The £2bn plan to increase motorway capacity through use of hard shoulders and overhead gantry signalling has been delayed, in the latest cutback to the transport spending programme.
The Highways Agency announced four contractors for its Managed Motorways delivery framework earlier in the year: Balfour Beatty; Bam Nuttall / Morgan Est Joint Venture; Carillion; Costain / Serco Joint Venture.
Work was due to start in October on the first scheme to be delivered through the framework, between junction 25 and 30 on the M62 in West Yorkshire.
However, the Highways Agency has said that the whole Managed Motorways programme is on hold until after the Government's spending review is complete.
The framework was expected to deliver the following schemes:
- M62 hard shoulder running between junctions 25 and 30 near Bradford
- M1 hard shoulder running between junctions 32 and 35a east of Sheffield
- M6 hard shoulder running between junctions 5 and 8 near Walsall, Birmingham
- M60 hard shoulder running between junctions 8 and 12 east Manchester
- M62 hard shoulder running between junctions 18 and 20 north of Manchester
- M4/M5 hard shoulder running around Bristol from M4 Junction 19 to M5 Junction 17
Managed Motorways use a range of technology to improve traffic flow during busy periods. Features include variable speed limits and use of the hard shoulder at peak times.