Highways England green lights £1.5bn motorway upgrade

24 Jul 15

A £1.5bn project to upgrade six motorways in England has been confirmed by ministers.

Highways England has signed deals to build ten sections of 'smart motorway' across the country, covering three parts of the M1, one part of the M4, one stretch of the M5, three sections of the M6 and parts of both the M20 and M23.

The contacts for the scheme, which were awarded on Wednesday, are the second major procurement to be awarded under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework since the company was formed by government in April.

Under the smart motorway schemes, 292 extra lane miles will be added by converting hard shoulders into lanes that can be used by traffic at busy times. This is done by installing technology and signage to tell drivers when the lanes should be used, and this signage will also give instructions on what speed to drive at, if lanes are blocked or closed and about incidents up ahead.

Roads minister Andrew Jones said the deal was part of the government’s £15bn investment road investment programme for the next five years.

“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,” he added.

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