Benefits for West Midlands road users thanks to £300 million Highways Agency contract

01 July 2009
Contact the Press Office


Road users across the West Midlands will this week begin to benefit from a change to how Highways Agency services are delivered in the region.

From Wednesday 1 July, the Highways Agency’s new Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) for area 9, Amey, will start its £300m, five year contract.

The role of the MAC is to carry out operational and routine maintenance services and deliver improvements on the motorways and trunk roads in the West Midlands. Amey will also undertake the role of West Midlands TechMAC, a role which includes improving the technology systems and equipment across the region. Having a combined MAC and TechMAC will add value for the Highways Agency and the road user by providing an integrated service with greater efficiency.

At the same time as Amey begins its new contract, the Highways Agency’s Area 9 boundaries will be changed to include two-thirds of routes currently covered by a separate contract, matching the boundaries of the existing Government Office for the West Midlands.

The new contract will deliver larger, better equipped incident support vehicles to replace the current hi-visibility vans. These will be fitted with GPS tracking equipment and CCTV to send live feeds of incidents to the network control centre. The vehicles also carry traffic management equipment including cones and signs, scene screens to prevent rubber-necking at incidents and can be loaded with ‘tank matting’ which provides additional space off the carriageway on roads without hard shoulders.

The vehicles are also fitted with a large crash cushion large warning signs to protect the roadworkers from oncoming traffic.

In addition, a brand new fleet of salt spreading vehicles will be rolled out across the region. These vehicles spread “pre-wet” salt which gets to work faster on the road surface to prevent ice formation and is more friendly to vehicles and the environment because less is used.

Andy Hitch, Mobilisation Manager for the West Midlands said:
“The new contract for Area 9 will allow us to bring all the operational, maintenance and technological functions together into one Highways Agency region.

“Having Amey as both the maintenance and technology contractors will provide us with an integrated service which will offer a number of benefits which people will start to notice over the coming months.”


Mel Ewell, Chief Executive at Amey said: “It is an outstanding achievement for Amey to be awarded both the Area 9 MAC and the West Midlands TechMAC contract by the Highways Agency.  This is a great opportunity for Amey to fully utilise its engineering consultancy and maintenance services for the benefit of the travelling public in the West Midlands”


Issued by COI on behalf of the Highways Agency. For further information please contact Ant Aston on 0121 352 5510. Media enquiries out of hours should be made to the Highways Agency National Press Office on 0207 081 7443.

1.    The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2.    The new contract covers M50 between A449 junction 4 and M5 junction 8 (incl. M50 Jct 1/A38 slip roads); A38 between A50 (Toyota Island) and Minworth Island; A449T between M50 junction 4 and A40; A40T between A449T and Welsh Border (290m West); A46 between M5 junction 9 and M40 junction 15; M5 between junction 9 and M6 junction 8; M42 between M5 junction 4A to junction 11 (A42); M40 between M42 junction 3A to junction 15; M6 between junctions 1 and 16; M54 between M6 junction 10a and junction 7 (A5); A5 between M54 junction 7 to Welsh Border (Gledridd Viaduct); A458 between A5 Churncote and Welsh Border (Middletown); A483 between A5 (Mile End) and Welsh Border (Llanymynech); A49 between A5 (Shrewsbury) and A40 (Ross-on-Wye); A45 between M42 junction 6 and Stonebridge; A45 between A46 (Festival Island) and the M45; A46 between M6 junction 2 and M40 junction 15; A446 (A452) from Stonebridge to A38 Bassets Pole; A5 between A449 Gailey to Mancetter Island; A449 between M54 junction 2 to A5 Gailey; A4123 between A456 Hagley Road and Shaw Road junction Cosley; M69 junction 1 to M6 junction 2; A50 Catchams Corner to A500; A500 between M6 junction 15 and 16.

3.    Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and major A roads is now available:
•    From our new Traffic Radio service, available on DAB digital radio and the internet at  To tune into the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".
•    On the internet at
•    By phone from the Highways Agency 24-hour voice activated phone service on 08700 660 115.  (Calls from BT landlines to 0870 numbers will cost no more than 8p per minute; mobile calls usually cost more).
•    Before using a mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call.

4.    For more general information about the Highways Agency and its work, visit the Highways Agency website WWW.HIGHWAYS.GOV.UK, or telephone the Highways Agency Information Line on 08457 50 40 30 at any time.  (Calls to 0845 numbers cost no more than 3p/min from BT residential landlines. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary.

Before using a mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call.


Contact the
press office

+44 (0) 1865 713 240

Please note that the press office phone lines are for journalists and members of the press only, for any other enquiry, please use the general enquiry contacts.