Work is on track to finally begin widening the A1(M) in March 2020, reducing traffic and putting an end to the chaos that it currently causes.

This news is the latest development in a long-running campaign, fronted by local MP Grant Shapps, to improve the often grid-locked motorway, which has left residents concerned about emergency access to services at Lister Hospital.

The section between Junctions 6 and 8 is designed to remove traffic jams and cut traffic through the surrounding villages by converting the hard shoulder into an extra lane for road users.

With the lowest average speeds of any stretch of the A1(M), Welwyn Hatfield is finally “getting the improvements that it desperately needs”, said the MP in a recent update meeting with bosses from Highways England.

Mr Shapps also received the welcome news that it will be less than 60 seconds travel between emergency areas along the stretch. The Smart Motorway technology will keep traffic moving at a steady speed, and will provide room for emergency vehicles to get through when needed.

The local MP continued, “The long-awaited £170million investment in the area is vital to improving transport links, access to businesses and medical services in the area.”

Working with local colleagues such as Paul Smith, borough and county counterparts, Mr Shapps has been working to get this improvement since before he became MP for the area.

“I am delighted that this lengthy campaign has succeeded in getting these much-needed upgrades and thrilled that it will be starting in March.

“I have been given assurances that the work will be completed by 2022 and will continue to meet regularly with bosses from Highways England to ensure that they keep to this deadline.”

The latest quiet-road technology will also be utilised across all three lanes to reduce the noise to surrounding areas created by excess traffic.