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Disappointment at premature Highways Agency announcement

Friday, October 4, 2013

Meg Munn MP has expressed her disappointment at the lack of safety concerns in a press statement issued by the Highways Agency yesterday concerning the M1 motorway.

The MP is unhappy that the Highways Agency has decided to press ahead with their proposals without consideration of the very real safety concerns that she, and many others including South Yorkshire Police, have expressed over the past ten months.

The Highways Agency announced that plans for a ‘managed motorway’ scheme between M1 junctions 32 and 35(a) will start in late Spring 2014, with work between junctions 28 and 31 starting earlier in the year.

Meg Munn MP has been vocal in her demands for a thorough review of the safety issues surrounding the managed motorway scheme, including its impact on the enforcement capabilities of the police. She also fears motorists may not be able to reach ‘refuges’ to be built at the side of the motorway and wants assurances that CCTV monitoring of the motorway will take place at all times.

Yesterday’s announcement is all the more disappointing given that the Department for Transport appeared to have given a genuine commitment for further discussions of the proposals before implementing the scheme.

Meg said:

It’s astonishing that the Highways Agency thinks it’s acceptable to publish the proposed changes when I am still waiting for confirmation that safety concerns have been resolved.

There is still unease as to why the change to using the hard shoulder needs to be 24 hours a day. Where it has been tried elsewhere, it is peak hours only.

Vehicle speeds are much faster outside of peak times and the police believe it will cost lives.”

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