National Highways has tabled three design options to improve the M1/M62 Lofthouse junction near Leeds.
The three options have been put out to public consultation, with the public urged to provided feedback on the proposals.
Approximately 75,000 vehicles move through the junction every day, leading to significant queues at peak times and disrupting the journeys of thousands of road users. Travel demand is set to grow over the next 30 years, with National Highways estimating that 107,000 vehicles will to use the interchange every day by 2044.
Option A – New roundabout
The existing roundabout was built in the 1960s and now requires regular maintenance to keep it safe. This option will replace the existing roundabout with a new one with additional lanes built to the latest standards. It will require less maintenance which means there will be less disruption to road users. If traffic volumes continue to increase in the future, the existing traffic problems at the interchange may return within five years with this option.
Option B – New free flow link
Free-flow links allow drivers to travel from one motorway onto another, without having to stop at a roundabout or traffic lights. Option B would see a new free-flow link connecting the M1 northbound to the M62 eastbound. It would pass through the centre of the interchange to reduce the additional land required and help to minimise the environmental impact. The existing roundabout would still be retained and would require regular maintenance work to keep it fit for purpose. As with Option A, if traffic volumes continue to increase in the future, the existing traffic problems may return within 15 years, at which point another project may be required to provide further improvements.
Option C – Full free-flow interchange
New free-flow links would be provided between the M62 and M1 to remove the need for vehicles to stop at the interchange. The new free-flow links would pass through the middle of the junction to reduce the additional land required and help to minimise the environmental impact. The existing roundabout would no longer be required and would be demolished, avoiding the current and future delays caused by maintenance work.
The consultation runs until 10 December, with feedback helping National Highways develop its planning application for a development consent order (DCO), should the scheme be developed further.
National Highways project manager Andrew Potter said: “We’re asking as many people as possible to have their say on the options under consideration. Road infrastructure improvements affect everyone. They help us move around the country and connect with one another, whether we are driving, cycling or walking.
“It’s essential that we understand people’s views so we can ensure we deliver the right scheme to make the Lofthouse interchange fit for the future.
“Feedback from this public consultation will help us understand how the proposed options impact road users and the local community. People will be helping to shape the scheme and maximise the benefits as we progress the design.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere added: “Works to improve this busy junction will help ensure that this crucial interchange is fit for the future, creating safer, faster and better journeys for people in West Yorkshire as we continue to build back better from the pandemic. Therefore, it’s really important that as many local people as possible give their feedback through the consultation process.