Stevenage motorists react to so called improvement works on the A1(M)

The work aims to reduce congestion on the road.

The work aims to reduce congestion on the road. - Credit: Archant

Multi-million pound improvement works aimed at removing a bottleneck on the A1(M) south of Stevenage have been completed – but motorists are already crying foul.

The £4.5 million Highways England project to the existing northbound carriageway and slip roads of Junction 6 for Welwyn replaced the road surface, markings and safety fencing and improved the drainage but also changed the motorway layout as it heads north towards Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth.

Highways England project manager Mark Saunders said: “The new layout has improved this busy junction as lane one now leaves the motorway at Junction 6 and lanes two and three continue on to Junction 7. This has removed the bottleneck within the junction where lanes two and three used to merge.

“The on-slip has been extended to give a greater distance for traffic to merge with existing A1(M) traffic.

“The improvements are substantially complete and we’ll be carrying out some finishing off works between now and mid-summer to install the new overhead gantry signs.”

Many Comet readers disagreed that the works have improved traffic flow on the motorway.

Commuter Chris Sedgwick said: “You are not going to solve the issue by trying to work around the elephant in the room which is the fact that the A1(M) goes from three lanes to two on the Welwyn-Stevenage section.

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“With further house building continuing in Stevenage and north of the town the problem will only get worse.”

David Noble uses the road and said: “Improvements! What a joke! I often suffered under the old road system of three lanes into two but after experiencing the new layout I wondered if £4.5m could have been better spent on leaving it as it was!

“I joined the motorway at Junction 4 last week and within a couple of minutes was down to second gear.”

There are still minor works to finish and the road will be closed fully overnight for two nights. In addition to this there will be some overnight hard shoulder and lane one closures in order to erect the new gantries.

Further details will be announced nearer to the time. For more visit www.highways.gov.uk.

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