Highways England has invited companies to join the £4.5bn Smart Motorway Alliance to improve motorway journeys and continue the work to connect the country.
The government company, which has begun the procurement process for the alliance, needs six partners for 10 years to develop a smarter network to create extra capacity to relieve congestion so that more traffic can use the motorways.
The infrastructure used for creating the capacity will also form the foundations for connected vehicles to use the motorways in the future.
The alliance is the second part of the Highways England’s Routes to Market procurement approach. Earlier, it announced the companies it will work with on Regional Delivery Partnership deals worth £8.7bn.
Highways England’s CEO Jim O’Sullivan said: “We want a step change away from traditional thinking and more towards creating value. We want companies that can learn from their experiences, and work together to deliver ever improving efficiency and productivity.”
Highways England has worked with the supply chain to develop the model.
The infrastructure leading approach will improve performance and assist in the delivery of several schemes that will increase capacity and reduce congestion on motorways, while improving safety.
Highways England is seeking three on-site delivery partners, two digitally enabled design partners and one production management partner.
The six partners will work with Highways England to achieve better safety, through better aligned and common working practices and reduced time on site; more efficient delivery, through a programmatic approach that will drive standardisation, production and off-site assembly; improved customer service with a reduction in time for works and minimising disruptions for road users; and increased investment in skills and innovation from the supply chain.
The contract is outcome-focused and the partners will be collectively responsible and rewarded based upon delivering efficiencies.
The alliance puts integration and collaboration between Highways England and the supply chain at the heart of the smart motorway programme.
Image: Smart motorway in Manchester. Photo: Courtesy of GOV.UK.