Latest smart motorway goes live on M6

16/04/2014
Highways Reporters

The latest stretch of smart motorway has opened to traffic on the M6 near Birmingham.

Opening the hard shoulder to traffic during the busiest times between junctions 5 and 8 on the M6 is expected to improve journey times, especially around Birmingham. The opening comes just in time for this weekend’s Easter bank holiday getaway.

The opening of this section marks a milestone for the Highways Agency, after several years of investment in this section of the M6. This 10 mile stretch means the benefits can now be felt continuously from junctions 4 to 10.

Highways Agency, project manager Rob Edwards, said: “Drivers will reap the benefit of the government investing more than £111 million on this stretch of the M6, with improved journeys and a boost for the economy.

“The move to smart motorways began in the Midlands on the M42 in 2006. This scheme brings the latest technology to the M6, despite the difficult engineering challenges we faced with the motorway being elevated.

“More than 160,000 road users stand to benefit each day, now we can open the hard shoulder during the busiest times.”

The smart motorway was delivered within budget working closely with contractor Carillion. More than 1,700 people have worked on the scheme since construction began in April 2012, almost 30% of whom were from the local area. The project included installation of 21 new gantries, refurbishing three existing gantries, resurfacing over 100,000 square metres of carriageway, laying more than 78 miles of cabling and constructing six emergency refuge areas.

The improvements use a range of technologies and operational systems to reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic. During busy periods, traffic officers will set overhead message signs to inform drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane and at what speed to drive.

Neil Taylor, operations manager at the West Midlands regional control centre, added: “The information displayed along the motorway has been carefully designed to be intuitive, so drivers should stay alert and follow the information they see.

“They should only use the hard shoulder when there is a speed limit displayed above it. If there isn’t a speed limit, or there’s a red X over it, then it’s for emergency use only.”

The M6 smart motorway launch is the second to go live this week, with drivers on the M25 now also reaping the benefits as an eight-mile section in Hertfordshire became a smart motorway on Monday (April 14). Here the hard shoulder is being used as a permanent running lane to reduce congestion.
Highways jobs

Project Engineer (Permanent)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Project Engineer (Fixed Term)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Head of Highways & Transport

Lewisham London Borough Council
up to £72,705
As our lead expert on highways and transport, you will set the direction and lead on all transport related matters Lewisham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lewisham London Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director

Hounslow London Borough Council
Up to £82k
Working across a wide range of high profile direct services, the emphasis for this role is on partnership working. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Head of Parks and Environmental Services

Harrogate Borough Council
£58,778 - £61,882
You will have experience at a senior level in the management and delivery of front line services relevant to the functions Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Harrogate Borough Council

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Principal Transport Planner – 2 posts (Warrington Waterfront Western Link)

Warrington Borough Council
£40,760 - £43,662 plus essential car user allowance
We are looking to form a new Warrington Waterfront Western Link Team and we are looking to fill a number of key posts Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
G11
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Zero carbon roads?

Modelling the future

A breath of fresh air

View the latest issue

Latest Video