Leicester

M1 diversion: Drivers warned to expect delays over weekend

Workmen on the M1
Image caption The M1 is being closed so a bridge can be put in place for the new Kegworth bypass in Leicestershire

Drivers including football fans and people catching flights have been warned to expect disruption while part of the M1 is closed over the weekend.

Junctions 23A to 24, near East Midlands Airport, will shut from 22:00 BST on Friday to 15:00 on Sunday.

Fulham FC fans had asked for the closure to be put back an hour because of their match against Derby County.

But Segro, which is putting a bridge in place for a new bypass, said it had advised of the closures since March.

'A whole load of chaos'

Highways England authorised the motorway closure but is not involved in the construction of the Kegworth bypass.

Former MP Tom Greatrex, who is chairman of the Fulham Supporters Trust, expects to be stuck in congested traffic for several hours after leaving the Pride Park stadium in Derby on Friday night.

He asked Highways England if they could close the road an hour later.

"It's not Highways England's fault as the game has been scheduled at short notice on a Friday night, but I thought it might make a bit of sense to avoid a whole load of chaos by starting an hour later," he said.

"The closure is going to start at 10 o'clock and at about quarter to ten, roughly, there will be about 30,000 other people coming out of the Derby ground.

"I would expect a chunk of those would normally be heading towards the M1 by car."

Image copyright Segro
Image caption People will be able to drive along the A453 instead while the M1 is closed

Segro said in a statement: "This project has taken months of intricate work with numerous organisations and we began advising of the closures in March to help people plan their diversions.

"Given the high level of planning and coordination involved in this project, we regret that we can't change the timings this close to start of the operation.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fulham are playing against Derby County at Pride Park on Friday night

Traffic was stopped for more than four hours on Friday morning on the northbound carriageway of the same stretch of motorway.

This was after a truck was involved in a crash and shed its load.

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