Highways England – Off-Site VMS Installation

Integrated Transport Systems



Colas developed an innovative approach to installing Variable Message Signs (VMS) onto gantries in a warehouse, prior to the gantries being installed on the M42 for the client Highways England. 

  • Installation of up to two and a half times more VMS per shift.
  • Work carried out with delays of just half an hour for road users, avoiding full road closures in both directions.
  • Improved safety as engineers work no more than eight metres from the ground, rather than fifteen when on-site.
  • In partnership with Highways England's, using their Lean Maturity Assessment (HELMA) framework.

30 minutes

Installation time


  • Installation of the AMI and MS4 message signs onto the M42 motorway Gantries.
  • Deliver VMS signs with minimum disruption to traffic required.
  • Provide safe, cost effective and speedy installation.


  • The VMS signs were installed on the gantries off site in the warehouse.
  • The gantries with installed signs were transported to the motorway and parked in the Emergency Refuge Area.
  • No requirement for Traffic Management, except for the final installation of the gantries.