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M1 Motorway

We have been at the forefront of initiatives to increase the capacity of one of the UK’s busiest motorways, the M1 between London and Leeds, over a number of years.

  • Client: Highways Agency
  • 44 existing structures upgraded


Between junctions 25 and 28 in Nottinghamshire we provided multidisciplinary design consultancy as part of an integrated delivery team. Over a length of 24km, the carriageway was widened to four lanes to increase capacity, and 44 existing structures were upgraded.

The scheme was the first UK motorway widening scheme to be constructed without major disruption to traffic flow, by working on both carriageways simultaneously and without the use of contraflow.

We proposed an innovative reduced-width cross-section design reducing costs while maximising the use of the existing construction width. 

This approach, coupled with the contractor’s use of an innovative traffic management system using movable steel barriers, enabled three lanes of traffic in each direction to flow throughout the construction period, and contributed to considerable savings on the budget and programme.

We also provided technical and site assurance services as the employer’s supervisor on a £300m scheme to add an extra lane to 17km of motorway between junctions 6A and 10, which carries around 160,000 vehicles each day.

The project won a number of Highways Agency Major Projects Awards in 2008, for Safety, Environment and Customer Delivery and a Civil Service Programme award in 2009.

Following on from this success, the Highways Agency appointed our Strategic Roads team in Leeds to undertake studies and design services for the Managed Motorway scheme proposed between junctions 39 and 42. 

This is one of the most heavily congested sections of motorway in the north of England, and this £185m scheme is part of an initiative to deliver capacity, environmental and sustainability improvements through innovative solutions at 40% less cost than conventional widening schemes. 

We delivered multidisciplinary design feasibility solutions to maximise the scheme traffic and economic benefits whilst minimising the environmental impacts of improvement options.