Press release

Over £1.5 billion of investment to upgrade motorways in England

As part of £1.5 billion investment to build ten “smart motorways”, Highways England has today (22 July 2015) appointed six joint-venture companies to take this programme of work forward.

A smart motorway on the M25

Three of these projects will start in autumn this year: two in the Midlands - M1 junction 19 to 16 in Northamptonshire and the M5 junction 4a to 6 in Worcestershire, and one in the North West - M6 junction 16 to 19 near Stoke-on-Trent.

The smart motorway schemes, part of the £15 billion 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 £1.55 billion, 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 £1.5 billion 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.

Highways England smart motorway programme director, Andy Watson, said:

We have awarded these contracts to the companies who demonstrated to us they will work together, across all the projects, not just the ones they have been awarded. They proved they are driven to get the best results on price, quality and on reducing impact on road users: keeping the motorways flowing while they construct these vital improvements.

The Balfour Beatty and VINCI* joint venture has won a package for the construction of the M5 junction 4a to 6 smart motorway in Worcestershire, starting this autumn at a value of £45.4 million.

They have also been appointed to develop two future schemes: the M6 junction 2 to 4 in the Midlands, expected to start work in 2017/18, and the M4 junction 3 to 12 in London and Berkshire due to start work in 2016/17, at an estimated combined value of up to £562 million. Proceeding to construction phase with this joint venture will be subject to various performance criteria being met during the construction of the M5 junction 4a to 6 scheme. CH2M and Hyder joint venture have been appointed as the designers for these two future schemes, valued between £25 million and £30 million.

The Costain and Galliford Try joint venture has won a package for the construction of the M1 junction 19 to 16 smart motorway in Northamptonshire, starting this autumn at a value of £65.39 million.

They have also been appointed to develop two future schemes: the M1 junction 24 to 25 in the East Midlands, and the M1 junction 13 to 16 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, both expected to start work in 2016/17, at an estimated combined value of up to £302.3 million. Proceeding to construction phase with this joint venture will be subject to various performance criteria being met during the construction of the M1 junction 19 to 16 scheme. Amey and Arup joint venture have been appointed as the designers for these two future schemes, valued between £20 million and £25 million.

The Carillion and Kier joint venture has won a package for the construction of the M6 junction 16 to 19 smart motorway in Staffordshire and Cheshire, starting this autumn at a value of £129.5 million.

They have also been appointed to develop three future schemes: the M6 junction 13 to 15 in Staffordshire, the M20 junction 3 to 5 in Kent, and the M23 junction 8 to 10 in Surrey and West Sussex, all expected to start work 2017/18, at an estimated combined value of up to £345 million. Proceeding to construction phase with this joint venture will be subject to various performance criteria being met during the construction of the M6 junction 16 to 19 scheme. Jacobs and Atkins joint venture have appointed as the designers of these three future schemes, valued between £20 million and £25 million.

The move to construction phase on projects starting after 2015/16 is subject to those projects continuing to be value for money and successful completion of any statutory processes.

The value of construction and design contracts for the future schemes is indicative as they are in the early development phase. Highways England will work with the contractors to agree final target costs.

There is wealth of information on our website about smart motorways including how they work and what drivers will see.

*VINCI’s subsidiaries are VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Taylor Woodrow.

This news release, amended on 13 August 2015 to clarify the arrangements around the appointment of the joint venture contractors for construction of the projects starting work after 2015/16, replaces the version of the news release issued on 22 July 2015.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 22 July 2015