Connect Plus awarded £321 million contract to upgrade 29m of the M25

Press release 07/01/2013 08:30 CET

Connect Plus, the M25 DBFO concession, has been awarded a £321 million design and construction contract to upgrade sections of the M25 for the Highways Agency.

Working as part of the Connect Plus M25 design build finance and operate (DBFO) contract, a 50/50 construction joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Skanska UK will be responsible for building the infrastructure that will improve journey times on the London orbital motorway. The team will upgrade 29 miles (46km) of the M25 to managed motorway in two sections between junctions 5 to 7 and junctions 23 to 27 through Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire.

Managed motorways add extra capacity to a motorway by converting the hard shoulder to a traffic lane and controlling traffic more effectively using variable speed limits. It is a technology-driven approach to motorway management, using overhead gantries, lane-specific signals and driver information signs. The scheme includes the installation emergency refuge areas for vehicles and road management technology including electronic matrix signs mounted in verges and CCTV cameras. New concrete safety barriers in the central reservation will improve safety and make journeys more reliable.

Work on the contract begins in January 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Tim Jones, Chief Executive of Connect Plus, said: “I’m delighted that Connect Plus has been awarded this important contract to upgrade the M25 by our customer, the Highways Agency.

“This contract will see us utilising our skills and experience as well as those of our parent companies, building on our track record of delivering nearly 40 miles of major upgrades to the M25 already.

“We are totally committed to our journey of transforming Europe’s busiest motorway during our tenure through leading congestion management and safety.”

Chris Taylor, Director of Major Projects South at the Highways Agency said:

“These major upgrades will bring real benefits to drivers on the M25, which is vital to the nation’s economy. Managed motorways use a range of innovative technology and new operating procedures to help make journey times more reliable, while also providing additional capacity.”

Greg Craig, Managing Director of Civil Engineering, Skanska UK, said: “This contract is a natural progression for our Skanska Balfour Beatty joint venture, having successfully delivered ahead of schedule the £1 billion widening of the M25 in 2012.

“Our very positive relationship with the Highways Agency has helped set new standards in contributing to meeting the government objectives of delivering growth while also reducing costs by 20 per cent across public construction projects.”

Mike Peasland, Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction division, CSUK, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract by the Highways Agency to further upgrade the M25 by the Highways Agency. Our capabilities in delivering complex major road improvements involving the latest technology and BIM techniques are second to none and this work will further prove our abilities to deliver for our customer in transforming our strategic route network.”


Analyst/media enquiries:

Name  : Scott Wilson 
Company : Balfour Beatty
Tel  : 07966 895011


Notes to Editors:

  1. The M25 DBFO contract is a 30 year concession contract for the upgrade and maintenance of Europe’s busiest motorway and key arterial link routese, awarded in 2009 by the Highways Agency to Connect Plus, a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty (40%), Skanska (40%), Atkins (10%) and Egis Projects SA (10%).
  2. The contract is awarded to Connect Plus and was retained through a competitive proposal. The value of the contract is £321 million.
  3. The project is scheduled for completion by February 2015.
  4. Skanska Balfour Beatty is a joint venture formed in 2009 to deliver major construction services to Connect Plus. 
  5. Connect Plus completed a 39 mile upgrade of the M25 in 2012 between junctions 16 to 23 and junctions 27 to 30. More information can be found here:  http://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/news/news_120619.html
  6. For more information on Managed Motorways and all-lanes running, visit the Highways Agency website: http://www.highways.gov.uk/our-road-network/managing-our-roads/managed-motorways/
  7. Any photos included with this media release may be used in connection with any articles relating directly to this release but permission must be sought from the contact named above where photographs are intended to be used with non-related material.