The existing A14 trunk road between Cambridge and Huntingdon is well known for congestion and delays.  Almost 85,000 vehicles use this stretch of the A14 every day; a lot more than was originally designed for.  In 2016 the government gave the go-ahead to upgrade the A14 between Ellington, west of Huntingdon, to the Milton junction on the Cambridge Northern Bypass after many years of delays.

The government has made a provision for £1.5 billion of capital investment for the scheme, with the proposals funded through a combination of contributions from Central Government, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

A Costain Skanska JV was selected to deliver package 1 covering the A1 junction at Alconbury to the East Coast Mainline and package 2 covering east of the East Coast Mainline to Swavesey.  Works commenced on site in November 2016. 


Site Lighting

In late 2016, Prolectric were invited to demonstrate its ProLight solar lighting tower as an alternative to the conventional diesel generator lights being proposed on the site compound at Brampton.  The Prolights are designed to operate year round with zero site intervention and utilises Prolectrics extensive experience of applying lighting technology into the UK for the past 6 years.

Having spent more than 1 week trialling the performance of the Prolight, this led to Costain Skanska approving the initial purchase of 6 no. Prolectric Prolights for the Brampton compound.  The units were delivered in early March and have provided significant benefits to the project.  Not least of which there has been huge diesel savings as well as manpower savings in not having to continuously fill the units with diesel.  No man intervention is required to operate and control the ProLights, this can be done remotely via its own web portal without the need for any site intervention.

Environmental Benefits

Savings achieved are not just financial. Carbon emissions are zero from the use of the Prolectric ProLight.  The burning of diesel on traditional lighting towers produces 2.68Kg of CO2 for every litre of diesel used, so when you consider even the more efficient VT Hybrid diesel generator these require 0.38 litres of diesel for every kWh demand, the annual diesel usage based on continuous use during darkness hours is more than 1,000 litres for just one unit with a corresponding carbon emission of nearly 2700 Kg CO2.  This is when the diesel generator units are performing at its optimum.   The same figures for the lesser efficient diesel generator such as a VT1 requires 0.45 litres of diesel for every kWh demand, the annual diesel usage based on continuous use during darkness hours is more than 7,800 litres for just one unit with a corresponding carbon emission of nearly 20,950 Kg CO2.

Real Time Information

Since the delivery of the Prolectric Prolights in early March the units have not been attended to by any site operative freeing up man hours for site staff as well reducing carbon emissions to zero and the use of diesel to zero.  The benefits to the use of the Prolights have been threefold and include financial, environmental and health and safety benefits. Eric Milne, Compound Manager at the Brampton Compound who approved the purchase of the first 6 units commented, ‘The great thing about Prolectric’s ProLights is that we haven’t had to touch them since they were delivered.

They do exactly as we were told.  If we want to change the on/off setting we can simply call Prolectric and they will remotely adjust the time setting using their portal.  We do have the option to switch on/off manually but we prefer to utilise our site resources elsewhere and allow Prolectric to manage that for us.’


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