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Four contractors appointed to £2bn Managed Motorways framework

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

Balfour Beatty, a BAM Nuttall / Morgan Est joint venture, Carillion, and a Costain/Serco joint venture 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.

A Skanska/Amey joint venture, Laing O’Rourke, Galliford Try and Sir Robert McAlpine all missed out on places on the framework.

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.”

Highways Agency 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.

Carillion is already working on the M6 J8-J10 Birmingham Box (Phase 2) scheme and a Costain/Carillion joint venture on the M1 J10-J13 scheme in Bedfordshire.

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

Managed Motorways with hard shoulder running are being delivered as part of the Government’s £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.

Contractors happy

Winning contractors were delighted with the contracts.

Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie said: “This is a strategically important win for Costain. We identified some time ago the trend towards prioritising capacity enhancement through efficiency initiatives alongside new road build. Our joint venture with Serco was formed specifically to win contracts like this. We are delighted to have secured this contract with such an important client and one that further strengthens our position as one of the UK’s leading solution providers in the Highways sector.”

Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler said: “We are delighted to have been named as a delivery partner by the Highways Agency for its Managed Motorways schemes. We have gained substantial expertise in recent years in using technology to actively manage traffic to improve safety, increase capacity and improve journey time reliability on major motorways.”

Morgan Est managing director for infrastructure services Jag Paddam said: “We are delighted our joint venture with BAM Nuttall has been one of the successful contractors to be awarded a position on the framework. It brings together the construction capabilities of two of the UK’s leading infrastructure services companies and we look forward to working together on this framework. This appointment reinforces the good working relationship Morgan Est has established with the Highways Agency. We will be able to provide them with vital systems installation and commissioning expertise which we have developed from working within our other sectors including rail and water.”

BAM Nuttall board director Steve Fox said: “This award has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of our team. We are looking forward to delivering an excellent product for the Highways Agency through collaborative working with our joint venture partner, the other Delivery Partners and with our supply chain.”

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