A1(M) work will improve traffic flow, says Highways Agency

The lane arrangement will be altered northbound near Welwyn heading towards Stevenage.

The lane arrangement will be altered northbound near Welwyn heading towards Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Work to relieve congestion on the A1(M) between Welwyn and Stevenage is due to start next month – although it does not include widening the road.

As part of its Pinch Point Programme, the Highways Agency will be improving the northbound carriageway and slip roads at Junction 6 to improve traffic flow between Junctions 6 and 7.

The work will include changing the current road layout to provide a lane drop at Junction 6

Two running lanes will then continue to Junction 7, which is expected to remove the existing pinch point where the road goes from three lanes to two.

The agency will also extend and amend the existing layout of the Junction 6 entry slip road with the installation of two new sign gantries on the approach to Junction 6 northbound.

The scheme will cost around £2.2million with the first phase running from December 8 to 22. The second phase will run from January 5 to March 27.

During peak times, motorists queue at the junction due to the carriageway reducing from three lanes to two between the slip roads and traffic on the main carriageway having to merge with traffic entering the A1(M) from the junction slip road. The stretch of motorway at the junction carries 39,000 vehicles per day.

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The Highways Agency claims the changes will improve traffic flow.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps, has been calling for the road to be widened alongside the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Peter Lilley, and MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland.

They have called the junction a ‘blight on one of the UK’s economic powerhouses.’

The Highways Agency’s Pinch Point Programme is designed to improve problem areas on the road network. A total of around £300 million in government funding has been given to the programme.