A REVAMPED former accident blackspot linking major roads around Rugby was officially opened today (Thursday March 16).
The £191million upgrade to the Catthorpe Interchange – where the M1, M6 and A14 meet – will improve traffic flow for the 150,000-plus vehicles which travel through the area every day.
Highways England Chairman Colin Matthews said: “The new interchange has made a huge difference to people’s journeys by improving access to the A14 corridor and removing queueing traffic on the M1, M6 and A14 approaches.
“I know it has been talked about for many years, and it’s easy to see benefits of smoother and more reliable journeys on these key routes.
“The improvement means journeys will be shorter and safer, with more vehicles able to pass through, and less congestion.
“This project has been delivered on time and on budget and is a great achievement for our own team and our contractors.”
A new east-west link between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford now runs beneath the M1-M6 link, and the M6, and connects the villages with the A5.
And for the first time in over 20 years local traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are separated from long-distance traffic, particularly HGVs.
Highways England has also created a new public right of way/bridleway between Swinford and Catthorpe, a footway alongside the new local road between Swinford and Catthorpe and a new footpath to the north of the A14, as well as areas for wildlife and trees.
Speed restrictions have been lifted from all carriageways except the M1 southbound, where the current 50mph restriction remains in place from just north of the A14 eastbound as part of the ongoing M1 junction 16-19 smart motorway scheme.
Around 250 people have been killed or seriously injured around the interchange over the past two decades.