M4/M5 Smart Motorway

We delivered south west England’s first Smart Motorway, installing state-of-the-art technology to improve journeys.

As Smart Motorways, the M4 and M5 now respond to traffic conditions to ensure road safety and increase traffic capacity. Innovative cables beneath the road relay information to responsive signs, varying speed limits according to the driving conditions. The hard shoulder is also made available to traffic at particularly busy times of the day.

A smooth journey

We refurbished seven existing gantries over the roads and installed 33 new structures, as well as creating six emergency refuge areas.

We also resurfaced over 14 miles of carriageway, installing more than 30 miles of fibre optic cables that transmit the information used to regulate traffic.

Safety innovations

Our team developed a unique programme to prevent construction workers being injured while working in close proximity to heavy plant and machinery. Our ‘Zone In’ training workshop included the use of life-sized models, real machinery, on-site video footage of risky behaviour and reconstructions of major incidents. It contributed significantly to the project’s outstanding safety record.


  • 2013 BCIA Award for Safety Excellence

  • Highway’s Agency inaugural National Major Projects Framework Safety Recognition Award 2013


million scheme


miles of fibre optic cables installed