Arup and Amey have jointly been awarded a £25 million contract by Highways England to provide major traffic management improvements to a number of junctions along the M1. The two firms will work together to provide a ‘smart’ highway design, and will evaluate the environmental and end user experience of the changes made to the highway. The contract is for a period of four years.
Highways England is a UK government company whose function is operating the A class highways of England. Although these roads only represent 2% of England’s roads by length, they carry a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic. Highways England is charged with maintaining and modernising the highway network, as well as dealing with incidents on England’s motorways through a Traffic Officer Service.
The contract has been awarded to the joint venture of consulting firms Amey and Arup through Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). The contract involves two major projects on the M1 system: the first is to relieve congestion between junctions 24 and 25 and the second project has a similar aim for junctions 13 and 16. The project aims to achieve its objective through the deployment of ‘smart’ highway design.
The ‘smart’ design involves a number of technology driven solutions designed to improve the highways, including strengthening of the hard shoulder, creation of emergency refuge areas, new signage, gantries and central reservation barriers. The work will also involve the assessment of the current performance of the 45 km of highways, with the aim to evaluate if the new design is an improvement to the user experience of the road, as well as to consider the work’s environmental impact.
Commenting on the contract, Tony Marshall, Global Highways Business Leader at Arup, says: “Highways England has made a strong commitment to deliver smart motorways within a strategic programme. We are delighted to be part of this programme delivery. By working in collaboration, we can help improve efficiency and safety on the strategic road network and reduce disruption. We are looking forward to working with Amey and the wider programme team, bringing innovation and international design and operational experience to the Smart Motorways Programme.”
Andy Milner, Managing Director of Amey’s Consulting and Strategic Infrastructure division, adds: “This project brings together the best of experience and talent from the private sector to deliver a new approach for Highways England’s Smart Motorway Programme. Our highly experienced consulting and engineering experts will manage the design of the project from the initial concept through to delivery, with a focus on reducing congestion and providing a sustainable solution for the M1. This project demonstrates our complete end to end capability from the development and design through to considering the operational and maintenance needs of road assets and surrounding infrastructure.”