The Midlands: New M1 and M5 emergency areas planned

Fifty-four new emergency areas are planned for the M1 in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire and the M5 in Worcestershire with construction due to begin from the beginning of April.  

These new emergency areas are as follows: 

  • Six on the M1 between junctions 23A and 25 in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire (due to begin Tuesday 2 April 2024)
  • Eighteen on the M1 between junctions 28 and 30 in Derbyshire (due to begin Tuesday 2 April 2024)
  • Ten on the M5 between junctions 4A and 6 in Worcestershire (due to begin Tuesday 2 April 2024)
  • Twenty on the M1 between junctions 16 and 19 in Northamptonshire (due to begin Tuesday 16 April 2024)

National Highways is investing £390 million to give drivers on its network further opportunities to pull over into a safe space should they break down or experience difficulties while driving.   

It committed to building more than 150 emergency areas in January 2022 and progress has been made in both designing and delivering the programme.  

Thirteen have already been installed and opened for traffic – eight on the M1 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and five on the M6 in Staffordshire. Construction is already under way on 12 more emergency areas on the M1 in South Yorkshire, 10 between junctions 30 and 31 on the M1 in Derbyshire, and 12 on the M6 between junctions 21A and 26 in Cheshire.  

Emergency areas provide a place to stop for drivers in an emergency if they are unable to leave the motorway or stop at a service area. They are clearly signed at regular intervals and have bright orange road surfaces to help identify them.    

Each area is 100 metres long meaning there is ample space for all types of vehicle. They are also equipped with emergency telephones linking directly to our control rooms to get help on the way quickly. 


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