Highways England is a governmental organisation that works with the Department for Transport to operate, maintain and improve England’s motorways and A roads. They’re currently undertaking a large project in which motorways are being converted into smart motorways – stretches of highway which uses active traffic management (ATM) to increase capacity by the use of variable speed limits and hard shoulder running.

Highways England had commenced work to upgrade a busy 6.5 mile stretch of the M20 to an all-lane running smart motorway. Although the transformation will benefit road users, national infrastructure and business, without appropriate demarcation, the increased traffic would impact the quality of life of local residents and affect the environment.

Therefore, as part of a commitment to improving residential, health and environmental conditions for those in close proximity of highways projects – and to ensure that important corporate social responsibility criteria are met – Highways England approached us to install absorptive noise barriers between junctions.

This product mitigated the risk of noise and atmospheric pollution to nearby communities and nature by eliminating certain sound waves and significantly reducing overall noise. Being a flexible product designed for uninhabited landscapes, our noise barriers could accommodate the varying topography along the M20.

The route was carefully analysed to ascertain where more or less barrier product was required. This enabled our team to maximise performance whilst remaining in the Highways England budget. We also planned how barriers of varying sizes would best join to make the route as aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking as possible.

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