UK Government

Highways Agency: National Framework Contract awarded to deliver congestion-busting Managed Motorways schemes

Press Release   •   Feb 17, 2010 09:57 GMT

A national framework contract for up to £2bn of work has been awarded today (Tuesday 16 February 2010) to deliver Managed Motorways schemes to reduce congestion, improve safety and make journey times more reliable on key sections of England’s motorways.

Four contractors [see Notes to Editors] have been appointed by the Highways Agency to deliver the first phase of these innovative schemes. The contract brings together companies from across the industry under one framework – giving the Agency the best delivery capability to ensure value for money at a project and programme level.

Transport Minister, Chris Mole, said:

“Managed Motorways use a range of innovative technology to improve traffic flow during busy periods. Features such as variable speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder to traffic at peak times provide more reliable journey times, reduced congestion, and safer journeys.

“I am delighted that the Agency has appointed the contractors to deliver these schemes. Doing so under one framework contract ensures greater efficiency and best value for money.”

Major Projects Director, Nirmal Kotecha, said:

“This National Framework Contract is about getting the best out of this Government investment. This will be achieved by the four contractors – our Delivery Partners - working in partnership to standardise processes and solutions, and maximising economies of scale in procurement.”

The framework contract is expected to deliver the following Managed Motorway schemes (subject to funding and completion of any relevant statutory processes):
- M62 hard shoulder running between junctions 25 and 30 near Bradford
- M1 hard shoulder running between junctions 32 and 35a east of Sheffield
- M6 hard shoulder running between junctions 5 and 8 near Walsall, Birmingham
- M60 hard shoulder running between junctions 8 and 12 east Manchester
- M62 hard shoulder running between junctions 18 and 20 north of Manchester
- M4/M5 hard shoulder running around Bristol from M4 Junction 19 to M5 Junction 17

- Other schemes which improve capacity and traffic flow, utilising technology to make journey times more reliable, improve safety and provide driver information, could also be delivered under this framework contract.


Notes to editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. The Delivery Partners appointed to the national framework contract for the delivery of the first tranche of Managed Motorway schemes are:
- Balfour Beatty
- BAM Nuttall / Morgan Est Joint Venture
- Carillion
- Costain/Serco Joint Venture

A contractor is already appointed for the M6 J8-J10 Birmingham Box (Phase 2) scheme and the M1 J10-J13 scheme in Bedfordshire, and work is underway on these schemes.

Procurement for the remaining Managed Motorways schemes for delivery by 2015 is likely to be under a similar framework contract.

3. Managed Motorways with hard shoulder running are being delivered as part of the Government’s up to £6bn investment to improve the national road network. Traffic using the hard shoulder at peak times – hard shoulder running – will deliver improvements more quickly than motorway widening. As well as providing more reliable journey times it will add capacity – at a lower cost than a more conventional road widening scheme, and with fewer environmental impacts.

4. See "Britain's Transport Infrastructure - Motorways and Major Trunk Roads: document published on 15 January 2009. It details the locations where, as part of the Government's up to £6bn national roads programme, the Highways Agency will be adding capacity to the motorway and major trunk road network, including through hard shoulder running.

5. The M42 Junction 3A to Junction 7 Active Traffic Management scheme (referred to as Managed Motorways in subsequent schemes) near Birmingham has shown that hard shoulder running can provide the benefits of motorway widening at significantly lower costs and without the need to acquire additional land.

6. About Hard Shoulder Running on the M42:
* Hard shoulder running on the M42 near Birmingham is proving popular with road users, with 60% of drivers questioned in the West Midlands wanting to see the scheme implemented elsewhere.
* The benefits of hard shoulder running on the M42 includes journey time reliability was increased by 22 per cent and personal injury accidents decreased from an average of 5.1 per month to 1.8.
* It has also been good news for the environment, with vehicle emissions reduced by up to 10% due to traffic flowing more smoothly.

7. Where hard shoulders are opened up as running lanes this only happens following the implementation of significant safety features. Emergency refuge areas are provided at regular intervals; the network is intensively monitored by HA Regional Control Centre staff and speeds are controlled to ensure safety.

8. For more general information about the Highways Agency and its work, visit the Highways Agency website, or telephone the Highways Agency Information Line on 08457 50 40 30 at any time (Calls to 0845 numbers will cost no more than 4p per minute from BT residential landlines. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary).

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