M62 J25 - J30 Smart Motorway

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Part of the Trans-European Road Network, the M62 Smart Motorway scheme is of strategic importance on a regional, national and international scale. Atkins developed an innovative design for this project to provide 15.5 miles of extra road capacity to reduce congestion and provide safer journeys for motorists.

The design includes the use of Dynamic Hardshoulder Running and All Lane Running (ALR), where the existing hard shoulder is converted into a running lane. This is the first scheme in the UK to implement ALR and this approach delivered savings of around £3 million as less technology was required.

To deliver this scheme two months ahead of schedule and under budget, our design team worked collaboratively with main contractor BAM Nuttall/Morgan Sindall Joint Venture (bmJV) and client, the Highways Agency.

Innovation was key to successful delivery such as 3D modelling, developed by Atkins. These models informed the design process so well and achieved early buy in from stakeholders to new layouts that it led to a reduction in infrastructure requirements, saving the project £9 million. The 3D models were able to replicate views from properties allowing impacts to be determined and minimised as well as facilitating early engagement with residents to agree mitigation measures if required. The models were also able to replicate CCTV camera images ensuring full coverage of the scheme and also meant that cameras were positioned in the right place, first time.

Atkins’ design team were also behind the introduction of 19 metre span cantilever sign/signal gantries, the longest to be installed on the network. These cantilever gantries reduced costs and minimised the impact on the local environment including visual intrusion to local residents.

Officially opened in September 2013, the scheme has seen around 15 minutes taken off the average journey for all road users.

Key facts

West Yorkshire, Northern England

United Kingdom

Highways Agency


Winner, Major Projects category
CIHT Awards 2014

Centenary Award, Certificate of Excellence
ICE Yorkshire and Humber Awards 2014





UK Europe

Alan Dalley
Chief engineer, Transportation
T: +44 1925 23 8207
E: alan.dalley@atkinsglobal.com


  • The M25 is the busiest road in the UK and strategically important to the economy. Atkins is part of the Connect Plus consortium including Balfour BeattySkanska and Egis Road Operation UK which was appointed by the UK’s Highways Agency in 2009 to manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.

    As part of this 30-year contract to manage and enhance London’s orbital motorway network, we are delivering lifecycle maintenance and major improvement projects. These include widening 38 miles of the M25, refurbishing tunnels and bridges, delivering Smart Motorways with all lane running and installing hundreds of variable messaging signs and gantries, helping to maximise the use of the network and deliver more reliable journeys. We also manage the Dartford River crossing, and operate and maintain 440km of this economically strategic road network providing our customer and road user with a world-class highway service.

    Delivering the first significant widening programme before the London 2012 Olympic Games was a huge challenge, and to meet the deadline the design and construction had to be twice as fast as previous comparable projects, expending around £1 million per day and widening the motorway at a rate of 1.6km/month.

    The second phase of widening includes the transition to all-lane running. Section 5a (Junctions 23-25) and Section 2 (Junctions 5-7) went live in April 2014.

    The contract transfers the investment risk in lifecycle maintenance to the Joint Venture for 30 years and requires us to meet challenging performance requirements. Atkins is involved in all aspects of maintenance scheme delivery, from data gathering and inspections, through solution evaluation and whole life costing to detailed design and management of activities on the network. Some 200 individual schemes are progressed in any 12 month period and as such works must minimise road user impacts. This has driven innovation in many areas for example; solutions for concrete pavement repairs, major bridge joint renewal and bridge deck waterproofing replacement.

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