Catthorpe Interchange

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Map of the junction

The Catthorpe Interchange is a major intersection at the southern end of the M6, the western end of the A14 and Junction 19 of the M1 near the village of Catthorpe in Leicestershire, England. It was developed in 1994 when a link to the A14 was added to the pre-existing M1/M6 junction by joining the M1, M6 and A14 to the country lane between Catthorpe and Swinford.[1][2]

The interchange currently handles 100,000 vehicles per day, is overloaded and has a poor safety record.[3] Traffic attempting to avoid the interchange causes congestion and nuisance in nearby towns and villages.[3] The Highways Agency acknowledged[4] that the layout of the interchange resulted in a serious accident problem, inconvenience for those wishing to travel between villages in the area, and delays and congestion for both motorway and non-motorway traffic.[5] Work began in January 2014 to upgrade the junction to a new free-flowing layout.

History[edit]

1940s map showing alignment of A427 overlaid with current roads

The interchange was created in 1994 to join the newly established A14 east-west trunk road, which is part of the Trans European Road Network, with the existing M1 and M6 motorways. A non-standard layout was adopted and a sub-standard dumb-bell roundabout was created to handle the A14 traffic, and which is now grossly inadequate.[6]

Prior to the junction with the A14 being created, there was a simple fork junction, opened in 1971, joining the M6 to the M1. At that stage traffic, travelling from Birmingham on the M6, wishing to travel North and East left the M6 at junction 1 to join the A426 road.

The interchange is now grossly overloaded.[6] In the five years prior to March 2010, more than twelve people have been killed, and many more have been seriously injured in crashes at the interchange, dubbed as the 'mad mile'.[7]

Current Redevelopment[edit]

M1 Jct 19 Improvement Scheme[edit]

M1 Jct 19
Proposer Highways Agency
Status in progress
Type road
Cost estimate (high) £302m
Cost estimate (low) £201m

By 1998 the government recognised that the intersection was a bottle-neck in the strategic highway network and suffering serious safety and congestion problems.[6] In March 2005 the contract for the planning, design, management and construction of the scheme through the Statutory Procedures from preparation of draft Orders to completion of construction was awarded to Skanska/Jacobs Babtie and the Highways Agency started working with Skanska to prepare the plans for a Public Inquiry. Public consultations were held in July 2008 and a preferred route was selected in 2009.[8] In June 2010, as part of the government's budget cuts, the project was delayed until after 2015. This resulted in the planned public inquiry being postponed until closer to the construction date.[9] On 13 December 2011 roads minister Mike Penning announced that £150 million had been made available for junction improvements.[10]

The preferred option was for a three level junction that would separate motorway/trunk road traffic from local traffic completely and provided limited interchange opportunities for through traffic:

  • M1 southbound to A14 eastbound - but not to M6 northbound
  • M1 northbound to M6 westbound - but not to A14
  • M6 southbound to M1 southbound and A14 eastbound - but not to M1 northbound
  • A14 westbound to M1 northbound and M6 northbound - but not to M1 southbound

Full construction began on 6 January 2014 and the scheme is expected to open for traffic in Autumn 2016. [11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The M6 Motorway (Catthorpe Interchange) Connecting Roads Scheme 1987", Statutory Instruments: 1987 No. 2254 (UK government) 
  2. ^ "The M1 Motorway (Catthorpe Interchange) Connecting Roads Scheme 1987", Statutory Instruments: 1987 No. 2253 (UK government) 
  3. ^ a b "M1 Catthorpe Interchange improvements delayed". BBC News. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  4. ^ "M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme", Highways Agency, accessed 2014-01-01
  5. ^ "Firms criticise motorway proposal". BBC News. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  6. ^ a b c "M1 Junction 19 Improvement Explanatory Statement" (PDF). Highways Agency. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  7. ^ "Plans for Catthorpe Interchange go on display near Rugby". Coventry Telegraph (Trinity Mirror Midlands). 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  8. ^ "M1 Junction 19 Improvement" (PDF). Highways Agency. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  9. ^ "Postponement of Public Inquiry 17th June 2010". Highways Agency. 2010-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Catthorpe interchange improvement scheme to get £150m". BBC News (BBC). 13 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 52°24′11″N 1°10′36″W / 52.40306°N 1.17667°W / 52.40306; -1.17667