Flower power! Youngsters help brighten up new Skanska built A-road at M42 Junction 6 scheme

Press release 23/05/2024 08:57 CET

School children plant wildflowers along the new A4545 road to mark the end of the centenary of A-roads celebrations and helping to boost biodiversity on the scheme.

Our customer National Highways has spent the last 12 months marking 100 years of road numbering in Britain. The celebrations are in recognition of the vital role A-roads play in connecting the country and supporting economic growth. 

Children from Kingshurst Primary School joined colleagues from Skanska, National Highways and supply chain partner L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage to plant wildflower seeds along the verges of the latest A-road – the A4545 dual M42 Junction 6 improvement scheme in the West Midlands which is due to open this winter.  

The 2.4km of dual carriageway will improve access to key businesses – including an expanding Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Birmingham International Station, the new HS2 interchange station – from a new junction 5a. 

Dan Trathen, Project Director for Skanska, said: “It's been fantastic to involve local children in this initiative – they brought great enthusiasm and energy which resonates with Skanska’s commitment towards sustainable solutions. 

“At Skanska, we believe in delivering projects that go beyond their primary purpose by contributing positively to local communities and environments. We are thrilled to contribute towards easing congestion through this project while also providing an attractive landscape for both wildlife and people who use the road.”  

As part of the event, there was also a special demonstration from L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage showing the children how to stay safe around HGVs. The children were shown about HGV blind spots and were given a special demonstration showing a rigid Hiab, a vehicle made up of a truck, trailer and lorry-mounted crane all in one rigid structure, in action. Throughout their visit they were kitted out in personal protective equipment (PPE) donated by Greenham. 

Teacher Viv Gittoes from Kingshurst Primary School said: “It was a great privilege to be invited along on the day to help plant the wildflowers and mark the end of the 100 years of A-roads campaign. The children had a marvellous time and really enjoyed themselves. They also loved being able to sit in the truck and learn more about how it worked. We are grateful that we were able to attend.” 

Regional Delivery Director for National Highways’ major projects in the Midlands Anita Prashar added: “At National Highways we are committed to our responsibility for the ongoing stewardship and evolution of A-roads, now and for the future. We’re delighted the children from Kingshurst primary school could join us to help make the new A4545 a colourful, biodiverse place that will attract wildlife and pollinators in the future, but also bring our year of celebrations for the centenary of A-roads to a fitting end. 

“Modern A-roads still play a vital role in helping millions of people to travel smoothly, speedily, and safely across the country. For thousands of businesses, they are essential to their commercial success and growth, and they depend on them for sourcing workers, receiving supplies, and making deliveries. 

“The new A4545 is an incredibly important part of the M42 J6 upgrade because it will unlock congestion and provide a new link to many key businesses and venues. Through increased capacity and more reliable journey times, the project as a whole will encourage continued investment in the regional economy and support new corporate, commercial and residential development opportunities.” 

A-roads make up over half of England’s of strategic road network, which is 4,300 miles of trunk roads and motorways. They often follow routes that have been used by people and communities for centuries.   

You can read more about 100 Years of A-Roads here while further details about the M42 junction 6 improvement scheme that Skanska is delivering on behalf of National Highways can be found here.