§ Mr. Greg Knight
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the M1 motorway in both directions between junctions 23 and 25 to be devoid of lane closures due to roadworks. 
§ Mr. Spellar
I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the right hon. Member.
Letter from David York to Mr. Greg Knight, dated 9 April 2003:
Tim Matthews has been asked by the Transport Minister, John Spellar, to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about roadworks on the M1 Motorway between Junctions 23 and 25. I am replying as Tim is currently away on Highways Agency business.
There are two schemes currently being undertaken on the M1 north of Junction 23. which are expected to continue until Spring 2004. The first, involving major maintenance work to resurface the carriageways with low noise material and renew drainage installations between Junctions 24 and 25, began in January. That work is expected to be complete by June. (Phase 1, about which I wrote to you in March last year following a previous Parliamentary Question, was completed in early summer 2002.) The second involves upgrading the motorway communications in this area and extends from Junction 24 to Junction 27.
Wherever practicable, the Agency seeks to combine roadworks, as is being done here, in order to minimise disruption to road users. For the resurfacing/drainage work a contraflow system is in operation with three lanes of traffic running in each direction between 6 am and 8 pm (10 pm Friday and 9 pm Sunday) and a 50 mph speed restriction applies for safety reasons. When lane closures are required, work is normally scheduled either overnight or outside peak periods, in accordance with the target set for us by ministers to ensure that at least 98.5% of running lanes are available for use during peak hours. The majority of the communications upgrading work is being carried out at night with closure of lane one and the hard shoulder.
I should add that further minor works art planned at Junctions 23A and 24 but, due to the nature of the work and the potential disruption that would be caused to the surrounding road network, these will not go ahead until the current -major works are completed. They are programmed for completion during this financial year.
This is a particularly heavily used length of motorway. The Agency is doing all it can to keep disruption to a minimum but I am afraid there will inevitably be some delays at peak times.
If you would like any further information, Iftikhar Mir, the Agency's Route Manager for this length of the MI, would be pleased to help. He can he contacted at our offices at Broadway, Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1BL, or by telephone on 0121 678 8025.