Digital Fuels Signs Ground Investigation, MOTO M5 Frankley Services

Moto Hospitality, the UK’s largest motorway service operator, won permission from National Highways to install digital roadside displays on UK motorways. The signage will provide drivers with fuel prices at the nearest service station. We provided geotechnical consultancy and ground investigation services to ensure the new signs were designed and built both to the project deadline and to National Highways’ standards.

Key details

Project name

MOTO M5 Frankley Services ground investigation



Moto Hospitality


MOTO Frankley Services M5


Services provided

- Geotechnical consultancy

- Ground investigation

Moto have lowered their fuel prices to compete with local high street petrol stations, and with the new signage they predict their sales will increase. The Frankley works were undertaken as part of a trial that has been monitored by National Highways for 12 months.


We undertook the investigatory works under a lane 1 closure of the M5 during nights to mitigate any impact on motorway users. We procured a contractor and supervised the designed ground investigations. Our team worked to tight deadlines to ensure that we deliver the construction of the signs in time, so that the traffic survey can be conducted to monitor the effectiveness of the whole scheme.

The data we obtained on the ground conditions needed to inform the design of the planted foundations in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB).

Frankley services fuel price signage


We undertook desk-based study and intrusive ground investigations accompanied by assessments. We worked to obtain the required information on the subsurface conditions and designed an economical foundation solution for the proposed signs.

The ground investigations comprised a series of windowless sampler boreholes and dynamic probing to a maximum depth of 10m Below Ground at each proposed sign location (a total of six locations across the northbound and southbound carriageways). Following desk-based research we used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) at each proposed sign location to determine the presence of buried utilities.

Our Environmental, Compliance and Ground Engineering team have produced statement of intent, ground investigation and geotechnical design reports to the certification of National Highways. We successfully complied with the requirements of the Standards for Highways, which supported the planning permission being granted.  

Acting as Principal Contractor during the ground investigation works, we ensured the intrusive works were delivered to the Principal Designer on time, within budget and to a good standard.

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