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Projects of the decade: MOUCHEL

Mouchel’s work on the Birmingham Box Managed Motorways scheme is part of a wider national strategy being rolled out to make the most of our motorways.

Birmingham Box Managed Motorways Phase 1 and 2

Project description

Following on from the successful pilot of the Active Traffic Management project on the M42 in the Midlands, close to Birmingham, the Highways Agency has now committed to a rollout of further stretches of Managed Motorways across the UK. This is a new approach, making the best use of our motorways and taking advantage of Variable Mandatory Speed Limits (VMSL), Hard Shoulder Running (HSR) and associated technology.

The initial phases of this wider national programme are being delivered as part of the Birmingham Box Managed Motorways Phases 1 and 2 scheme.

These include the deployment of Managed Motorways technology and operational regimes onto the M40 J16 to M42 J3A, M42 J7 to J9, M6 J4 to J5 and M6 J8 to 10A.

These measures will deliver a total of 34 carriageway kilometres of HSR and over 23 carriageway kilometres of VMSL.

Other parties

Highways Agency


£149M via Productivity Transport Innovation Funding

Mouchel’s role

Mouchel is the consultant appointed by the Highways Agency to design the schemes, provide overall project management and the completion of various site based roles including that of ECC Project Manager, Engineer’s Representative of HA third party contracts and Health and Safety Coordination (CDMC).


Time was the greatest challenge as the project was part of an accelerated programme and the team achieved successful delivery within tight constraints of the timing, going from the start of detailed design, tender, through to construction and operation in approximately two years. In fact, the M6 (J4 to 5 HSR) went operational four weeks ahead of the ministerial commitment and four months ahead of the original programme.

Start / Finish

The detailed design started in October 2007 with HSR being delivered on the M6 J4 to 5 by November 2009. HSR is programmed for delivery on the M6 between J8 and 10A by March 2011.

Interesting facts

Delivered 2008/09 annual spend target of £41M to within 0.71% of budget

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