M6 Smart Motorway


Working in partnership with Highways England, Dawson WAM working on behalf of Kier appointed us in 2018 to help manage and mitigate noise and vibration on their major programme to convert the M6 around Staffordshire into a smart motorway.


Lasting approximately 4 years, Highways England upgraded a busy stretch of the M6 between junction 13 at Stafford and Junction 15 near Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent. The new smart motorway has created much needed extra capacity and more reliable journey times. It will reduce delays and excessive congestion for the 120,000 (approx.) vehicles that use it each day.

During construction large sections parallel to the road needed to have a series of sheet piles driven in order to ensure the banks remained structurally secure. Inevitably, some of these sections were in close proximity to existing houses and hotels. Our Acoustics team helped Dawson WAM and Kier to mitigate noise and vibration by providing technical services and advice.



  • Transfer Function Measurements
  • Review of Ground Conditions
  • Noise and Vibration Mitigation Advice
  • Noise and Vibration Monitoring
  • Construction Noise and Vibration Reports
  • Dedicated person on call at all times during works


  • To ensure we could move with each phase of the piling, we utilised battery packs and where applicable solar panels to power the monitoring equipment whilst working roadside
  • Advised the client that alternative methods needed to be used for piling, this included Pre-Augering and the use of Vibro Piling.
  • Trained the site team in the correct procedures of moving, setting up and calibrating the monitoring equipment.
  • Automatic triggers were utilised and warned of any potential exceedances to the allowed noise and vibration levels.
  • Used a system of geo-referenced mapping and predictions to establish which sites needed to be monitored and which sites were safe to pile without monitoring.


“Jody Blacklock and his Acoustics team worked efficiently to successfully provide us with their continuous monitoring on the M6 upgrade. They consistently provided us with high quality reports and were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Since the M6 works, we have continued to work with them on other projects, including HS2.”

Gary Johnstone, Contracts Manager at Dawson WAM