M11 motorway: Lorries to be banned from overtaking near Junction 9 (Saffron Walden)

A NEW daytime overtaking ban for heavy vehicles on a section of the M11 in north-west Essex will be trialled for 18 months from Monday April 12. The overtaking restriction will affect lorries of 7.5 tonnes and over and will be in operation where the motor

A NEW daytime overtaking ban for heavy vehicles on a section of the M11 in north-west Essex will be trialled for 18 months from Monday April 12.

The overtaking restriction will affect lorries of 7.5 tonnes and over and will be in operation where the motorway passes over a hill near Saffron Walden, just south of Junction 9 (for the A11).

The aim is to reduce congestion and cut the risk of accidents caused by slow-moving traffic on the two long uphill sections, where the motorway is only two lanes wide. By keeping heavy vehicles to the inside lane only, the Highways Agency hopes to ensure a clear outside lane for faster, lighter traffic.

The restrictions will apply to a 2.5 mile (4 km) section of the northbound carriageway, starting just before the exit for Junction 9, while the southbound restrictions will apply to just under one mile (1.5km) of the motorway, starting 0.8 miles (1.25 km) north of the bridge carrying Strethall Road over the M11.


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The overtaking ban will run daily from 7am to 7pm, starting on Monday April 12.

Peter Smith, Highways Agency Area Performance Manager, said: "The motorway here is just two lanes wide, with a long uphill gradient, and heavy goods vehicles make up 20 per cent of the traffic. Heavy vehicles slow down on the uphill slope and when they try to overtake each other, it can block the motorway and slow down the traffic for several miles.

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"Drivers of vehicles caught up in the resulting queues become frustrated and that leads to an increased risk of accidents and further traffic delays.

"We will trial the restriction, which requires trucks of 7.5 tonnes and over to remain on the inside lane only, for an 18-month period so we can assess its effectiveness as a solution to traffic queues and reducing the risk of accidents caused by slow-moving vehicles."

Trials held in other parts of the UK have brought a welcome cut in congestion on the motorways involved and improvements to journey time reliability. Results indicated that overall average journey times have improved for non HGVs. HGV journey times remained unchanged in the morning peak and improved at other times.

Signs advising drivers of the Highways Agency's Journey Time Trial will be installed alongside the M11 and should be completed by the end of March.

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