Smaller carbon footprint on Lancashire’s highest priority transport project

The £104m Heysham to M6 link road project was one of Lancashire’s highest priority transport projects. Together with our supply chain partner, we set out to realise the full potential of genuine collaboration, enabled by early engagement, to deliver complete transparency and informed specification decisions based on whole-life performance.

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Lancashire County Council

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2010 to 2016

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Advisory and concept development
Programme management
Complex project delivery

Key benefits


saving of embodied carbon from original design


saved through value engineering


jobs for the long-term unemployed

Access to established and highly skilled supply chain partners

The scheme will connect Heysham and Morecambe to a new Junction 34 of the M6, and include a 4.8km dual carriageway with a combined footway and cycleway along its entire route.

Through early engagement on the design and materials and a collaborative working relationship, the project team was able to identify considerable savings in the quantity of materials required and the embodied carbon footprint of the project.

Tarmac supplied Costain with key materials such as aggregate, ready-mix concrete and asphalt. It reports its CO2e (CO2 equivalent) figures for all materials supplied to the project, with the aim of reducing their embodied carbon emissions by 20 per cent.

Focusing on quarrying, deliveries and transport routes meant the team could target zero wastage at the quarry. The overall new design produced at early contractor involvement [ECI] stage reduced the aggregate tonnage by nearly 25%, saving over 200,000 tonnes of raw materials, and enabled a reduction of nearly 9,000 m3 of readymix concrete, just over 26%. This translates into a 21% carbon saving (5018 tonnes CO2e) from the original design, which exceeded the KPI of 20%. The cost saving of £2.73m represented 11% of the total work package.

“Both Costain and Tarmac identified climate change as a key feature of their sustainability strategies. This project is a great example of the benefits and cost savings that can be achieved.”

Andrew Langley - Project Director, Costain

Contact and social


Simon Ellison, Sector director
01628 842 444