Work to improve A1(M) congestion at Welwyn starts next week


A1(M) - Credit: Archant

Work to reduce congestion on the A1(M) at Junction 6 for Welwyn will start next week.

Roadworks on the A1(M) near the Letchworth Gate junction will be lifted over the Christmas and New Y

Roadworks on the A1(M) near the Letchworth Gate junction will be lifted over the Christmas and New Year period. - Credit: Archant

The £4.5million scheme is designed to ease bottlenecks at the “important junction”, reduce journey time for road users and improve safety.

It is part of the Government’s £317million ‘pinch-point’ programme, which aims to boost local economies by cutting traffic delays at key locations.

The roadworks are due to start on Monday, December 8, and will see around 9.5miles (15km) of the road improved.

Announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011, it will involve improving the existing northbound carriageway and slip roads at Junction 6, new overhead gantries, new surfacing on the road, new road markings, new safety fencing and improved drainage.

Subject to weather conditions, the work is scheduled to last for approximately four months.

The work will take place between 10pm and 6am from Monday to Friday, and will happen in two phases:

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* The first phase will begin on Monday until December 23, which will involve a full closure of the A1(M) northbound between Junctions 4 and 7.

The works will be lifted during the Christmas period and then continue on Monday, January 5 until January 16.

* The second phase will begin on January 16 until the end of March. This will involve closing the hard shoulder and lane one in both northbound and southbound directions between Junctions 5 and 6. A 50mph speed limit will be in place.

Full closures of the A1(M) will be required towards the end of the scheme in order to erect the new overhead gantries and further information will be provided in advance of these closures.

Highways Agency project manager Mark Saunders said: “This is great news for drivers travelling on the A1(M) in Hertfordshire as it will improve traffic flow between Junctions 6 and 7.

“By changing the layout of the A1(M) in this busy location the flow of traffic through the junction will be improved.

“The new layout will see lane one leave the motorway at Junction 6 and lanes two and three continue on to Junction 7.

“This will remove the bottleneck within the junction where lanes two and three currently merge.

“We’ll also be improving the on-slip by extending the slip road to give a greater distance for traffic to merge with existing A1 traffic.”

Mr Saunders added: “It will have a positive impact on drivers using this important junction.

“Once complete, the scheme will cut congestion and reduce journey times, and improve safety for drivers using this junction.”

During the overnight closures a clearly signed diversion route will be in place.

For northbound traffic at Junction 4, north of the Hatfield Tunnel, motorists will be diverted along the A6129, A1000, B197 and A602, to re-join the A1(M) at Junction 7, Stevenage.

The pinch point programme was developed with Local Enterprise Partnerships, and each of its 123 road improvement schemes is designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England.

The work is dependent on suitable weather conditions and dates may be subject to change.

* For real-time traffic information visit or follow the Highways Agency on Twitter at @HAtraffic_east