M1 Traffic News, Updates and Travel Information

The M1 motorway connects London to Leeds and stretches for 193.6 miles. It opened in 1959 as the UK’s first motorway – it actually featured the very first motorway services, Watford Gap – and was built in four phases. When the M1 first opened, it was a very different highway than it is today; in its early days there was no speed limit for vehicles and no crash barriers or central reservation.

The M1 starts at Edgware in North London and ends between Micklefield and Aberford, just outside Leeds. It connects to several other highways, with junctions giving access to the M25, M45, M6, M69, M18, M62, M621 and A1M. It also covers ten of the UK’s counties, from London to Yorkshire, and is therefore one of the busiest and most important motorways in the country. The M1 connects major cities including Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.

There have been a number of extensions to the motorway with a new section added as recently as 1999. There have also been widening projects on the M1, notably between J6a and J10, and J31- J32, in both cases to add a fourth lane to the highway. Perhaps the most interesting section of the M1 is the two-level structure of the Tinsley Viaduct. The M1 takes the upper bridge of the motorway and the A631 passes to the lower level.

To stay up to date on M1 traffic news, visit this page to check for potential delays on your trip.

The worst junctions on the M1

If you are planning to travel on this highway, it is worth checking out the latest M1 traffic updates to avoid traffic jams, road works and accidents. The M1 is one of the UK’s busiest motorways and features intersections that experience a buildup of traffic.

Junction 6a

This junction can be extremely busy – this is where the M25, the ring road surrounding London, meets the M1.

Junction 6

J6 of the M1 connects the A405 and Watford, and also gives access to the M25. Traffic can be heavy and slow, with motorists being limited to low speeds.

Junction 24

This is the Kegworth interchange in the East Midlands, but it provides connections to the A6, A50 and A453, so you can imagine the potential and frequent traffic jams. Work to improve the crossroads and its surroundings began in 2017.

Junction 42

The M62 interchange is constantly busy – not surprising given that it is the junction point of two of the UK’s largest motorways. The M62 provides access to some of the larger northern towns of Liverpool, Manchester and Hull.

Accident hot spots on the M1

As with all UK motorways there is always a risk of an accident on the M1 although excellent safety precautions are in place. Always check M1 traffic information to be aware of any accidents and avoid these areas if possible during your journey.

In 2017, there were several deaths after a collision involving two trucks and a minibus – the incident occurred between Junctions 14 and 15, near Milton Keynes. The section between Junctions 21 and 22 has also seen recent accidents, resulting in lane closures, while the area between Junctions 12 and 13 – in the Bedford area – has been seen as an accident hotspot.

Upcoming major road works on the M1

As you would expect from a large motorway network, the M1 is regularly the subject of road works, improvements and works in progress. Use the RAC Route Planner service and note M1 trip news to take into account your trip delays.

The major road works to come on the M1 include:

M1 Junction 13 to 16 – work is planned to transform this 24 mile section of the M1 into an All-Lane Running smart highway. The expected end date for this is June 2021.

M1 Junction 23a to 25 – currently in operation, this £ 120million scheme aims to create a smart highway. Scheduled to end at the end of 2018, several traffic diversions are in place to manage the disruptions.

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