With more than 73 million journeys every year on the 250-mile M25, this motorway’s critical importance as part of the UK’s strategic road network is without dispute. Work to keep it operational and flowing is a 24/7/365 task, and the responsibility to ensure it is reliable and safe for everyone who uses it is one Connect Plus Services (CPS) is proud to bear.
On Boxing Day Eve, a serious collision on the anticlockwise M25 between junctions 16 and 15 resulted in substantial damage to a section of bridge parapet safety barrier. This section, close to Heathrow Airport, is one of the busiest parts of our network, and within Europe.
Teams worked overnight to install temporary concrete barriers in Lane 1 to provide protection to the damaged section, and the road was re-opened early the next morning, leaving lanes 2-4 open to traffic.
Maintaining a lane closure throughout the period required to manufacture bespoke parapet protection would result in a significant impact on traffic flow, even without commuter traffic joining the network. Our team was presented with the challenge of maintaining lane availability past the damage without compromising on safety.
The solution was devised by a team led by CPS – narrow lanes to be installed at the scene. Narrow lanes have a width of between 3m and 3.5m. Although they aren’t the full width of a normal traffic lane (usually 3.65m), unless specified, they can accommodate all vehicle types, meaning there are no restrictions required.
Teams from HW and Hardstaff Barriers worked alongside CPS and Highways England through the end of Christmas week and into the weekend, with the works completed by the morning of New Year’s Eve, ready for one of the busiest days of the year, at the start of January 2018.
This is an excellent example of two of the values we share with everyone involved in the M25 – One Team and Excellence. It is also an excellent example of how CPS and the people we work with demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that the M25 is a reliable and safe network for everyone.