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Highways Agency reconsiders widening

The Highways Agency is reconsidering ten motorway widening schemes, including the majority of the M1, in favour of using the hard shoulder for traffic.

In its latest Business Plan published today the body outlined how it will spend its £1.2 billion roads improvement budget.

Sections of the M1 now being reconsidered include:

• J10-13
• J21-30
• J30-31
• J32-34
• J34-37
• J37-39
• J39-42

In addition the M25 J23-27 and M62 J25-28 may see the use of the hard shoulder in favour to traditional widening.

The A1 Dishforth to Leeming scheme is the only major project set to start this year despite plans for the £5 billion M25 widening to go ahead.

According to the business plan construction on the first phase between junctions 16 and 23 is not scheduled to start in 2008/09, but is expected to be open by summer 2012.

The £944 million A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton works have also been excluded from the list of projects due to start construction in 2008/09.

The agency will expand its CCTV coverage of the roads network with 70 additional low-cost cameras to be installed over the next three years.