Public inquiry on its way for dangerous Catthorpe Interchange junction

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STEPS towards starting work on multi-million pound changes at the notorious Catthorpe Interchange have begun.

The Highways Agency has published a notice of intention to hold a public inquiry about the improvements to junction 19 of the M1 connecting with the M6 and A14.

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, said: “This is good news. This is a statutory procedure which the government has to go through. Once the public inquiry is underway, it means that it’s all starting.

“I’m hoping there won’t be any objections to the proposed scheme. Then we can get the bulldozers and diggers on site quicker.

“Let’s get on with it and stop all these accidents happening.”

The junction is widely known for being dangerous with many accidents, deaths and delays.

The long awaited improvement work, which would provide free flow links between the M6 and A14 and between the M1 and A14, was initially put on hold in 2010 by the government due to spending reviews.

At the time it was thought that work would have to be put off until at least 2015.

But at the end of 2011 it was announced that the work would be brought forward and begin earlier than planned.

However Lorry driver Paul Reed from Rugby thinks the plans are flawed and believes they are not the best solution for the danger junction.

He said: “I have designed a plan that links up all the routes and if there was an accident then the traffic would keep on flowing. I think the plans are flawed and should be looked at again.”

Mr Reed does welcome the fact that the Government has recognised that work should be carried out sooner rather than later.

He said: “I’m pleased they have started to take note of the severity of the accidents taking place.”

Mr Reed added: “This country has a tendency of doing road improvements - but only part of them. The having to come back a couple of years later and continue work on the road. Catthorpe is the heart of the country and this should be done as one project once and for all.”

Work could start on the Catthorpe junction as early as next year.