope barrier on the M1 between junctions 43 (Belle Isle) and 47 (Parlington) with a stronger concrete version.

National Highways Project Manager, Daniel Edwards, said:
“This vital upgrade will make this route even safer. Concrete barriers reduce the risk of vehicles crossing over from one carriageway to the other. As well as improving safety for the thousands of people who use this route every day, it will reduce congestion related to any incidents.

“We’re dividing the scheme into two sections. The first, between junctions 46 and 47, will start in March and is expected to last around seven months.

“The second section between junctions 43 and 45 will begin in August and is likely to take nine months. During this phase, we’ll also be improving the lighting.”

To keep drivers and the workforce safe, the M1 will be reduced from three to two lanes in both directions, 24 hours a day, with a reduced speed limit in place. This is expected to lead to congestion in this area, particularly during afternoon peak periods as commuters make their way out of the Leeds area.

Daniel added:
“If you plan to travel on that route during this period, especially during peak periods, we advise you to plan your journeys in advance and allow additional time to travel. You may even wish to plan alternative routes if possible.

“We are aware there are ongoing schemes in the area and we’re all working together to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum as much as possible while we complete this vital safety work.”

From Friday 1 March there will be overnight closures on the M1 between junctions 45 and 47 to install the traffic management. Closures are due on this stretch of carriageway in both directions, although they will only be in place in one direction at a time.

These closures will be between 8pm and 6am, Sunday to Friday night, for three-and-a-half weeks, with the final closure taking place on 26 March. There will be no closures on Saturday nights during this period. Signed diversions will be in place.

The closures will also allow the M1 to be reduced from three to two lanes, with a reduced 50mph speed limit and free recovery provided throughout the area under traffic management. This will keep drivers and the workforce safe.

The outside lane of the M1 southbound between junctions 46 and 47 will be closed from 2 March, with the outside lane of the M1 northbound being closed from 8 March.

There will be a mixture of both daytime and nighttime shifts to get this first phase completed as soon as possible.

From August, work will start on the second section between junctions 43 and 45. The same traffic management will be in place for around nine months, with closures at the start and end of the scheme to install and remove it.

You can find out further details about the work on the National Highways Yorkshire and North East website. If you would like any further information or have any queries, please contact the 24/7 customer care line 0300 123 5000 or email