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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Water way to ensure safer journeys on the A1(M)

An inventive approach to creating safer journeys is literally shaping the future of travel on the A1(M) in North Yorkshire.

National Highways had been monitoring the Oak Grange stretch south of junction 53 (Scotch Corner) and found that, in heavy rain, water took longer to clear effectively and was sometimes collecting on one lane of the road surface before draining, creating more difficult driving conditions and a higher risk of aquaplaning.

What followed was a meticulous process which saw engineers reshape the carriageway to create a new, longer ‘rolling crown’ - where the road is reshaped so the crown, or highest part of the surface, runs diagonally over an extended section across all lanes of the northbound carriageway.

The reshaping removed all flat spots from the surface, allowing water to flow away more effectively into drainage channels. The transformation has now been completed and tests have shown the measures have been successful.

National Highways Project Manager Ted Chamberlain said:

“Safety is always our top priority and we need to make sure all our roads are as safe as they can possibly be, whatever the weather.

“We worked closely with our designers and contractors to develop a solution to the issues, and make these vital improvements.

“Water drains away from the surface more quickly now and, as this is a permanent change, the road won’t require specialist measures in the future so we can keep traffic running smoothly along this section.”

Road users are encouraged to continue to drive safely in periods of bad weather. More advice on travelling in different weather conditions can be found on National Highways’ road safety pages. National Highways has also introduced a handy guide called TRIP to help motorists prepare for their journey. Topping up anti-freeze in your car and checking your tyres are inflated to the correct air pressure are just two important things you can do to prepare for driving this autumn.  

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