Upgrade of the A1(M) motorway between junction 6 (Welwyn Garden City) and junction 8 (Stevenage north) to Smart Motorway. The hard shoulder will be converted into a permanent running lane to provide three lanes in both directions for the whole of this length of motorway, a communications upgrade will be carried out and variable speed limits installed.
This section of motorway was previously earmarked for conventional widening to dual three lanes. In its current form, this scheme will be the first time that a Smart Motorway with "All Lane Running" has been installed on a dual two-lane motorway. It is likely to significantly improve the heavy traffic and congestion that is regularly experienced on this part of the A1(M), but may exacerbate problems on the two-lane section south of Hatfield.
One driver for this scheme is the potential for 13,000 new homes adjacent to the three junctions involved here. If they are built, it's not clear whether the A1(M) will be any less congested than it is now.
This scheme is part of the Smart Motorways programme of works.
With thanks to Sam West for information on this page.