M6 extension wins road safety award

12/12/2013
Highways Reporters

The M6 extension scheme has won a road safety award in recognition of measures put in place to protect drivers and road workers.

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Award is presented annually to the scheme that has made the greatest contribution to improved road safety in the UK.

The project, which opened in 2008, was given the award after the European Road Assessment Programme studied 2,700 separate road sections across the UK and found that the safety record along the 10km section was Britain’s most improved.

Designed by Capita, the £108m M6 extension project closed the ‘Cumberland Gap’ – a six mile non-motorway section from Carlisle to Gretna – to provide a seamless motorway network between Glasgow and England’s south coast for the first time. The project involved a mixture of new road and the upgrade of the existing A74, as well as two major bridge structures.

Capita’s work on the project started in 2003 when it was commissioned by contractor Carillion Roads (working on behalf of client the Highways Agency) to provide design and construction supervision services on the scheme.

Capita focused on a design that safeguarded:


  • The workforce and the 45,000 vehicles that used the existing road each day throughout the construction period. This was achieved by careful consideration of where and how to widen the existing dual carriageway


  • Users of the new motorway. This was achieved by designing a road with clear visibility that reduced surface spray, minimised conflict and was subject to a series of independent safety audits before opening


  • Workers carrying out maintenance to the motorway. This was achieved by producing a ‘Design for Maintenance’ guide which identified and removed risks associated with maintenance activities


David Knight, Capita’s project director, said: “We are delighted to receive this award which underlines the quality of our Carlisle based design team.”
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