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Highways England sets out plans for £1.5bn in motorway upgrade projects

The agency has announced six joint-venture companies have been appointed to design and build the motorways, with three projects to start in autumn this year, comprising two in the Midlands – M1 J19 to J16 in Northamptonshire and the M5 J4a to J6 in Worcestershire, and one in the North West – M6 J16 to J19 near Stoke-on-Trent.

The smart motorway schemes, part of the £15bn government investment Highways England is delivering between now and 2021, will see 292 extra lane miles added to motorways. The hard shoulder will be converted to a traffic lane and signing and technology will tell drivers what speed to drive at, if lanes are blocked or closed and about incidents up ahead.

Construction contractors appointed are Balfour Beatty and VINCI joint venture, Costain and Galliford Try joint venture, and Carillion and Kier joint venture. With designers being CH2M and Hyder joint venture, Amey and Arup joint venture, and Jacobs and Atkins joint venture.

Valued at up to £1.55bn in total, this is the second major procurement to be awarded under the company’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). The first was the appointment of designers and contractors for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement, which was announced last month (June).

Roads minister Andrew Jones said: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing more than £1.5bn over the next five years in upgrading congested sections of motorway. This means better journeys for millions of people across the country, easier access to jobs, and stronger links between towns and cities. This is good for the economy and good for Britain.” 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.