Early start urged for motorway work
Hauliers and members of the public have called on the Highways Agency to make an early start on the preferred option for a £300 million motorway junction improvement.
A public inquiry into the project at the M1/M6/A14 interchange at Catthorpe will be held on March 5. Work could start by the spring of next year.
The scheme favoured by the agency would see roundabouts removed to be replaced by a free-flow scheme linking the M6 with the A14.
Traffic travelling south on the M6 would be able to join the London-bound carriageway of the M1.
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Southbound M1 traffic would also be able to join the A14
Objectors have proposed alternative schemes, including a southward link from the A14 on to the M1 and a northern link from the M6 on to the M1.
The alternative proposals for the junction, which is used by more than 100,000 vehicles a day, are not accepted by the Highways Agency.
John Howells, regional director for the Road Haulage Association, said: "We fully support the improvement programme proposed by the Highways Agency.
"We do not support tinkering with what is being proposed. It is necessary to get rid of this pinch-point which has caused many serious accidents and regularly causes congestion."
Husbands Bosworth parish councillor Melvyn Forman said: "Every time there is a problem at the interchange, our village suffers from diverted traffic.
"We support the route being proposed by the Highways Agency. We want the work to start as soon as possible."
A Leicestershire County Council spokesman said: "The council does not believe the alternative layouts provide significant additional benefits and welcomes implementation of the published scheme without further delay."
The inquiry will be held at the Holiday Inn at Crick, Northamptonshire, near junction 18 of the M1.