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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Balfour Beatty officially launch Automated Cone Laying Machine to the media

Today, 13th July Balfour Beatty officially launched the automated cone laying machine to the media and industry experts.

The machine, the first of five ordered by Balfour Beatty fleet and plant services has already entered service on the M25 as part of the Connect Plus Services contract.

The Falcon ACLM machine, developed by Safer Highways member Highway Care and Switzerland-based technology partner SENN Engineering following investment from National Highways’ Innovation Designated Funds programme.

Balfour Beatty managing director for highways Phil Clifton said: “We’re delighted to become the first construction company in the UK to successfully roll out these revolutionary new automated cone laying machines. This is yet another example of the investment Balfour Beatty has made to transform how we work on our roads, showing that we continue to lead the charge in setting a new standard for safety.

“We hope the machines will radically improve the lives of highways workers by reducing their direct exposure to a live road environment - demonstrating our commitment to achieving Zero Harm and to sending our people home safe and well every day.”

Speaking at the launch event, Ben Dunker, Business Development Director at Highway Care said,

"We are very excited after three years of development in collaboration with National Highways and stakeholders such as Balfour Beatty and Connect Plus Services, to see the first production vehicles arriving on the M25 network.

“We now look forward to the machines making the desired impact and improving the health, safety and wellbeing of traffic management operatives.”

Balfour Beatty have committed to ordering five of the Falcon ACLM machines all of which will be delivered in the latter half of 2022 and deployed for service on the M25.

Automated Cone Laying Machines are built on Scania’s low entry L-series chassis and will reduce incidents by minimising the time that traffic management operatives spend physically on the road network.

The vehicles can lay or collect a cone in under ten seconds, removing the need for workers to manually lift up to five tonnes of equipment per shift.

National Highways head of lean and continuous improvement Martin Bolt added: “We are continuously looking at ways to innovate and pioneer new products that improve safety on the road for both road workers and users.

“The Automated Cone Laying Machine takes out the human element in the laborious task of putting out cones as well as eliminating an element of potential risk. It also frees up workers who can be redeployed to other traffic management duties.

“Working closely with our partners we are proud to have been able to create an innovative vehicle that would make this happen and are delighted to see it now being rolled out by Balfour Beatty.”

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