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Highways England confirm maintenance works on A12 and A120

Commuters across Essex could face delays this coming week as planned maintenance works are undertaken on the A12 and A120.

Highways England have provided an update as to when and where the roads will be closed in Essex from today (May 30).

The government agency has been carrying out a series of maintenance work across the roads over the past few weeks, and says it is currently working on several sites for improvements including waterproofing, resurfacing, barrier replacement and lighting renewal.

Due to the Bank Holiday, Highways England did not undertake any work between Friday (May 26) and Monday (May 29).

A12 Kelvedon bypass – Ewell Hall Chase bridge major repairs

Ewell Hall Chase bridge was successfully reinstated on May 21.

The bridge itself remains closed while additional concrete and joint works take place.

Pedestrians who use the bridge should continue to use the alternative route via Highfields Lane, Maldon Road, Ewell Hall Chase and vice versa.

A120 Marks Farm Roundabout (Braintree) to Marks Tey Roundabout (A12 junction 25) – resurfacing and lighting renewal

Work to deliver resurfacing and street lighting renewals is progressing well, despite ongoing challenges with statutory apparatus in the area. More information will be issued in coming weeks which will explain what work is left to complete along the A120.

From today, the A120 between Marks Farm Roundabout and West Street, Coggeshall, will be closed until the end of the week (overnight only).

A120 Wix bypass – drainage work

Work to repair the drainage in this area continues.

Temporary traffic signals and a temporary 40mph speed limit will be in place overnight, between 8pm and 5am, from today for four nights.

Work is due to be completed soon.

A12 Porters Park bridge, Boreham – waterproofing and resurfacing

The Porters Park bridge (Waltham Road) which runs over the A12 near junction 19 (Boreham) will be closed overnight on Wednesday (May 31) and Thursday (June 1) to enable minor resurfacing work to take place.

A120 Blackwater bridge, Bradwell – parapet and joint maintenance

Work to repair the bridge parapets has now been removed from the scope of this scheme, to avoid disrupting nesting swallows in the area.

Highways England will look to re-programme this work for later on in the year.

Bridge joint maintenance has yet to be programmed. Details will be published when available.

Access to properties

During road closures, drivers will only be allowed access to their properties if they are located within the closure extents, and there are no alternative routes available.

All other road users must use an alternative route.

Gatemen will not permit access to people who want to travel through the closure area and out the other side.

Drivers may be asked to wait for a crew member to escort them safely through the road closure – do not proceed alone.

Where possible, works will be carried out under using temporary traffic signals.

Greenpeace: leaked docs show UK lobbying to weaken EU climate rules

Greenpeace is reporting that leaked documents show the UK government lobbied Brussels to water down key EU climate and energy rules on the day Theresa May triggered Article 50.

The environmental organisation said that draft legislation it had obtained shows the Ministers attempted to weaken crucial EU goals to slash energy waste and boost renewable power despite the rules not coming into force until after Britain has left the EU.

The intervention, which took place on 29 March, was led by a British delegation that is formally part of the Department for Exiting the EU, headed by secretary of state David Davis.

According to Greenpeace, the timing of the move will add to concerns that the UK government could weaken European climate and environment safeguards once they are transposed into British law.

Commenting on the documents, Greenpeace UK’s Head of energy Hannah Martin said:

“The government is trying to lock the rest of the EU into weaker energy policies, just as we are leaving. The message ministers seem to be sending is that Brexit could trigger a race to the bottom and be used as cover for getting rid of key environmental safeguards.”

“Cutting energy waste and boosting some of the cheapest power sources like wind and solar is crucial to keep bills under control and slash carbon emissions. Theresa May should resist any attempts to hamper Britain’s progress towards a clean, affordable energy future and its promise of lasting jobs and economic growth.”

The leaked documents carry comments from UK government officials to the effect that key renewable and energy efficiency targets proposed by the European Commission should be reduced, made non-binding, or even scrapped altogether.

One of the laws the UK was lobbying to weaken is the revised Energy Efficiency Directive, a key component of the EU’s plan to tackle climate change by reducing fossil fuel use. The European Commission’s proposal would set a binding target of 30% increased energy efficiency by 2030 (compared to the ‘business as usual’ scenario), but the UK recommended it be reduced to 27% and made non-binding.

Tarmac wins £120m M25 surfacing deal

Tarmac has bagged a contract worth up to £120m to carry out pavement resurfacing across the M25.

The contract with M25 operator and maintainer Connect Plus will be worth around £10m a year and it is understood it could last for up to 12 years.

It will see the firm deliver pavement resurfacing across 440 km of M25 motorway and its arterial roads.

Tarmac has been working for Connect Plus for the last five years and the new deal is understood to be for six years, with an option to extend it for another six.

Made up of Balfour Beatty, Edge Orbital Holdings and Egis Projects, the Connect Plus consortium has a 30-year design, build and finance contract to operate and maintain the M25 network for Highways England.

The work will also include resurfacing of the roads, fine milling and joint sealing across the M25 with the aim of reducing whole-life costs and minimising maintenance demands on the network.

Tarmac Contracting managing director Paul Fleetham said: “This major award reflects our strong working relationship with Connect Plus and our proven track record of close collaboration with network operators to improve network capacity, minimise disruption and prioritise the safety of road users.

“As well as providing skilled delivery and technical expertise, we will draw on our extensive asphalt plant network in the South-east to provide on-demand access to high-quality materials.”

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Roadworker delivers lifesaving skills on the carriageway

On 7th April 2017 John McGowan went off to work for a ‘routine night’ on the roads, unaware of the heroics he was about to perform. On that night, an accident on the M62 Eastbound carriageway involving a minibus, its driver and its passengers would test John’s first aid & health and safety training to the max.

Video footage from the Dashcam of the Chevron Vehicle captures the intense moments when the mini bus veers into the central reservation and flips over. John pulls over as other drivers pass to help on the scene.

Having witnessed the minibus veer into the central reserve and flip onto its side, John pulled over onto the hard shoulder and contacted the emergency services, before using his TM training to safely cross the carriageway.

On attending the scene, he found that the driver was partially lying in lane 3 of the opposing carriageway. He managed to carefully move his legs out of the carriageway before performing lifesaving first aid in order to resuscitate the driver.

John, Business Improvement Assessor at Chevron Traffic Management gave us his account of how the event unfolded:

“I was witness to a road traffic accident at around 00:20. As first on the scene I completed a personal risk assessment and deemed it necessary to cross.

“Before I crossed I contacted the emergency services and requested HETO (Highways England Traffic Officer), Ambulance and Fire assistance as I could see there was a major incident involving a minibus. I noticed the elderly driver had been ejected from the vehicle involved to then later discover a total of 7 people on board.

“On first examination, I noticed that the driver wasn’t breathing, but I couldn’t perform CPR due to his position on the ground. I continued with chest compressions until he gasped a breath and he then began to breath unassisted.

“I then checked the van for further casualties but there were none to the same degree of urgent care or attention required- all of the passengers in the minibus could talk, so at that point I moved away from the passengers knowing that the gentleman who had been unconscious was my priority in terms of safety. I returned to the driver, held his hand, reassured and talked to him until the fire brigade came.

“I left the incident around 1:05am, with all of the passengers out of the minibus and able to walk. The gentleman who was the driver of the vehicle was still on the floor, but stable and in the hands of the emergency services.”

Tim Cockayne, Chevron’s Managing Director commented:

“John’s calmness and skills under pressure to save this gentleman’s life should be commended not just by Chevron, but by the entire highways industry as a whole.

Our staff, as well as all other staff and operatives across the industry are routinely put through training courses to gain the knowledge and skills to handle these situations in the manner in which John has shown.

In my opinion- albeit in a terribly unfortunate situation- it’s a big tick for our industry that the effectiveness of our training practices is there for all to see. Without the proper training, what is a horrific situation for the driver and passengers in that minibus could have been a whole lot worse.”

Major resurfacing work to start on the Cromarty Bridge

Motorists are being urged to prepare for a major resurfacing project is due to get under way on a key A9 bridge.

The £300,000 scheme will see almost the entire length of the Cromarty Bridge resurfaced over a four week period.

Work is due to start tomorrow evening and will be carried out by Bear Scotland.

The bridge carries the A9 Inverness to Thurso road across the Cromarty Firth.

The roads agency say that the improvements will involve laying a high performance road surface, designed to make the bridge smoother for motorists and more resilient to harsh conditions experienced on the exposed crossing.

Resurfacing will take place from 7pm until 7am each night, working on Sunday nights to Friday mornings.

No works will take place on the busier Friday or Saturday nights.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place overnight on the bridge during working hours only.

These will be removed during the daytime and at weekends to limit the impact to traffic.

The £300,000 surfacing improvements are taking place ahead of future refurbishments planned for four of the bridge spans on the bridge, set to get underway later this year.

The major structural project was due to begin in April but was pushed back.

It is expected to take around six months once it has begun.

The remaining section of the bridge will be resurfaced once this work has been carried out, meaning the almost entire mile long span of the bridge will have been upgraded.

Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s north-west representative, said: “The investment of £300,000 will allow us to keep the A9 Cromarty Bridge operating safely for motorists for years to come while the future refurbishment works are completed.

“We have taken steps to avoid impacting motorists by completing the works at night and avoiding working on Friday and Saturday nights. We thank motorists in advance for their patience while the resurfacing improvements are completed.”

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