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

Strategic Director Growth and Regeneration

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Funeral Operative (As and When)

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,274 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
The person will not need previous experience in funeral services as full training will be given but experience would be an advantage. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Senior Engineer – Transport Policy

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£38,800 - £52,600
This is an exciting opportunity to improve road safety and create healthy streets in a busy and dynamic central London borough. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Environmental Health Officer / Health and Safety Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum plus performance related pay
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge/understanding of Health and Safety legislation.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Head of Operations

Rossendale Borough Council
£49,408 - £52,899
The Head of Operations is a key leader in the Senior Management Team. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recruiter: Rossendale Borough Council

Commercial Officer

Rossendale Borough Council
£25,801 - £29,636
We are keen to improve our recycling levels, tackle the climate change agenda and take pride in our open spaces. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recruiter: Rossendale Borough Council

Principal Electrical Asset Officer

Birmingham City Council
£34,788-£42,683
The role requires the post holder to be a key technical specialist for the Authority’s Highways Electrical Asset Management function, providing... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Transport Planning Officer 

Plymouth City Council
£32,878 - £42,683
This is a full time position (37 hours per week) with flexible working arrangements. Plymouth, Devon
Recruiter: Plymouth City Council

Highways & Drainage Team Manager

Newport City Council
£37,849 - £40,760
You will be skilled at analysing multiple sources of information, making excellent decisions, and driving difficult situations towards a... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Housing Lead)

Mole Valley District Council
£37,821 - £42,329
An exciting opportunity for a Senior Environmental Health Officer to join our forward thinking Environmental Health Partnership Oxted, Surrey
Recruiter: Mole Valley District Council

Street Works Compliance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Director - Planning and Transportation

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
£81,495 per annum
We are looking for a highly accomplished, ambitious and determined Chartered Town Planner to join the Growth Directorate’s leadership team. Tameside, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £34017 per annum
This opportunity is to be offered on a 6-month, fixed term / secondment contract basisInterviews scheduled to be held Friday 17th April Job Purpose Es England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highway Electrical Maintenance & Installation Operative (Street Lighting) Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice x 3

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Safety, Health & Environment Technician Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director, Environment & Regeneration

Brent Council
Circa £155,000
Brent is the Borough of Cultures - the most diverse in London - and as a Council we believe in delivering for our communities. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Street Cleansing Operative x6

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,466.00 - £20,835.00
This role will involve working as an individual as well as part of a team, litter pick the streets in the local area, empty the litter bins. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer - Grade 3

Northumberland County Council
£27,905 - £31,371
Assistant Engineer (Structures) - Band 7 (SCP 24-28) The Council Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the ... County Hall, Morpeth
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside:

  • Exclusive: Self-assessment results
  • Keeping up momentum on major roads
  • The Lifelines Resilience approach
View the latest issue

Latest Video