M1 extension wasn't the best route to follow
As a regular traveller between Belfast and Enniskillen, I have reservations concerning the extension to the M1.
This is essentially a dual carriageway rather than a real motorway extension. As such it has two faults.
Firstly, the parking areas have no slip road to rejoin the inner lane. Thus a driver has to wait in first gear and judge whether it is safe to proceed when there are cars in the distance travelling at speeds of up to 70mph. This is not easy - especially when one will have to accelerate briskly so as not to slow down oncoming cars.
Secondly, there is no hard shoulder, just a drainage ditch, so that it would be difficult to get a car out of the inner lane in the event of a breakdown.
A driver stopped in the inner lane would cause problems for oncoming cars. These would have to slow and switch to the outer lane. These are serious faults. Most drivers are travelling at speeds between 70 and 80mph on this dual-carriageway.
Would it not have been wiser to have constructed a real motorway? Maybe it would have run for a lesser distance, but removal of the many parking areas would have alleviated any extra cost.