Posted: Wed 15th Mar 2023

National Highways unveils eco-friendly gantry of the future which could appear on English motorways within 2 years

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 15th, 2023

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National Highways has unveiled the winning design of a competition aimed at creating a modern and eco-friendly “gantry of the future” for its motorways and major A-roads.

The winning entry, created by Useful Studio, was chosen by the judging panel for its elegance and simplicity, as well as its reduced carbon footprint compared to current gantries.

It uses less steel than existing designs, meaning less embodied carbon, and the use of pre-weathered steel.

The competition was organised by National Highways in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and saw 32 entries from architectural firms across the UK and Europe.

National Highways Executive Director for Operations Duncan Smith said that the competition aimed to create “innovative structures that can accommodate the required signage and equipment that are more sympathetic to the environment.”

Although security issues did not form part of the original specification, the new design will be more resilient to trespassers due to entry being concealed within the pillars, making it more difficult to access without authorisation.

The new gantries will be designed to fit into context, be understandable and be environmentally sustainable, with multi-functionality and resilience that achieves net environmental gain.

The new design will also have a standardised appearance that will help create a consistent look and feel across the network for drivers and make projects more efficient to deliver and help with maintenance regimes.

The winning design will now be developed by Useful Studio in collaboration with National Highways to meet road safety and design standards, and could be used as the standard design for new roads and major upgrades within two years’ time.

The competition is part of National Highways’ good design initiative, which sets out 10 principles for good road design, including being environmentally sustainable, fitting into the context of its surroundings, and being understandable for drivers.

National Highways has been seeking a more streamlined and elegant visual appearance for roadside gantries, with an emphasis on form as well as function.

Roads Minister Richard Holden congratulated Useful Studio and National Highways for their success in creating a modern and secure design that is set to redefine the look and feel of motorways and roads. “Their innovative approach is bound to improve the daily journeys of countless motorists while also contributing to a more sustainable future,” he said.

The competition is also part of National Highways’ commitment to delivering road upgrades that better complement the natural and built environment in which they lie.

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